What is wrong with us Christian folk? Why are we being tripped over and over by the same old things? Why is there no growth in our lives? Why is there no committment to holiness? Why is there no increase in holiness? Why aren’t we going from glory to glory, and from victory to victory?
Something is stirring in my spirit. I believe it is important. We are missing something. I believe we are neglecting the complete character of God. Maybe we have no knowledge of the complete character of God. Perhaps we have heard about the love of God and our knowledge of the Father has stopped there.
But there are other sides to our Lord. Our Lord, He is Awesome and He is Mighty, He is Fearsome and He is Just and He hates sin. As we come up to this time of Easter consider this, our sin caused His Son to die on that cross and if the Father hated sin before His Son was nailed and crucified on a cross how do you think He feels about sin now. You see, our sin killed His Son. The Lord hates sin and He hates it when we sin!
Oh Lord, we have such a feeble understanding of your Majesty and your Power and your Might and your Magnificance, else we wouldn’t carry on the way that we do, give us new understanding of your full character, powerfully give us new revelation of your Awesomeness! Oh Lord, if only we could get a glimse of His Might and Majesty, our self centred, self feeding lives would be stripped bare.
If only we would fear Him!
Yes reverently fear Him!
You see, if we ‘only’ see a loving God the cross does not make a whole lot of sense. It’s like the cross is just an added extra to the Christian faith. The cross is the centre of the Christian faith! The fearsomeness of God and the wrath of God, was poured out upon His Son so that the unrighteous might become righteous, so that we might LIVE! Hell makes no sense if we just have a loving God. The end times in Revelation makes no sense if we ‘just’ have a loving God.
But how do we balance, on the one hand, a God that loves us deeply and we are His children and He is our Abba, Father, and we (can) have His Spirit within us (and the intimacy that brings) and on the other hand, a fearful reverence for a Holy and Awesome God?
Let us have a look at some misconceptions about the fear of the Lord…
Misconception No 1:
The fear of the Lord is not for the New Testament Church
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. (NIV)
Jer 31:33-34, 32:39-40
33 “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (NIV)
39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.
40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. (NIV)
Misconception No. 2:
Jesus never had the fear of the Lord
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (NKJV)
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. (NIV)
3) Jesus never preached about the fear of the Lord
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (NIV)
4) There is no fear of the Lord in Heaven
Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (NIV)
…They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvellous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (NIV)
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!”
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!”
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (NIV)
Lord, may we love you and may we also fear you. Do whatever is necessary to instill in us a reverent fear of you, in Jesus name, Amen
To be continued…