rebelling against low expectations

The Importance of Awe


I have always loved morning walks. The sun is coming up and the world is just beginning to stir. A light dew sits over the plants, and water droplets on spider webs cause me to stand in amazement. In fact, the intricate, delicate strings of the web cause me to be more than amazed—they cause me to be awed.

Hold out your hand and bend your fingers. Look outside and see a breeze rustle through tree branches. Visit a garden and peer at the flower’s flushed blooms. There surely is a God, and He surely is powerful.

We as mere humans can never fully understand how powerful He truly is. Our minds can never completely wrap around God’s greatness, or wholly decipher His majesty.

But we don’t need to fully understand or wholly decipher God to stand in awe of Him.

When you think about awe, you might not simultaneously think about fear, but they coexist. In fact, some Bible translations use the word “fear” where others use the word “awe.”

The Bible defines fear as a deep respect of God’s power and authority. Fearing the Lord is a concept mentioned all throughout scripture, yet people don’t tend to focus on that. We focus more on the passages about His love, which are very important, but we must also remember to pay close attention to the passages about having reverence before God.

When I look around and see so many young people carelessly living their lives, two disappointing questions come to mind: has this generation lost their awe of who God is? Have we watered down what awe even means in the first place?

Sadly, I think the answer to both questions is yes.

We must come to understand the fear of God. We must live in awe of the Father.

Psalms 128:1 (ESV) “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways!”

What Is the Definition of Awe?

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language lists the definition of awe as, “a feeling of respect or reverence, mixed with dread and wonder.” Considering this definition, it’s obvious that many people have lost their awe of God.

How often do we hear His glorious name taken in vain? If people respected the name of the Lord, I don’t think they would carelessly toss it around so frequently. Exodus 20:7, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.”

How many times do we see Christians abandon their faith and turn to the world? If people truly feared Him, I don’t think they would desert their religion so readily. Job 28:28 “And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Knowing the definition of awe helps us comprehend faith in a new and eye-opening way.

Why Should We Have Awe?

1. Because He commands us to.

Deuteronomy 8:6, “So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and by fearing Him.”

2. Because it is an acceptable worship.

Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

3. Because it leads us to knowledge.

Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

4. Because it keeps us from evil.

Proverbs 16:6, “By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”

How Do We Have Awe?

From the smallest drop of water to the Atlantic Ocean, from the littlest pebble to Mount Everest, God created everything.

From a bedraggled sapling to a Redwood tree, from the smallest sparrow to the greatest eagle, God cares for everything.

Look at yourself in the mirror. The same God who made the oceans, mountains, plants, and animals, gave you your very life.

Seeing all of this, how can you not fear Him? How can you not realize how mighty and powerful He is? How can you not stand in awe of God?

Eyes that have been opened to the greatness of God are subsequently humbled before Him. And humility is the first step to living in awe.

I encourage you to take a step back from where you are now and just soak in the goodness of Him. The most holy, awesome Lord loves you, died for you, and rose again in glory for you.

Let His goodness humble you, then stand in awe of Him.

Psalms 33:8, “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him!”

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About the author

Molly McTernan

is an aspiring author who writes with one desire: to glorify the Creator. When Molly isn't writing, she can be found reading, playing her violin, or spending time with her family and many pets. You can find her online at where she blogs about writing and faith.


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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →