Posts Tagged ‘Fear of God’

humility

In my own life, I have found that fear can be a very strange motivator. In the heat of the moment it can cause us to move towards both good and bad behaviors. Sometimes fear can cause the hero in us to come storming out of the depths of our core ready to take on anything…

Other times fear can also cause some of us to cower in the corner and be almost paralyzed. Either way, fear has very different reactions for each of us…with none of them predictable.

I have written about fear before in past posts but I felt the need to revisit it again because of some recent reading in the Bible where once again I learned more about the absolute might of our Lord God. It has always amazed me that God describes Himself as “Love” as well as our “sanctuary of refuge” yet throughout the Bible He reminds us that we need to fear and dread Him as well. Those have always seemed completely opposite to me, but then let me remind you of the love of your earthly father. On one hand he is the one who teaches and helps guide us along our path as we grow but yet when we do wrong, he is there to punish us and remind us that there is always a consequence for sin. At the same time, we experience both fear of the punishment and love from the same person because he is a father who loves his children.

The Lord God Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary. Isaiah 8:13-14a

But as I think about this world around me and our human nature I think that without actual fear in our relationship with God, humanity would become to comfortable and relaxed towards Him…oh wait…many of us ARE to comfortable and relaxed and that my friends, I believe, is a big mistake.

We cannot forget that no matter what is going on right now…He is God and we are not. Everyday the business of life piles up in front of us and we get distracted and diluted with our responsibilities. Trust me when I tell you this guys, I am speaking to myself just as much as my audience. We cannot be too busy to be humble in the sight of God…to recognize His might as well as His love for us.

This is simply a friendly reminder for all of us. If we can maintain that fear relationship with God, there is a humility there in all of us that God can use. When you focus on maintaining that condition of the heart, that Humility…well simply put, life is better because the joy of the Lord will be your strength.

Remember Proverbs 22:4

Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life…

I don’t know about you but I could use all three of those…

 

Until next time guys…

I have always enjoyed the carefully worded answers that new coaches give when speaking to the media about how they plan on turning around a poorly performing football or baseball program; “We are going back to the basics” or “We are starting again with the fundamentals of this game, blocking and tackling etc.” They always say the same thing because they want their players to forget about the past and focus on the present. New coaches don’t want memories of bad seasons to haunt their new message of a new beginning. I understand these reasons of why coaches speak this way which is the reason I think this same method will work for this blog post as well. I believe we need to get back to the fundamentals of how God intended our relationship to be with Him. I believe that God had a different plan of interacting with humans than what we see in our world today…So let us begin there…

I have always been fascinated by the dozen’s of times the phrase “Fear of God” or the “Fear of the Lord” is mentioned in the Bible. I can say from experience that if the Bible mentions the same subject over and over, you might want to pay attention, it’s probably important. As is the case here, the Bible tells us:

The Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom…(Proverbs 9:10)

The Lord has compassion on those who fear Him (Psalms 103:13)

Moses even told us in Psalms “Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is a great as the fear that is due you.” (Psalms 90:11)

Now I think we can assume that the wrath of God is beyond anything we can imagine because we have never seen His wrath personally. So if Moses says His wrath is as great as the fear due Him? then I think we humans are extremely “out-of-balance” in our relationship with the Almighty. In other words, do you fear God or even think about fearing Him as a part of your daily life? Has that thought ever crossed your mind before? If it hasn’t, I’m not surprised, because that lack of understanding of who God really is, I believe is the core problem and why I am writing this post now. This is what I meant earlier about returning to the fundamentals in our faith because I believe this society is lacking a healthy “reverent fear of God” (1 Peter 1:17).

I am suggesting that we either have forgotten who God is, or we never really understood our relationship with Him in the first place. Unfortunately, I fear the latter is more accurate. To take this thought a step further, when the idea of God is lowered to our human level, then life becomes very hard to live out the way He intended because it is difficult to “Fear Him” if we perceive ourselves to being on the same level with Him…Like He is your “buddy”.

A.W. Tozer, the theologian said, It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. He also said, It is my opinion that the Christian conception of God current in these middle years of the 20th century is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God and actually to constitute for professed believers something amounting to a moral calamity.

Now I understand that times have changed even from when he wrote these words in 1961 and I agree our society is completely different from what it was back then, but I think Tozer’s point still resonates…We have drifted our focus from Him, to all of the “really important projects” we deal with everyday. When we are absent from Him, we are not close to Him. What I am suggesting to you, is going back to the fundamentals. Take a few quiet minutes each day to pause, pray and reflect on God and who he is. The impact of this time will be mind-blowing and LIFE CHANGING…

I know you probably think I’m nuts and I can understand because seriously, how can anyone take the time and do what I am suggesting? I mean who has the time? My answer is this; if you can just slow down long enough to grasp even a microscopic understanding of the Almighty God, how HUGE He is and how small we are…and yet He cares for you, He loves you, because your YOU…This concept is so very hard to get our minds around because it is NOT what we hear in the world but I assure you, IT will change your life forever…

The overwhelming impact of this knowledge is we realize how selfish we have been for not enjoying our time with Him regularly…the Magnificent Creator who simply wants to hear from us…

I challenge you! Take the baton from me and run with it!

I have never been more sure of anything in my life…your efforts will NOT return void…

Until next time…

The alarm just went off…time to get up…time to start your day…

When we actively seek God FIRST, each day, the Bible tells us in Matthew 6:33 that “all these things will be given to you as well.” What are “these things” Jesus is referring to in this verse? I believe they are the many different “nuggets of knowledge” that God chooses to give us as we move through the journey of life. Another word for these nuggets might be just plain old experience.

To clarify from personal experience, I have learned a better understanding of the humility necessary to seek God. In James 4:10 we are told to “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up”. When we are truly humble before God, we have as I call it, a “condition of the heart” necessary to seek Him. We cannot approach God all puffed up or arrogant. It wont work, I know, I have tried it…Just about the time we think we are so very good, God knocks us down a few notches and reminds us who He is…He will lift us up but that requires true humility, something that we are taught in today’s society really isn’t necessary. Take a look at Proverbs 22:4 where it says “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life”…kind of sums things up right?

A consequence of that “condition of the heart” I referred to earlier is recognizing the necessity of fearing God. Not the sheer horror frightening type of fear they show us at a haunted house during Halloween, but rather a glimpse of how incredibly amazing the creator of our universe is…That is the kind of reverent fear God requires of us. We are told in Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” This may seem like a contradiction but the fear of God I spoke about earlier is the key to this verse. By keeping our eyes focused on Him…First, we receive a Fountain of Life, which can be interpreted in many positive ways for a Christian man and secondly, the fear of God turns a man away from the snares of death because true Holy Fear…frankly…keeps us from sinning. Take a look at Exodus 20:20 where Moses said to the children of Israel, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning”…

Guys, this was not meant to be complex at all, it’s God’s word, simply meant to encourage you by reminding us that God requires humility from us everyday and with humility comes the Fear of God which will keep us from sinning…That, my friends, is your ticket to heaven…