Posts tagged ‘fear of the lord’

Empowered to Live by the Holy Fear of God!

Mat 13
22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Rev 13
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Take a look at the world today, it would seem that a person’s survival and well being depends fully on how he cooperates with the unrighteous syndicates that operates in his environment, which figuratively speaking is wearing the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-17). The world is filled with covetousness, adultery, murder and thievery. Covetousness in the sense, that people only associate with those whom they have something to personally gain from. When they gift, it will be with the expectation of getting something of equal value or higher in return. People like these, want to be seen hanging out with the bigwigs and subtly brag about it to promote their own self-esteem. When it comes to adultery, it doesn’t matter what God thinks, as long as you have two consenting adults, you can do what you want with yourselves. You know, there was once a study conducted where random people were offered to choose from a Hershey’s Bar and a 10g bar of silver bullion, you will be surprised that every person in that study chose a Hershey’s Bar because that is how short sighted we are when it comes to pleasure. So, it is also with Sex, who cares about nearly dying on the table while going through an abortion, that sexual lusts must be satisfied first. Not that I am for abortion, I am very much prolife, in fact I believe even in the case of rape (the favourite prochoice excuse for abortion), if a mother raises that innocent child with the love he deserves, he will grow up and avenge his mother and give his biological father the deserving justice, which his liberal government would have most probably fail to act up on. In any case liberal logic is so lopsided that in the case of rape, it licences the death of the innocent child while denying the rape victim the justice she must get against the rapist. When it comes to thievery, it seems to be ok to rob only when everybody else is doing it, like piracy or like when a mob goes on the rampage and it’s a free for all, then nobody cares what God thinks because the esteem we hold ourselves in is only before the people around us and not before God, so it’s ok to stoop to thievery simply because everybody is doing it and it doesn’t really matter how well you are doing in life because what you serve is not God but yourself and so every opportunity to sinfully gather to yourself what pleases you, is just an opportunity your depraved nature cannot let go off.

Matthew 6:24, 30-33
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

30 …You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

It is in seeking the good pleasure of God that we live life to the fullest. If you have ever noticed, it is those who are self-centred who cannot even do anything for themselves because the truth is we were made to serve the Lord not ourselves and it is in selflessly serving the Lord that we unlock our full human potential, which in itself serves as the building blocks of healthy society. Humanist always try to serve themselves by pleasing the people around them but the Godly live to please the Lord, that is our purpose & the thorns of trying to please to the world does not hold us back (Mat 13:22). Jesus does not cramp our style, Jesus is our style, He is what makes us tick and we are not ashamed of Him, He is that one person we identify with as Christians. It is in following after this Jesus that we learn not to be ashamed of the truth concerning everything, even ourselves. This is what it is like to live empowered with the holy fear of God. It is not about being afraid of Him for no reason… God is not Satan to kill without reason. God makes His standard known through His Law, and it is in abiding by this Law that we learn what it is to be moral and civil. Rebel against Him, and even if the whole world may support you, you will see no point in living the life you have. Let me give you a real-life example, take homosexuality for instance, every backsliding nation is decriminalizing homosexuality and many media agencies are expressing their support for the #LGBT by giving their logos the multi-colour theme but all this support is doing nothing for the sky rocketing suicide rates of among the LGBT.

Psalm 144
1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.

Mat 10
27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Phil 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This world looks at true Christians like we are pigs wallowing in the mire because the faith that empowers us to do what we do for the Lord is absolutely alien to these self-serving gods. So, as much as it is not possible to serve two masters: money and the Lord, it is also not possible to please the world in their sin and please God in the righteousness revealed to us in Christ. I once read about what made the Persians such great warriors in their time and it is said that they would rather die in battle than face their king in defeat. If a Persian King can command such reverence from his people, then why can’t the Son of God incarnate, the King of kings & Lord of lords… Jesus Christ command the same? Why then does David say in Psalm 84:10 Better is one day as the doorkeeper in the house of God than a thousand days in the tents of the wicked?.. because that is the holy zeal the Holy Spirit that is at work in us commands unto our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. A God-fearing man is not one who lives maintaining a spotless reputation in a wicked society, rather a God-fearing man is one who roars like a lion against society for supporting all that which displeases his God. A God fearing man does not use the love of God as a convenient excuse to bow out to those who identify as unrepentant sinners (right & wise in their own sight), rather that Love a God-fearing man has for the Lord burns within him like a zeal to do what is right/pleasing in the sight of God, which often results in calling sinners out on their sin that they may repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who saves us from our sins. In any case being a true God-fearing man often comes at the cost of offending every self-righteous fool around because when you really believe in God, you live like God is for real, rather than a make-believe exhibited only through rituals and/or prayer.

Anxiety Vs the Fear of the Lord!

