What is something that every person does, that’s not bound by family, culture, or geography? Paul David Tripp says it is feel awe.
And looking at what stirs awe in each of our hearts is the theme of his newest book, Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do.
Here’s the breakdown of what Tripp says about awe:
- Awe is everyone’s lifelong pursuit.
- God created an awesome world.
- God created you with an awe capacity.
- Where you look for awe will shape the direction of your life.
- Awe stimulates the greatest joys and deepest sorrows in us all.
- Misplaced awe keeps us perennially dissatisfied.
- Every created awe is meant to point you to the Creator.
- Awesome stuff never satisfies.
Tripp continues by showing how we often are in awe of the wrong things (ministry, materialism, parenting, work, etc.). He calls this is our core spiritual disease.
He says we too easily become “awe amnesiacs,” forgetting that God is the source of our awe and instead focusing on these other things, even good things, God-created things.
And when we are more in awe of other things than we are in awe of God? It gets ugly.
“We preach and teach love, but we aren’t examples of love. Why does all this happen? The answer is simple, but it will sting you. It happens because we are full of ourselves. We have replaced awe of God with awe of self, and the harvest is not pretty.”
To become more aware of our awe-problem, Tripp proposes five questions to ask ourselves:
- Is God good?
- Will God do what he promised?
- Is God in control?
- Does God have the needed power?
- Does God care about me?
How we answer those questions determines the amount of hope—and awe—that we have of God.
What brings us back to awe of God? The grace of God.
You pick up this main point early in the book—be in awe of God. I admit the reading grows laborious after awhile—Tripp believes in excessive repetition, giving you example after example of the same thing, rewording the same points in slightly different ways over and over. Sometimes I like that; sometimes I don’t.
But is this book worth reading anyway? Definitely.
More quotes from Awe. . . .
“If awesome things in creation become your god, the God who created those things will not own your awe. Horizontal awe is meant to do one thing: stimulate vertical awe.”
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“If grace does not transform my motivation, it will not alter my living.”
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“Your life is simply not a list of priorities but rather the coming together of three inescapable dimensions of calling. You are called to relationships, you are called to work, and you are called to God. Each of these is a significant expression of how God calls every one of us to live.”
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“Awe is a longing. Perhaps that doesn’t seem too thunderous to you, but it is. The capacity for awe that God has given us fundamentally explains the endless variety of human dissatisfactions.”
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“Whether we know it or not, the awe of every human being—that desire to be amazed, blown away, moved, and satisfied—is actually a universal craving to see God face-to-face.”
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What has prompted your awe of God this year? Please share in the comments.
My thanks to Crossway
for the review copy of this book
- Books I recommend – December 2015
- On the blog – December 2015