God sees the trembling heart.
He saw mine this morning, took notice of the growing conviction that began in me long before my burden made its way to my usual second pew. His Word sparked a fire. His Spirit fanned it into flame, and I trembled . . . all the way through four verses of Johnston’s and Towner’s Grace Greater Than Our Sin.
“Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.”
Soul-threatening, infinite loss. There was something about that phrase that rang as a clarion call to my spirit; it stirred me in the deepest way, and my heart trembled privately in that moment. It didn’t warrant the response of others. I kept it hidden. Most times I don’t; soul-stirring moments usually move me to an altar and to my knees in responsive worship, but not today. Today, I stayed put . . . stayed hidden in Christ and allowed my trembling heart its due. It came in fullness, and I was washed afresh with a healthy and holy dose of reverence for the only God who can be known.
I fear the day when my heart no longer trembles with such awareness, when my soul remains unmoved by the Spirit’s stirring. That would be death to me. Certainly, there have been seasons in my spiritual journey when I’ve experienced a worldly numbness to God’s presence—times when I’ve been unaware of his movements within and around my life. Times when, perhaps, I chose not to look inward, to reach upward, to bow downward because of some foolish notion regarding my own abilities to shake off spiritual complacency and to stir up a fledgling faith.
I cannot create a trembling, reverent heart on my own. Without God’s participation and willing disclosure of himself, I cannot grow my fear of him. I can only receive it as it comes from him, times when God clearly and forcefully cuts through the chaos and clutter of my existence and announces his authority in undeniable measure. This I can recognize. This I can claim as truth.
God is God, and I am not. Today my heart trembled with this realization. In holy fear, I clutched my hymnal; I sang conviction, and the sinner inside of me looked inward, reached upward, and bowed downward in grateful pause for the holy love that swept me up, swiftly and fully into the grace of Jesus.
How long has it been since you’ve felt the holy trembling of your heart because of God’s revelation of himself? When was the last time your soul shook with the realization that God is God and that you are not? Have you forgotten to look inward, reach upward, bow downward in anticipation of God’s presence? What self-reliance is keeping you from holy dependence?
I cannot create a trembling moment for you. I can only point you to the One who is willing to give you one of your own. Get to God. Ask him for more of himself to be revealed to you in your hour of need. God is not reluctant in giving himself to his children. God stands ready. He’s looking for those who stand ready to receive.
“Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?”
Oh that we would never grow too grand and too certain regarding our righteousness that we forget the marvelous grace of our loving Lord! It exceeds our sin and our guilt and postures our souls for heavenly gain. As always . . .
Peace for the journey,