Anxiousness has a very different meaning in today’s society. The word anxious however comes from the word anxiety which is defined as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by the fear of anticipated danger or misfortune”. Anxiousness is something we all have to deal with in some form or the other, we may react to it differently but none of us escape it. One may react to anxiousness with rage while another may react to it with alcohol; the fallen man attempts to mitigate anxiety always with either: Pride, Pleasure or Power (1 John 2:16) or a combination of these.

1 John 2
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Such anxiety stems from Adam because by nature we have a law (of flesh) at work in us which is different from the Law of God (Rom 7:23). This anxiety we suffer is the result of broken communion with God. All suffering in this world is what God has ordained according to His purpose. Anxiety on the other hand stems from seeing God’s hand at work in creation as something totally hopeless. Anxiety is an ungodly and unholy fear because it fears ‘trusting in the good Lord’ rather than fearing God. Anxiety by nature distrust God but the ‘fear of the Lord’ on the other hand trusts God and is obedient to His Law even in the face of death. For the ‘fear of the Lord’ grants the believer the wisdom to fear Him who can destroy body and soul for eternity (Mat 10:28) as over men’s circumstances (Isaiah 51:7), which at most can only action death.

Psalms 111
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Proverbs 15
16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Psalms 34
11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Hence we see that there is such a thing as holy and unholy fear, where holy fear (fear of the Lord) constitutes that of a servant acting in obedience to His Master even in the face of death for that servant knows His Masters commandments and so serves His Master in total humility because to that servant his duty to His Master outweighs his humans concerns. We therefore see that it is in this state of holy fear that the servant’s life is practically trusting God.

Having explained the difference between the ‘fear of the Lord’ and Anxiety, what remains to the said is that one can never know the ‘fear of the Lord’ without knowing about the ‘Moral Law of God’ and if that person does not know God’s Moral Holy Law then that person has not witnessed the Salvation that is of Christ (Mat 7:23).

Isaiah 41
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Philippians 4
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Anxiety is something we can only cast on the Lord Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the God the Father. This is the grace (unmerited favor) God grants the believer, because natural man’s communion with God is broken, he is spiritually dead since Adam (Gen 2:17) and hence restoring this communion can never be the onus of man who is spiritually dead but only of God who is life (John 11:25). This precisely is what Jesus did on the cross; He became that sinless sacrifice substituting the believer with Himself to receive the full wrath of God i.e. to pay the full price sin because man fell short of the glory of God.

Rom 3
21 But now apart from the Law righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

What we notice from the above scripture is that Godly righteousness is given to the believer through Jesus Christ. It is in the Lord Jesus Christ that a person is granted a spirit of obedience (Romans 16:25-26) and thus establish the Moral Law as though it were written on his/her heart (Jer 31:33). When this Moral Law is established in our hearts, we then learn as though it were our instinct what Romans 8:28 teaches us even in our most difficult circumstances.

Rom 8
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalms 94
12 Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, And whom You teach out of Your law;

It is therefore only the Lord Jesus Christ in whom we can cast our anxiety through prayer and supplication and learn the Holy fear of God (2 Cor 5:10-11). I must state that though we are saved by grace through faith, when we appear before the judgment seat of Christ, we shall be judged by our deeds (James 2:17-20) because our deeds are the evidences of the grace we have received (1Cor 15:10). Yet we must know that though we are to be judged by our deeds on the Lord’s Day, our salvation is not from our own merit but from the merit of Christ. For it was on that cross that He purchased a Spirit of obedience for His people (Rev 5:9) and it was Him was spurned for our disobedience (Isaiah 53:5) that stemmed from the believers’ natural Adamic nature.

2 Kings
37 “The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods.

39 “But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

Acts 9
31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.

To conclude, I must state Jesus’ teachings on anxiety in Mat 6:25-34 emphasizes on the Christian: the Law of God because it is in His Commandments (Moral Law) that we learn a structured approach to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Mat 6:33), which as stated in Mat 22:37-40 teaches the Christian that his first duty is to love God with all his heart, soul and mind, while his second duty remains to love his neighbor as himself.

His Bride – His Church

For a God who is love, what else can be the motivating factor for His people to be obedient to Him? It is love! If tomorrow, a believer chooses not to partake in any way, in the worship of any other god, his conviction is the love that comes from the faithfulness, like that of a wife to her husband. The intimacy this bride is to share with her Groom that is Christ, that relationship can be shared with no other, for such will be playing the harlot to her Groom who is God Himself.

The body of believers is who the Church is and she is His bride. Her beauty is seen in her conviction and obedience to Him for that declares her love to her God eternal (John 14:15). Just as Adam could not build a relationship with any of the animals as he did so with Eve, because she was made in his likeness. In the same way God cannot build a relationship with His Church, unless He sanctifies her into His likeness and that is one reason why we are called to continuously grow into Jesus’ likeness. This amazement with which Adam then un-fallen first looked at Eve (Gen 2:22-23) can give one the idea of how Christ looks on (SnSol 4) as His Spirit sanctifies His Church.

