As you read through any of the gospels, (for me it's been Mark this summer) did you ever notice how people responded to Jesus' words and works? Mark uses words like "amazed" (1:27, 2:12, 9:15, 10:24, 10:32, 15:5), "astonished" (1:22, 6:2, 6:50, 7:37, 10:26, 11:18), and "marveled" (5:20, 6:6, 12:17). As I kept coming across these descriptions I had to ask myself:
Am I amazed at who Jesus is? Am I astonished by the things He says? Do I marvel at what He does?
- Loss of focus on how big God really is. As my view of God becomes small, so does my view of all He has done, all He can do, and all He has promised to do. Basically, I forget how awesome God really is. So, it's no wonder that my amazement / astonishment level disappears as well.
- View spiritual disciplines as a duty rather than a delight. When I view reading my Bible and praying as something I "have" to do, it becomes a chore. When I view them as something I "get" to do, there's room to see the wonder of God's Word and work and marvel at it.
- Not clearly seeing what God is doing all around. This happens when I think something like, "Oh, that's what God did ... back then." I miss out on the opportunity to participate in the miracles He is doing today. He still saves. He still redeems and restores. And it's just as much of a miracle today as it was back then. When a miracle happens, the only way to respond is to stand back in astonishment.
- Allowing circumstances to dictate responses. This is an identity issue. When I forget who I am in Christ I respond to circumstances ... poorly (to say the least). My focus is on my circumstances, not my Savior; no wonder I respond the way I do. When my focus is on Jesus, I respond to circumstances with grace and with truth, and that can be a truly amazing thing.
Let's pray together that we never lose our amazement, never lose our astonishment, and never stop marveling at all God has done and continues to do.