walk in the word
Category: God’s Character, Spiritual Life, Worship, Your Walk With God
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. Psalm 104:1-9
Mountains are the perfect place for personal, powerful encounters with God. I will never forget the first time I saw the Rockies. I was maybe 8 years old, facing backwards, riding in the back of our family station wagon in western Canada. The mountains were immense and immovable; their snowy peaks hung in the clouds, towering over us like we were ants. My Dad, who otherwise loomed so large in my life, was not much bigger than me beneath their ageless gaze.
I could not have described it then, but I remember the ominous mood. It was the feeling of God. I could sense the greatness of the One who could call the mountains forth with the breath of His mouth and as Habakkuk 3:6 says, who “looked . . . then the eternal mountains were scattered, the everlasting hills sank low.”
Even though I was just a kid, my assessment of the situation was exactly correct. God is God and I am not. God is great and I am tiny. God is all-powerful and I am an ant.
That forced humility runs contrary to our self-promoting tendencies. Because of our ancestry in the Garden of Eden, we were born with the desire to gain the position that belongs to God and God alone. We want to take ourselves higher and bring God down lower. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve listened to the lie that they could be like God because they craved what belongs to God alone. In Genesis 11, man again sets out on a foolish plan to make a name for himself by building a tower “with its top in the heavens.” In Romans 1 we learn of the human heart’s propensity to exchange God’s truth for a lie and to worship the creature rather than the Creator. Yes, in all of us is a self-centered bent to get me up and get God down.
But getting a proper view of God and myself reverses that sinful inclination. When I see God as being above me, beyond me, highly exalted, over me, and totally separate from me, I am putting myself in a very good place—under His awesome hand.
When I embrace God for who He is, then I properly understand who I am.
When I know God’s place, I can know my place.
That’s what seeing God as He really is—holy, sovereign, separate—does for us. It puts everything and everyone in its rightful place.
I began to learn that lesson as a kid visiting the Rockies. I’ve since been to the Alps, the Appalachians, and the Himalayas and the impact is always the same. God is so great—I am so small and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. There’s infinite relief in knowing where I really fit and who is completely in charge. It’s God, “who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!” (Psalm 104:32). That fact alone compels me to echo the psalmist, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6).
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