Your relationship with God

What's So Important About Awe?

Greetings Friends!

A few months ago I heard the word awe briefly referenced in a sermon. By the time I left the church service, the Holy Spirit tattooed that word on my heart and mind in gigantic capital letters. AWE. I needed to find out more.

I commenced an investigation and am convinced awe is a bigger deal than we realize. I invite you to discover how awe impacts our relationship with God.

Let’s take a look at the definition.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary concisely defines awe as a response of wonder, reverence, or even dread. My definition of awe is slightly wordier. Awe is an impressionable moment attributed to God because of the undeniable display of His active presence.

When God’s magnificence, glory, and power grabs our soul’s attention it prompts the realization of God in it or God with us. Awe is a step beyond thankfulness. It’s a declaration, a confession. Biblical examples include David and Daniel. Here’s an excerpt from Daniel Chapter 9.

“O Lord  you are a great and awesome God! You always Daniel 9What a profound confession from Daniel’s heart. Having personally experienced God’s life-saving power when confined with lions, he had every reason for awe of God. His awe expresses reverence and a love for God.

Have you ever wondered what our awe means to God? What if He receives awe as a love offering from our heart?

Here is the first reason why being awestruck by God is a big deal.

Awe of God expresses our love for God.

Awe of God 1

Below is a quote by Brennan Manning, author of Ruthless Trust, and it says volumes about awe.  

Awe of God Manning Quote

Brennan is saying pay attention. Let yourself be amazed. Why? Awareness of the awesome nature of God invites an inpouring of strength, peace, security, and joy. Awe beckons Jesus.

Here’s an example from the Book of Acts.

Acts 2Are you surprised prayer, the Word, and community cultivates awe? The closer you get to Jesus the more awestruck you become.

Here is the second reason why awe is important.

Awe significantly enhances your relationship with the Lord. 

To better explain, here's an example from my life. Twice, my heart has physically ached from being heart-broken. The first time it happened I didn’t think to ask Jesus for help. I went through it alone with misery. The second time I asked Him to join me.

Friends, oh, how He met me in it. I felt His strong presence though the grief threatened to overtake me. Overwhelmed by awe, I confessed it to Him.  I didn’t feel lost and desperate. Darkness didn’t enter my heart. Rather, a strength outside of my own lifted me, guided me. Over time, His peace sealed the broken places of my heart. Further, I continued to express my awe to God for being by my side all the way. My expression of awe intensified my relationship with Jesus. I am closer to Him.

Perhaps you, too, have been lifted by the Lord when otherwise you might have been buried by love and loss. 

We have many reasons to be awestruck by God.

A crucifixion

A resurrection promise fulfilled

Promised life with God in a way we’ve never known before

Getting to be in His presence and love

Whenever you utter the words, Jesus, you’re my Savior, heaven erupts at your declaration. Whether it’s the first time or the 1000th, God embraces you with life-giving love and an unbreakable commitment, sealed with the Spirit in you. The day Jesus saved you was an awe-filled day!

May awe well up inside of us overflowing into a love offering because He loves us. In turn, He will fill you with his strength, joy, peace, and hope. He is our Lord and Savior.

Thanks for reading and your encouragement! God loves us, Terri

P.S.  Find more quotes, insights, and conversation at Hearts Encouraged Facebook Page.

References:

Merriam Webster Dictionary - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/awe


In the Midst of Busy

Hello Everyone! 

What is it you need most in the midst of your busy, hectic day? Endurance? Perseverance? Courage? Could it be a power prayer?

Words have power. The Word of God is power. Praying God's Word helps you...

...love without boundaries.

...incapacitate the enemy.

...scatter fears.

...de-escalate anxiety.

...activate self-control.

...heal a wound.

...bolster hope.

...inspire.

...motivate.

...encourage.

In John 16:24, Jesus tells us to ask for what we need. There are no prerequisites. No request is too insignificant or unimportant. Tap into God's vast resources. You can bring your best to whatever you do by including Him in it.

I discovered the power of praying Scripture while reading Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word. I began to use verses in my prayers giving my requests a meaningful focus.

In the Middle of Busy Feb 2019I wrote the prayer called Free (above) using verses 1 John 3:19-20 and Romans 8:1. I speak this prayer when disappointment in my sinful nature turns into self-condemnation. Self-condemnation is a spiritual barrier. It prevents me from receiving God’s mercy and grace and it's an invitation for the enemy to aid my self-loathing.

Balance must be re-established.

My Free prayer rejects self-condemnation, proclaims my freedom, and reminds me God is for me. The power of this prayer is in its Truth. Self-condemnation is the equivalent of clasping shackles on my hands and feet. Sin, past or present, has no hold on me. My response to sin is simple: Pray God’s Word. It is my strength.

In the midst of busy, consider taking 20 to 30 seconds to include God. If it's a meeting, ask God for focus. If it's a project, ask God for inspiration and success. If it's a crucial conversation, ask God to direct your dialogue. Involve God in everything you do from the beginning to the end.

Meet the unexpected with power!

Loss. Change. Spiritual warfare. The unexpected can knock us down. God's Word re-positions us, firmly rooting us in His love, truth, and power. So much is asked of you in any given day. You face nothing alone. Make your need known to Jesus. He waits, ready to provide. 

I created several power-packed prayers comprised of paraphrased Bible verses. These are below. Praying God's Word, as Jesus did in the desert against Satan, releases power. I've attached a printable version of several prayers the size of a business card. Consider laminating and tucking one or more in your wallet or purse.  Download In the Middle of Busy Prayers Feb 2019 

Wisdom Prayer Feb 2019

 

Courage prayer Feb 2019

 

Self-Control Prayer Feb 2019

 

Peace Prayer Feb 2019

 

Prayer Feb 2019

I'm asking God to supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ (Ephesians 3:16). He is true life! My security, your security is found in Him! Find more prayers and inspiration at the Heartsencouraged Facebook Page @TerriHutchinsonAuthor.  Fondly, Terri


Competing Priorities

Hello and Welcome! May you find encouragement and blessings in this post. 

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One Saturday morning, sweet chirps outside my window acted like an alarm and a trigger. Barely awake, my mental To Do List began streaming:

Head to the writing desk no later than 8 am. Finish the current blog post, start the next one. Water the patio plants before the writing or it’ll be forgotten. Weeds in the front bed. Complete before it gets warm so before the writing. Get out of bed right now and you can do it.  

I popped out of bed and scurried to the kitchen for coffee. A stack of dirty dishes caught my eye. I looked at the clock. 6:40. I can get these done before writing, then hit the plants and weeds.

Coffee in hand, I went back to the bedroom to change from my pajamas. The unmade bed beckoned a question. When were these sheets last washed? Better do it while I’m thinking about it.

I recalculated the time factor. Get the sheets started first, then soak the dishes while watering the patio plants. Once the dishes are done, the sheets will be ready for the dryer. Get to the weeds next and the sheets should be done when you return inside. Really, who is better at maximizing every minute? Nobody! I marched to the laundry room to begin the gauntlet.

Three words stopped me in my tracks. Meet with Me.

This Holy Spirit whisper was my stop sign. 

Of all the tasks on my To Do List, the tip-top priority should have been lingering with the Lord. 

Do your priorities ever collide with God's_
Like me, and maybe you, Jesus’s disciples faced a similar problem: identifying their greatest need.

In Luke 22, we read the disciples and Jesus gathered for the Last Supper and, later, in the Garden of Gethsemane. The meal was a remembrance of God’s grace for sparing their lives from the final plague of death and to commemorate their freedom from Egypt. At the Last Supper, Jesus planned to direct them to a new remembrance of him and his sacrificial death.

Luke’s account reveals the competing priorities of the disciples during the course of that meal. These priorities included loyalty, position and greatness, and the identity of the betrayer. When the group moved to the garden of Gethsemane, sleep became the priority over prayer.

What was Jesus’ priority? Remembrance and faith. Jesus, anticipating this meal, this time with them, intensely desired their presence and focus. He knew the disciples’ relationship with and trust in Him would be tested.


Connected
Remain in me and I will remain in you.

John 15:4

Our faith, our trust is being tested. Jesus’ compassionate command to remain in him is a call to anchor ourselves to him. He is our Rock during times of testing. We are known to Him and we have full access to Him. We understand these things, but.... In my case, I let to-do lists’ and competing priorities lure me from Jesus. A subtle, steady drift.

Is it like that for you, too?

I can’t let competing priorities or anything else deter me from trying to get with Jesus. I know full well the enemy wants me restless and distracted and, for that reason, it’s worth any attempt I can muster. My greatest need that day, and every day, is absorbing His Word and settling into His Presence.

Remember this:

Every moment you intentionally seek out God you’re filled with a fresh awakening to his love for you and his power in you.
How do we inject time with Jesus in an already booked schedule? Set an invite to yourself to “Meet with Jesus”. If it’s not scheduled, then it’s probably not going to happen. You live strong by investing in your relationship with God. Keep in mind fleeting interactions won’t sustain you over the long haul. But, when you’re on overload and can’t linger for a session with Jesus, then maybe Take Five is your solution.

Icon Hearts Encouraged  Take Five  Icon Hearts Encouraged

Take Five is a three-part process.

Part 1: List your tasks for the day or week in priority order. Review the list. What are your greatest needs? In other words, what do you need from the Lord in order to be successful in the coming hour or the next eight hours? Is it wisdom, insight, attentiveness, creativity, patience? Document what you need.

Part 2: Take 5-10 minutes with the Lord to:

Acknowledge God’s priority in your life

Proclaim a statement of humbleness

Offer thanksgiving for the previous days provision

Tell the Lord of your greatest needs. Ask Him to be with you and to equip you for the task, the next hour, or the next person.

Part 3: Reflect on the tasks and the outcomes. Did He meet your need? Did you receive something you weren’t expecting? In Part 1 you documented what you needed. Now, you can document what Jesus provided. Reflection is your remembrance of and gratitude for Jesus with you.

I hope you’re encouraged to Take Five throughout your day to connect with the Lord. We would love to know how you take a “time out” to be with God in the midst of the hectic and crazy! Please share your thoughts on the Hearts Encouraged Facebook page (@TerriHutchinsonAuthor). 

References

The Last Supper. http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/what-is-the-meaning-and-importance-of-the-last-supper.aspx#xmLjYbl1q6EVgxWk.99

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company , 2003).