Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
It’s almost a required lecture given to each new Christian, that yes; we are to fear God, but only in the right way. We are to desire to please and obey Him, being mindful of the certainty that what a man sows he shall reap, etc., but we are not to be gripped with any real sense of fear in His presence. I have heard countless comments, in formal presentations, sermons, published works, and in informal prayer meetings, that we must not fear God in the wrong way. I beleive we put too much energy and effort into making sure no one is afraid of God. We like the God of love, but the God that is due our fear…well, we don’t let Him out of the closet very often. Of course, we’re His children now, no longer objects of wrath for our sins, but now accepted, adopted, eternally loved, saved. But also, I assure you, many of our deepest problems would not exist if only we had feared the Lord, instead of…you can fill in the blank!
So I think we should be much more afraid of God than we are. We should fear to fall into His discipline, should we not repent of sin. We should fear to stand before Him in worship with hearts that are unresolved, or harboring animosity and disdain for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should, like the Corinthians that Paul wrote to, judge ourselves rightly (1 Corinthians 11:31), lest we incur that judgment of God in response to our actions and attitudes. Can I remind you today that the fear of the Lord is not the last vestiges of an immature, archaic, unenlightened faith, but is instead the beginning of wisdom? Perhaps if we cared more about understanding His power and less about appropriating it for our own desires and agendas, we would be a people who rightly fear the Lord, and we would be observed by an alienated, miserable, dying culture as a truly fearless people, because we truly feared the only One worthy of our fear.
Let’s pray today for the right kind of fear of our Lord. Let’s ask Him that we would not simply fear Him as some sort of theological exercise or creedal statement, but that our lives would bear the marks of a sober, committed, obedient people who know, love, and yes, fear their God.
Blessings to you,