Stand In Awe


Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. (Bible Lesson 8)

The scripture is clear: “Stand in awe, and sin not” (Psalm 4:4). Standing in awe of God is the key to success in overcoming sin. The Hebrew word for “sin” here is an archery term meaning “to miss the mark.”

Self, or personal sense, is always at the service of sin, comfortably prostrate at sin’s altar. So, to “stand in awe and sin not” means to arise, to turn my gaze off my own perceived needs and to see everything through the eye of Spirit. “Standing in awe” is not a state of stupefaction or dreaminess, but rather a deliberately conscious, wide-awake state of stability: of deep, thoughtful, focused appreciation: “as one at Niagara, with eyes open only to that wonder, forgets all else . . .” (SH 76:30). Awe is so attention-monopolizing that, when I am in a state of awe, there is no room in my consciousness for anything else but the object of my awe. And when God is the Object of my awe, then, by definition, I am loving God with all my mind.

Thus, I can become like Him who has no awareness of what is not real. I can become like Him, the only Cause and Creator, Who, while brooding on the face of the deep was able to separate the Light from the darkness, the waters of Truth from the waters of error, the real from the unreal. The state of awe is an important component of that firmament that forever separates the waters beneath from the waters above, the waters of personal sense from the waters of spiritual sense.

When I magnify and stand in awe of the eternal Spirit from which my neighbor originated, created expressly in God’s image and fashioned after God’s likeness, then I cannot miss the mark in being a good neighbor and friend, even to the unfriendly. When I stand in awe of God as expressed by my spouse, then I cannot miss the mark in being a good spouse. When I stand in awe of God as expressed by my child, then it is impossible for me to miss the mark in being a good parent. When I stand in awe of God as expressed by my student, then I can never the mark in being a good teacher. When I stand in awe of God as expressed by my colleagues or customers, then I can never miss the mark in achieving business success. When I truly magnify and stand in awe of God, First Cause and Creator of anyone whom I may encounter as lame, blind, deaf, dumb, sick, or in prison, then I cannot miss the mark as a healer and liberator.

As Mrs. Eddy says (Mis. 61:30-62:7): “Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people’s individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape.”

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