by Wesley Blackburn
What was the most terrifying moment in your life?
I don’t know that I can remember all of mine. I remember passing out on stage one time during a choir number at church growing up. That was kind of scary. I remember feeling really terrified when I was in Brazil on a bus that was going up steep mountain hills on the side of the mountain in the middle of a big storm, wondering if we were going to fall off. I remember the feeling of terror sitting in a hospital emergency room only a few months ago wondering if something serious was wrong with me and if I was perhaps enjoying some of the final moments of my life.
Heck, I actually got a chance to go out with a girl recently and that was pretty terrifying to me, too.
Whatever your terrifying moment is, I think we can all be confident that it will pale in comparison to the sheer terror we’d experience if we were in John’s shoes before the throne of God in heaven.
There’s a lot you can say about God. Here at Suncrest, I feel like we do a pretty good job talking about God as a healer, forgiver, lover, and friend. All of those things are true. All of them are great. God’s identity as those things are some reasons why I worship and serve him each week. I’m glad we focus on those a lot.
But there’s another side of God that I don’t think we focus in on very much, and that’s the scary side (yeah, you read that correctly). One of the most frequent commands in the Bible we are given is the command to fear God… that we would have a good idea of how vast and huge he is and how incredibly tiny and small we are. The Bible tells us in Proverbs that the beginning of wisdom is for us to fear God; to have a proper and reverent respect for who he is.
A few years ago I was reading some reflections from David Crowder, a popular worship leader who’s written many songs to help the church worship (some of which we even use at Suncrest). He was writing on an experience he had in France one time where he got a chance to walk around in an old, Gothic cathedral in the city. Crowder noted the very ominous, imposing architecture (both on the inside and outside), but what was most interesting to me was his description that this cathedral “was build to resize you.” In other words, that when you would walk into this church, you would be reminded of how teeny-tiny you are and how enormous, large, and powerful God is.
That’s always stuck with me. It’s great to have God as your friend. I think that’s nice and comforting. I’d even say that through the sacrifice of Jesus, we can even argue that it’s biblical. But let’s not forget the grand, huge, enormous God we also worship. The very same God that is our friend is also the being we should fear the most. Maybe sometimes, it’s good for us to get a view of God like the one David Crowder was reminded of. Or maybe the one John was reminded of here in Revelation.
God is great, and greatly to be praised. He is mighty and powerful and to be feared.
Maybe we need to remember sometimes to worship him solely for that.