Not Your Common Variety of Chills

Do you ever get the chills? I don’t mean the common variety that we get when we are cold. In fact, I would classify these chills right up there with the heebie-jeebies (butterflies, jitters, nerves, screaming meemies, shakes, or willies). Another reaction that seems to relate to this type of chill is spine tingling (causing a sensation of fear or excitement).

The chills that I am referring to are the ones associated with awe. Awe is just a simple three letter word, but this simple word has an inspiring biblical definition. Awe is a mixed feeling of reverence, fear, and wonder inspired by the greatness, superiority, and grandeur of God.

Luke 5:17-26 (NIV)

17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” 

As was previously mentioned in the definition of awe, a sense of fear as well as wonder can play a part 

in us getting the chills. When I think of fear, dread also comes to mind. Dread, as it compares with awe, suggests extreme fear mixed with awe and reverence, such as a dread of divine retribution. 

Hebrews 10:26-31 (NIV)

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Thankfully we have Jesus as our Savior, in that by His great sacrifice, His shed blood, and His awesome example, we have the hope of eternal life in our future and not the dread or fear of God’s wrath. We may not experience the “chills” all that often, but when we do, may they serve as a reminder of God’s greatness in our lives, and what He has done for us through His Son.

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