“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
An Awe-Filled Storm, by Randall D. Kittle
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“God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend.” — Job 37:5

One of my favorite characters in the New Testament is Peter. Perhaps I like him so much because he frequently reminds me of myself. Peter was a “man of action” — confident, bold, and too often impulsive. He seems to regularly speak before he’s thought things through.

For example, Peter affirmed to the tax collectors that Jesus would pay the temple tax, then turns and gets a lecture on how
“… the sons are exempt.” He refuses to let the Lord wash his feet declaring, “You shall never wash my feet!” only to have Jesus explain its importance and then replying, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Which disciple courageously pulls out his sword and rushes to the Lord’s rescue when He was being arrested? Peter, of course. And when Jesus tells His disciples that they will all fall away on the night of His betrayal, it is Peter who rashly responds, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” But of course a few hours later Peter curses and swears he doesn’t even know Him.

Recently, I experienced something that showed me just how much like Peter I have been in my judging the children of Israel on Mount Sinai. I’ve always marveled how the children of Israel faltered when they wanted Moses to be an intermediary between themselves and God.
“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die’” (Exodus 20:18–19). Instead of longing to hear the voice of the Lord for themselves, the awe of the thundering, quaking mountain of God caused them to fear for their own lives and seek a safer way.

I’ve always thought, “Boy, if that was me, I would have called out to God like Isaiah,
“Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). In fact, I remember being at a leadership meeting with Francis Frangipane a few years back where he asked me what I wanted most in life. My answer was quick and sure, “To look into the very face of God!” Francis’ response was, “You’d be toast.” To which I replied, “Ya, but what a way to go.”

But something happened last spring that made me realize that perhaps, like Peter, I’ve spoken a bit in haste all these years. It showed me that if I were in the same circumstances as the children of Israel maybe I wouldn’t be quite as quick as I thought to press into the presence of God. It happened one early spring morning. A powerful weather front was pushing through northern Illinois where I live. In the blackness of that early morning, we experienced a thunderstorm like I have never encountered before. The thunder literally shook me awake. With each flash of lightning, I cringed as the piercing sound of the thunder caused my ears to ring and my chest to resonate.

The power displayed in that storm opened my eyes to see that I don’t have an adequate awe of God and His unlimited power. As I’ve come to know Him more personally over the years, familiarity with His love, mercy, and kindness have resulted in me forgetting how unfathomable is His mighty power, how absolute is His judgment, and how completely holy is His character.

All of us need to have an increased awe of God to stand in these last days. Let me encourage you to open your heart to receive a new depth of awe for our infinite, eternal, unchanging God as you read His Word and observe His marvelous creation.

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