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Trembling at His Word

Trembling at His Word

I read a verse the other day that literally brought me to tears. It was Isaiah 66:2. It says,

This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My word.

God says, “This is the person I’m going to look to: the one who’s humble, the one who’s contrite or broken over sin.” This is God almighty! Who is the person He’s looking for? Is it you? Stop reading for a moment and ask yourself:

Do I match the description of the person to whom God is looking?

And here’s the part that really crushed me. It’s that last phrase: the one who “trembles at my word.” When I read that I just started crying. “Oh, God, I’ve lost that. I don’t see Your Word like that. I don’t know if I was teaching it too much or just reading it too much or studying it in class or studying to put together a sermon. But somewhere along the line, I stopped trembling at Your Word.

You’re looking on this earth, looking for someone who trembles still, someone who hears Your Word and cries out, ‘Wow! That came from God! I just read words sent to me from God almighty, from the great I AM!’”

When you view the Word of God like that, you realize how much you need to listen, how much you need to act. I want to beg you to read your Bible. But that’s not all. I want to beg you to not just study the Bible, but to tremble at the very words of God. I have been praying for a people to rise up that would take the Bible literally and seriously.

I want to tremble the way Peter did. Peter literally trembled at the Word of God. Matthew 17 describes an incredible experience that Peter had:

Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. – Matthew 17:1–8

Can you imagine what it would have been like to stand on that mountain? Imagine you and two of your friends walking to the top of a mountain with someone you know, and then suddenly this guy’s face starts shining like the sun. You’d be terrified! And then two beings come out of heaven and start talking to him! Can you imagine how your heart would be pounding at that point?

Peter spoke up: “This is great. Moses, Elijah, Jesus. Unbelievable! I’ll build some tents for you.” But before he could finish speaking a bright cloud came and overshadowed them. They knew what that bright cloud was. That was the glory cloud. Suddenly they were filled with reverence because they realized they were in the presence of God. And then a voice came out of the cloud.

A lot of times when we pray, we say, “Lord, speak to me.” Do you know what you’re asking? The voice of God? The passage says that the disciples, including Peter, who was normally so quick to speak, fell on their faces. Terrified. Shaking. Trembling. Why? Because they were hearing the Word of God. They knew it was God’s voice speaking, and they trembled at His Word.

His word was, “This is my Son. I am so pleased with Him – listen to Him.” Can you imagine the impact this would have had?

And as they were lying on their faces, literally trembling, Jesus touched them and said, “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, everything was back to normal. The only person they saw was Jesus.

Put yourself on that mountaintop. You have just seen Jesus in His glory and heard the voice of God say, “Listen to Him. He’s my Son.” You’re on your face trembling because the whole thing was so intense. And then you look up to see Jesus. What are you going to do? Are you ever going to look at Him in the same way? What if He tells you to do something? Are you going to do it? What if He tells you to “love one another”? If you had just experienced what Peter experienced, you’d be running to anyone you could find and saying, “I just heard the voice of God! He told me to listen to His Son, and His Son just told me to love you. Here’s everything I have. It’s yours. If there’s ever anything I can do, just let me know. I’m going to do everything I can to love you because the voice of God told me to do this. Nothing matters more.”

That’s what it would look like to tremble at His Word. Yet we open our Bibles all the time, and we have to ask ourselves, “Does this have even a trace of this effect on my life?” We read, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), and we think, Oh, okay. Whatever. What’s next?

Imagine trembling at everything in your Bible! With every page you turn you maintain a sense that “I’ve just heard from the voice of God! I’ve got to listen! I’ve got to act!”

~ Francis Chan

Excerpted with permission from Passion by Louie Giglio, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2014.

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Your Turn

Would you describe yourself as humble and contrite? When you think about God’s Word, when you read Scripture, are you wowed? Awed? Do you find yourself trembling at His Word? What is your response to the voice of God? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily