Psalm 124; Daniel 1:1-21; Luke 1:46b-55
There are a lot of different names we use for God. Most of them, coming from the Bible, are quite respectful. Often these names reflect an important quality of God: The God who heals, Our Provider, or Our Redeemer to name a few. There are some names for God that seem to border on disrespect, though. One of the worst, in my mind, is “The Man Upstairs.” When I hear someone calling the most High God “the man upstairs” I cringe because it seems to me as if the person saying that has no respect for the power, majesty, glory, and presence of God.
We have lost that sense of reverence and awe of God. He is the Creator of the Universe. He is the Redeemer – the one who died and rose again. He is the one who shows us grace. He is the eternal one. Mary recognized the need to show reverence and awe as she proclaimed the glories of God after being informed that she would be the mother of Jesus. “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50)
Fear, in this sense, is not cowering over something terrible that might happen. Fear, when talking about God, is showing reverence and awe towards God. It is recognizing who He is. It is recognizing His holiness. It is recognizing His authority in all areas of our lives. The important point is that people who recognize God for who He is, receive mercy. If you were to appear in court and treat the judge with contempt, you would soon find yourself behind bars. You would be guilty of contempt of court for not recognizing the authority of the court. While God doesn’t throw us behind bars for contempt of Him, we are likely to suffer the natural consequences of our actions.
How do we think and talk about God? Do we hold Him in contempt by thinking of HIm as the Man Upstairs, or do we recognize His authority in our lives? Do we take His mercy for granted or do we live each minute, grateful for His love and grace? Make today a day that you remember the awe and reverence you once felt for God. Return, as Jesus told the church of Ephesus, to your first love as you remember the greatness of God. Let the majesty of His presence wash over you and help you think about Him with awe and reverence. Receive His mercy.
Lord God, how often have I thought of You in a flippant manner. In many ways, I have grown too familiar with You in a way that I have not earned. Help me to recognize Your greatness in all I do. Help me to deal with You in awe and reverence.