Astonished at The Majesty of God

"While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. BUT JESUS rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God."
~Luke 9:42-43, ESV (emphasis mine)

When was the last time I was astonished at the majesty of God?

When was the last time you were astonished at the majesty of God?

We're often astonished by so many things: breathtaking musical talent, incredible athletic ability, jaw-dropping acts of illusionists, amazing (and often humorous) animal antics and even the evil we see all around the world. I'm not saying this is wrong. What I'm saying is, are we more astonished by these creations, or their Creator?

We live in a generation deluged with information through news, videos and social media. With this influx of information it seems we've forgotten the most important aspect of communication—listening. We've forgotten how to stop and smell the roses, that is, linger on a thought and consider it in the light of the Gospel, rather than in the darkness of our own opinions, or that of others.

The things we mostly think about, talk about, share with others and are astonished by, proves what we value, and therefore, determines where we spend the majority of our time—in the Word or in the world.

If we, as professing believers, valued God more than this world, we would spend more time in His Word. And like Mary of Bethany, we would sit at Jesus' feet, that is, read Scripture, and listen intently to every word that comes from His mouth; with an increasing and fervent desire to know Him more in order to love Him better. I know this for a fact because there is nothing greater or equal to the LORD of hosts. And thus, there is nothing more astonishing than God and the things of God.

There should never be a time in a Christian's life where upon reading the Scriptures, we are not astonished. Even reading the genealogies is astonishing. You think not? Well, I encourage you to read and study them again. If you do, you'd find some astonishing facts about who's related to who and who gets to be included in the earthly genealogy of Jesus Christ.

The fact that we mere mortals have God's transcendent Word and can understand the eternal meaning, is in itself...astonishing.

"But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory...these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God."
~1 Cor 2:7, 10-12 (ESV)

Like the demon possessed boy in Luke 9, prior to salvation, we're all possessed by our own evil desires that thrust us to the ground: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of possessions (1 Jn 2:16). We all desperately fall short of the glory of God and wallow in our cesspool of sins; blinded by the idols we create for ourselves, whether by graven images or the imaginations of our crafty minds.

So the fact that a holy, righteous and just God takes notice of us in our putrid state, is astonishing to say the least. The fact that God chose me, a wretched sinner, before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-6), to call as His own possession, a daughter of the Most High! I know me. And I would've never picked me. But thanks be to God Almighty, like the demon possessed boy in Luke 9, there's a "But Jesus..." for me too. And because of this truth, I am eternally freed and healed from the captivity and penalty of my sins.

I am astonished at God's majesty I see daily in creation; like the bright and enormous stars that seem so small from where I stand. I'm astonished at God's mercy that sent His one and only Son as a propitiation for my sins and poured out His wrath on the sinless Christ instead of me (2 Cor 5:21). I'm astonished at God's compassion that remembers that I am yet but dust (Ps 103:13-14) and gives to me according to His wisdom and not according to my folly. I'm astonished at God's steadfast love and faithfulness that preserves me when I break faith with Him by sinning (Ps 40:11, 2 Tim 2:13). I'm astonished that God continually grants me the gift of repentance and forgiveness when I sin, because He keeps His promises (Phil 1:6).

I could go on and on about all that astonishes me about God, but I echo what the Apostle John recorded in the last verse of his gospel (John 21:25), "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." And though it's impossible to list all that astonishes me about God, I won't stop doing it and sharing it with others (Ps 9:1-2). I can't help it (Acts 4:20).

This should be true for everyone who professes the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. There truly is, more than we can ever number, wonderful things that ought to astonish us about God. The question and challenge for us then is this, "Are we as often if not more, astonished at the things of God, as we are by the things of this world?"

If we spend more time with the Lord, through reading, mediating, studying, memorizing, praying and sharing His Word, I know we'll all be less cynical and critical about the world we live in, and more grateful for the astonishing Christ that lives in us (Gal 2:20).

"You have multiplied, O LORD my God, Your wondrous deeds and thoughts toward us; none can compare with You! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told."
~Psalm 40:5, ESV (emphasis mine)