Learning to Tremble, by Kimberli J. Brackett
You know why I think sin is so easy for me to choose -- because I've forgotten to tremble. I guess if I'm really honest, I can't remember ever trembling.
I went to a Mercy Me concert a few weeks ago and during the concert they sang a song by Audio Adrenaline. They chose to have all the lyrics of the song come up on the screen and God kept directing my camera to take pictures of the screen every time it said, "I tremble." I know it was God because I took a picture each time the screen said "I tremble"and I had no idea why I was doing it until I looked at my pictures. I knew God must be trying to tell me something but even as I got them developed, I wasn't quite sure what He was trying to say.
A few days after the concert, I was driving to Dallas early in the morning and I put in an older Nichole Nordeman CD called "This Mystery." Guess what the second song on her CD was called? "Tremble." The song convicted my heart in a way I can't express in words, and I wept in my car as I realized I had never trembled.
A few days later, I flew to Nashville to do a seminar and I met a woman named Charlotte. I happened to be speaking on holiness and she found me after the conference and told me I would love Henry Blackaby's book, "Holiness." I am now aware when God has people tell me to read books that He wants me to read and I knew without a doubt this was one of those times, so I went to Lifeway later that evening in Nashville and guess how many copies of Holiness they had in stock? You guessed it, they had one!
I bought it and read almost the entire book on the plane coming home.
In the very first chapter, Blackaby writes, "I trembled before God as I realized God's people no longer feared God nor sin, and no longer sought holiness" (Page 6). Henry was talking about me! He not only writes about trembling before God in the first chapter, but used Scriptures and thoughts about "trembling" throughout the book (Pages 6, 8, 27, 47, 72 and 99)! God obviously had my attention and I was listening!
Well, if you think God was finished convicting me of forgetting to tremble, you're wrong. Just a few days ago, I was reading something about the power of God's word in my quiet time. I felt God's Spirit prompting me to read Psalm 119, so I turned to it in my bible. Psalm 119 is all about the power of God's Word, but as I kept reading, guess what David addressed? You guessed it, trembling! "My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws" (Psalm 119:20). He came back to the subject again, "... but my heart trembles at your word" (Psalm 119:161). David trembled in fear of God and was in awe of God's laws and God's Word.
I can't recall there being any immediate consequences.
This is what I believe God has revealed to me about why I don't tremble. Honestly, I believe it is because for most of my life, I can't recall there being any immediate consequences for my sin. Unlike Ananias and Sapphira, I wasn't struck dead by God the first time I lied. I wasn't struck dead the second time either, or the 15,894 time.
I forget to tremble because most of my life I have watered down in my mind, in my heart, and in my own words the sin I have sometimes blatantly chosen. When I lie, I call myself "untruthful" instead of calling myself a liar. When I talk bad about people, I call it "being unkind" instead of calling myself a slanderer and a gossip. When I had sex outside of marriage, I called it "premarital sex" instead of calling myself a prostitute or an adulterer. When I am mean and prideful, I call it "snobby" instead of calling myself self-righteous.
When I am self-righteous and judgmental in my Christianity, I call it "opinionated" instead of calling myself legalistic. When I put my job before God and my family, I call it a "strong work ethic," instead of calling myself an idolater. When I watch filth and ungodly things on television, I call it "inappropriate" instead of admitting I am condoning, justifying, and embracing sexual immorality. I deceive myself in every way, so that in my self-absorbed sin, I see nor feel any reason to tremble.
I wonder, will I ever tremble? Will I ever really understand the depth of David's words in Psalm where he trembles in fear of God and His word? I know in the past year God has shown me through so many ways the depth of my sin and my pride because He wants me to know that until I acknowledge the depth of my sin, I will never comprehend the depth of the blood that covers it! Until I can see my sin through the eyes of God, until I acknowledge the holiness and deity of God, I will never understand the powerful relationship I can have with my Heavenly Father. I will never understand the awesomeness of God until I tremble.
Holy Father, I want to tremble. Will I ever tremble, God? Show me, convict me, teach me to tremble! Oh to tremble in fear of you God so I can truly tremble at my sin ... let me not forget to tremble.
(c) 2006 Kimberli J. Brackett < [email protected]> This article can be found on the web at: http://www.heartlight.org/articles/200611/20061107_tremble.html