Monday, January 16, 2012

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The Importance Of Fearing The Lord

The fear of the Lord is honor and respect for Him. Fearing the Lord becomes more evident in our lives as we submit to His will with the understanding that He alone is worthy of our trust. Trusting Him means that we place Him first, and understand that living our lives in a way that submits our will to Him is the only path that truly sets us free from the law of sin and death, for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is true liberty and freedom. True morality can only have a chance of existing when a people put their trust in the one true living God. The breakdown in relationships within the family, countries, and the world can be directly linked to the decline and deterioration of our fear of the Lord. Putting the will of man before the will of God can only result in decay, disaster, and chaos.

Through Moses, God revealed that fearing the Lord was one of the most important pillars of true faith and redemption. Listen to and hear the voice of the Lord in the following scriptures: “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever. … Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: you shall not turn to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all thy ways which the Lord thy God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and it may be well with you ….” (Deut. 5:29, 32, 33) Just take a moment to stop and consider the difference that would be made in your life, family, and world at large if only we would view the leadership of God in our lives as the most precious and valuable treasure that we would ever hope to secure. I don’t mean in a legalistic way of living by a bunch of do’s and don’ts, but rather as a guide, or owner’s manual as I like to view the Bible, that urges us to give no place to the devil, but stay on the straight and narrow path, allowing God to protect us from dangers that lurk and wait to ensnare us at any given moment.

Maybe you didn’t have the chance to experience the protection and love of a truly loving and caring earthly father. Gladly, I can honestly say that I was very blessed in that manner. I don’t leave my mama out in that influential realm. I view my parents as that one protective unit that God joined together to watch over, teach and raise their children. At the same time, I don’t mean to portray them as perfect people either, for they were flawed just as we all are. However, I can say that I was raised with a healthy respect for their authority. Thus, I had a pretty good example on earth that demonstrated the importance of that fear, or respect, as a real and insulating covering that protected me from so many of the dangers and evils so prevalent in the world around me. The times that brought me smack dab into the presence of harm and hurt were the times that I stepped out from under the protection of doing what I was taught to be right. So it is with our heavenly Father.

Look at how He so jealously yearns to watch over and care for us. Listen to His words once again as He says, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever.” Can’t you just hear the love and longing in His voice as He urges His children to listen and follow all that He tells them, desiring to keep them from harm, and provide a shelter of safety to them that they may experience the good life that He would purpose for them to live? God wants to be our safe haven and hiding place in times of trouble. (Psalm 32: 7)

As Christians, we honor our heavenly Father when we take the time daily to renew our minds. By studying His Word we allow the Holy Spirit to exchange or transform our thoughts and ways for the higher thoughts and ways of God. I like the think of it as the process of letting God be my teacher thereby filtering and purifying all that goes in or out. As a mom, I have to go through the refrigerator to throw out the garbage and replace it with new and nourishing items. Additionally, I also have to be leery of what others might try to place or leave in there. Similarly, it exemplifies the dangers of listening to the ways of the world as they try to creep in and transplant its version of truth, endeavoring to replace the truth and wisdom of God. True wisdom is from God. “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Prov.2: 1 – 6)

Christians perfection is not found in the expectation of becoming flawless, but rather the willingness to change to be more like Jesus each day until we see Him face to face. Christian life involves not just a rebirth, but a daily renewing of your mind by exchanging your thoughts for the thoughts of God as revealed in His Word. As Christians we are admonished “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”(Romans 12:2, 3) We are not to be led by our flesh, or carnal and worldly ways, but according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8: 5-11) God wants us to seek to know Him and be more like him through the power of His Holy Spirit who He has sent to indwell each believer.

No wonder there is a clash of spirits between those who seek to be led by worldly wisdom and those who seek to be led by the one true living God. How are we to distinguish between worldly wisdom and God’s wisdom? “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”(I John 4: 1-4) Therefore, we should not be surprised when those holding a worldly, or non-biblical points of view, find it difficult to understand our way of thinking. God has already forewarned us as to why they can not ‘hear’ us. “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (I John 4: 5, 6)

Fearing the Lord brings us in line with His holiness as we learn to submit ourselves to His Word and Spirit. What a difference it can make in one’s marriage and family if all are taught to love God first and have no other gods (idols or false gods) before Him. I know without a doubt that the love between my husband and I has been made stronger and more glorious because we have endeavored to exalt Him first in our lives. When we have failed to do so, we have contributed to our own demise, and suffered the consequences of walking in error against God’s will. We tried to bring our children up in the nurture and admonish of the Lord, and pray that the seeds that were planted will bring forth good and lasting fruit in their lives. I urge you to read Deut. 6. O that the fear of the Lord, respecting and honoring Him in all our ways, would transform each of us daily that we would truly walk in the reality of loving the Lord, who then teaches us how to walk in love towards other, while also teaching us to resist the ways of the flesh and the world. Love the Lord our God, and He promises He will never leave or forsake us.

Ginger Rahn


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