Awe – The Essential for Worship of God

I think of one particular trip we took in East Asia.

We went deep into the mountains, serve at this particular village we have never gone called, “The leprosy village.”

As many of you know, leprosy has a cure today. Because of the education system and government corruption, the government has cast them aside, society abandons them, friends disdain them, and the family rejected them; miles and miles away deep in the mountains. Only Christians in the community went in and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It was a trip, “stay-under-the-radar” kind of trip. We went to this village with supplies of food, a literature of the language of the people as we shared the gospel.

We found out, as soon as we arrived, the place was an absolute ran down. Because people had leprosy, they weren’t able to take care of themselves. Holes in the ceiling wall, dog running in-and-out the house; as we cleaned the house with a pile of sand to my waist and human waste by cleaning their clothes in a bucket of water. These people absolutely had nothing.

After a hard labor of work, the team gathered in this tiny little room for a time worship. We begin to sing in the various language, “Jesus loves me this I know.” united as one voice from many different countries.

On a production standpoint, it was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. Everyone was off pitch, no instruments, no mics, no speakers, no sound system, no AC, tight room with 20+ people squashed, but just a man (the pastor) filled with the joy of the Lord with a language barrier that I couldn’t even understand.


Awe-Struck Reality in Worship

“Jonathan, what is your mission statement?” people often ask me.

To simply be in awe of God.

Paul Tripp in his book we went recently through as a Staff called Awe: Why it Matters for Everything we think and Do say it well,

“I came to see that I was wired for awe, that awe of something sits at the bottom of everything I say and do. But I wasn’t just wired for awe. I was wired for awe of God. No other awe satisfies the soul. No other awe can give my heart the peace, rest, and security that it seeks. I came to see that I needed to trace awe of God down to the most mundane of human decisions and activities.” [1]

God has designed our souls to be satisfied in worshiping Him.

Let me take it a bit further and even personal. He has designed your heart to be satirized in worshiping Him. We all will never be satisfied apart from worshiping God.

We find many things in this world amazing, yet we are far too easily satisfied. Far too easily distracted by lesser things. He is too good for half-hearted worship, too awesome for emotional gibberish. He wants all of us. He deserves all of us.

G.K. Chesterton put it well as he said, “This world will never starve through lack of wonders, only through lack of wonder.” Truly, the Bible reveals that awe is an essential of true worship.

Our hearts are restless until it rests in awe-struck reality of worship in Christ.

Not in the post-modern western-individualistic consumer mentality culture of, “Give me your religious goods and services” or a check out system of some sick religious duty of obligation, but holy reverence delight of celebration to Jesus.

Prayer of Movement for Church to Stand in Awe of God

I pray just like that small little village in East Asia, I pray that will be with our churches.

Where old people will turn around and say, “Crank up the volume because we want young people coming in and to hear about Jesus!” I want young people to say, “turn the volume down because we want older people to worship together!”

I pray people who walk in our churches will not say, “They surely worship some sort of dead God as they are so dead in their worship.” but say, “Wow, that church was in awe and wonder of the living God.”

I pray, everything within my heart for every ministry to streamline in

  1. Praising,

  2. Praying,

  3. Preaching

to be all for Jesus, all about Jesus, and all for Jesus.





[1]Paul David Tripp, Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do(Wheaton: Crossway, 2015).

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