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Grace awakens a trembling faith


What does this fear of God look like? [Isaiah 8:13] says: “The LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy.” In other words, “Dare to treat God as God. Don’t respond to life in a way that makes God look helpless and weak and worthless.” Living emotionally as if God were not really our Savior is practical atheism. If God is God, he is all that finally matters. The remnant respects God enough to live that way.

How we treat God determines how we experience God, either as a sanctuary or a snare: “And he will become a sanctuary and . . . a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (v. 14). Every one of us will experience God one way or the other. If we take him into account as God, we will enter his sanctuary and experience his presence. But if other things compel us — well, God isn’t going away. We end up colliding with him and tripping over him as a snare. The New Testament explains that God is the most unavoidable and the most dangerous in Jesus. He himself said, “The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him” (Matthew 21:44). Some people dismiss the gospel as irrelevant. They stumble, fall, and are broken. But grace awakens the remnant to a trembling faith.

Ray Ortlund, Isaiah: God Saves Sinners (Kindle edition)

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