Rev 19:17
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

Those who wait on Him in trust have their records of sin wiped to the extent that they come to be called virgins who wait for their groom and He is Sovereign to the extent that the love they have for Him is what He has given them through His Spirit (Mat 25:1-13). This love for God is so zealous that it makes the believer see the fear of the Lord in waiting on Christ in trust, which is clean and enduring forever; such people are deemed righteous according to his judgment.

Psalms 19
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

This bride’s beauty is in her meekness because it is her Groom who chooses her out of the world (John 15:16), for reasons over which He is completely sovereign. Just as father Abraham made his servant take an oath in Gen 24 that he would not bring Isaac a wife from among the Canaanites but from among his own people. In the same way our Heavenly Father sends the Holy Spirit to search out for His Son a bride from only those whom He has called and that is His Church (Mat 22:14). The Holy Spirit with His Church invites the ‘called’ to come receive the free gift of Salvation, which He paid for with His life.

John 6
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’

Rev 22
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

So His bride and His Church say unto God: I love you Jesus Christ!

Love That Cast Out Fear

Whenever we are ignorant of what is good, we do things with a feeling that that was the best approach but looking at these so called practical approaches, one rarely observes the fallen nature of man as the reason for what teaches him what he learns. The thing is: the world is only soaking in the lies of its iniquity. This is seen so commonly in man who chooses the path of wickedness in even making a living because he has been made blind (Is 6:10) to the fact that God is a higher priority than himself.

There are essentially three things that drive man to learn, think and act the way he does. These three things (1John 2:16) are: Power, Pleasure and Pride; they may either work together or individually to make a man the way he turns out. These so called 3Ps are driven by one thing and that is ‘fear’ or you may call it ‘insecurity’. This ‘fear’ a man has should not be confused with ‘cowardice’ because cowardice does not directly stem from the lack of faith/trust. The reason man has this fear/insecurity is because he subconsciously knows that he incurs the wrath of God in his fallen state.

1John 2:16
16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

When things start going wrong in a person’s life, the person can either take the easy underhanded solution which is as broad as the road of damnation to tackle the situation or he can stick to what the Bible teaches, valuing God more than his life’s sustenance. It is fear that makes man take the faithless solution, a fear which he covers by doing things that feed his pride, give into his pleasure and craving for power.

This fear that I am referring to is not the same as the ‘fear of the Lord’, for the ‘fear of the Lord’ is good as it brings repentance that leads one to Salvation but the fear of fallen man is the sorrow of his rebellion, which he tries to cover up with the 3Ps as he is blind to repentance as the only way out.

2 Cor 7:10
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

The Bible teaches that God is love (1John 4:8) and the Bible also teaches love cast out all fear. Consider this, a person can only be considered as truly resilient, if he does not crumble or turn corrupt in character when he is faced with a bitter situation. However if he can look into the face of his persecution with a joy that has no ulterior motives, then the only thing that drives this truly resilient person is love i.e. God. Such is taught only in the Bible: in turning the other cheek (Mat 5:39), in giving one’s cloak when his shirt is already taken (Luke 6:29), in praying for those who persecute you (Mat 5:44) etc.

1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

In Luke 18:2-6, it was perfect love that made the widow patient, always trusting and always persevering against the unjust judge. You may have understood by now that the perfect love that is taught in the Bible is not the mushy love we see in the movies. This perfect love teaches us not to be self-seeking and with this I come back to my earlier statement, where a man going through his regeneration learns his priorities and puts God before himself.

Deut 8:3
3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you [a]understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.

Love is the key ingredient to true strength because it teaches you to overcome your biggest enemy i.e. you. If there was no such thing as love then how would we forgive? How could we ever be at peace with ourselves? How could we ever pray unto our Father: forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4)?

However a person will never understand ‘love’ until he comes to terms with the Person Jesus Christ. For as per the Biblical definition of love in 1Cor 13:4-7, the only way we can know that God loves man is when realization strikes us that it was LOVE that made the Father give unto a gruesome death/sacrifice His most precious Son (1John 4:9), that man may believe and be saved. In other words if you don’t know Christ’ sacrifice on the cross, you don’t know the love of God but if you know the love of God then you will also know His Salvation.

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It must be understood that perseverance comes more from love than from determination because love preservers selflessly while determination can also persevere for self gain. Love can take a hit, fall and get back up again because it has better priorities but determination though it may be hard, it is brittle like glass and when it is hit, its goal is hit and so it shatters easily but this is not the case with love.

Phil 2:12-13
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

It is therefore seen concerning those who preserve for Christ, that they do so with fear and trembling; who are afflicted but never crushed, perplexed but never despairing in the working of their sanctification through the love God has given them in Christ (1John 4:19).

2Cor 4:7-12
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

To conclude, religion exuberates three characteristics as a mark of being genuine i.e. faith, hope and love. Faith without love profits one nothing for such has failed to imitate the Zenith i.e. Christ. Hope can never be considered apart from love because hope itself comes from God’s love given by grace (2Thes 2:16) and so we see the primary element in true religion is love which cast out all fear.

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