Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 1

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

We will have a short break in our look at the eternal purpose of God to look at a very important asset we need to have in these perilous times; in other to be able to keep our eyes set on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ – The Fear of The Lord.

What is the fear of the Lord? The fear of God is simply the reverential response, the submissive attitude that should be triggered by a revelation of God – A response of being totally and absolutely fixed on Him that follows any revelation of Him. In the times ahead of us, there will be a very serious need to have our whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

To be able to have one’s mind fixed on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and maintain it, one needs to have a holy and righteous fear of the Lord; a healthy fear that is borne out of an absolute and total trust in the Lord; an extra-ordinary, absolute and total trust that is a derivative of an unconditional love for Him, and an unconditional love that is steadied by knowing who our God is.

Sometimes when we are stuck, all the Lord does is to refer us back to some lessons we have learnt earlier but may have forgotten, often due to the wiles of the enemy being projected at us from all angles or when we allow fear (not the healthy fear of God this time) to have it’s way.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

The way our loving heavenly Father does this is to have the Holy Spirit help us by teaching us more about Him, assure us of His own unconditional love for us (The power of His Approval): The Holy Spirit also reminds us of the extra ordinary things our Father has done in the past and then teaches us more about our Father’s Holy attributes:

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3,4)

“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev. 15:4)

O’ Lord help us to continually grow in your knowledge, intimacy and confidence in the knowledge of Your attributes.

So we will start this mini series by having another look at a topic we dealt with in FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER – The Glory of God Eph.1:3-6  

 

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 1

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

As we see before our very eyes, the warnings as given by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ about the end of the ages (Matthew 24) being played out; I will today like to say a word or two about some of the difficulties that confronts a person who finds him/her self in the situation Jesus warned us about when He said:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

So many people today still go to Church even more than twice a week or so but deep down inside they are beginning to ask the questions – is these all real? Am I getting anything from this? How do we deal with this situation? There is only one way to deal with the situation and that is to arm ourselves with the true knowledge of who our God really is.

Ray Stedman observed in The Olivet Discourse of Jesus 1963:

How then shall we characterize these events He (Jesus) outlines which are to occur in the intervening time before the end of the age is reached? They are of enormous importance to us for we live in this time before the end. If, as we have seen, the dominant note of this discourse is to warn against the allure of the false, the glamour of the phony, and to indicate the ease by which the uninformed may be led astray, then it is immediately evident that in these intervening events He is listing the perils of the age. These are the threats to faith, the powerful forces by which men and women, observing the events of their day, may be misled into confusion and error. These perils to faith are forces, deceptive in their character, which will mislead men throughout the whole course of this intervening time. They make it difficult to believe, they act powerfully upon men’s minds to turn them from the unseen spiritual kingdom to depend only upon the things of sense and time. Each peril, when once introduced, runs on to the end of the age.

These perils only have one and only one precursor, ‘Man trying to do it his way APART FROM GOD’ Just like Adam and Eve did. Looking at the whole situation even as a Christian could make a person ask if God is seeing all what is going on, and if he does, what is He doing about it? Or even, what can He do about it? Is He still in control? Who or what holds the earth together in the first place? Who is in control of the earth?

These questions (when asked by a Christian) could be concluded to be a sign of weariness or worst still unbelief: But the basic truth containing fundamental answers to these questions, are to be found in a sound understanding of who our God is. You know as a child you would think your dad is well able to have a fight with everyone else’s dad and win – until the day you meet someone whose dad is probably a heavy weight boxing champion; then even as a child, you start to think rationally.

This knowledge of our God which reveals His overall omniscience and absolute sovereignty in all aspects of His creation puts us on the right track– like the Prophet Isaiah asks:

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isa.40:28)

“Fainteth not, neither is weary” How can He be? If he is Spirit, life, infinite, immutable, the truth, love, eternal, holy, immortal, invisible, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.

I will pick up on a few of these attributes to show why He “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength”.

God is Holy-
This is the pure loving nature of God separate from evil. This is our goal, to pursue this great attribute of God –“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16–25). For “this then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). “Wherefore we labour that . . we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

“We Labour” – against the instigations; then followed by the accusations of the enemy of our soul; we labour in this 21st century, where the enemy daily perfects his devices to make us walk in the opposite direction to the holiness and righteousness of God; but our loving Father, instead of unleashing His wrath, the manifestation of His holy, moral character against sin upon us at a time when we fall short (unlike man’s unholy anger, it is neither impersonal nor acts on impulse); gives us the opportunity to consider our ways and confidently take hold of His word and confess that: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

Then we can face our accuser and exclaim: “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8).

Oswald Chambers captures this better –

“Wherefore we labour . . . .” It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one’s self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be “accepted of Him.” It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of labouring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.

Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being “approved unto God” may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says – “Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under.” (1 Cor. 9:27.)

I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble? ”

God is Spirit –
It is impossible to see Him with human eyes – His sending of His only begotten Son demonstrates His existence and desire to be sought by His creatures. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24)

God is Life –
He is the essence of the breathe of life; it is a gift from Him that is (if lived in fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ) is not interrupted by physical death but attains perfection and full reality in eternal fellowship with Him the giver. God is unlike idols; He is the creator; He created His worshipers and not created by His worshipers –

“But our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.” (Psalm 115:3-9)

God is Infinite –
He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things. It is said of His Son Jesus –

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col. 1:15-17):

“The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:2-3).

King David observed –

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded.” (I Kings 8:27).

That’s why –

“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24):

If this is the case –

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

God is Immutable –
Change takes place by moving from one point or state to another – it has a beginning and end; God cannot change because He is the ‘Alpha & Omega’ (the Beginning and the End); He exists from eternity to eternity.

“But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:27): “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. (James 1:17)

Have you listened to Him say:

“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed”  (Malachi 3:6).

Because:
“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17-18).

In the next post we will find out why “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength”.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can be ready by getting to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

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