Do We Have Reverence & Awe of the Lord?

 
THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING

Imagine a book was written that contained all the wisdom and knowledge of all time. What a treasure we would possess. Diseases cured, problems solved, wars ended - these are just the beginning of what could be accomplished with the information within it. It's impossible, of course, for us to know even a portion of what it might contain, but we do know how it would begin, because the Lord told us! The first truth on page one would read...

                                    "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
                                     Fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)

Wow. Solomon, the wisest human who ever lived, under the inspiration of God Himself, said,  "We can understand everything there is to know, but if we don't fear the Lord, we are at best a fool." If we read our "book of wisdom", memorized it's entire contents, and applied it to our lives, even then we would be nothing if we skipped this first truth!

Then first question we need to ask ourselves is, "Do we fear Him?"

WHAT IS THE FEAR OF THE LORD?

Rather than giving you a theological definition, let me illustrate this truth with a story. Last year when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was unwilling to even say the word. One reason was I didn't want to give the devil any place in my life, but there was another, an unholy one...I found myself afraid to say it. It was at this point the Lord spoke to me and brought great conviction. He said, "The Jewish forefathers (and Jews even today) wouldn't say My Name because of the great reverence they had for Me. So the question is, Who and what do you fear - respect - reverence most??"  Yow!

Paul wrote...
"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude,
by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28,29)

The fear of the Lord in a believer is a reverence and awe of Him, trusting in His grace, with a great sensitivity to never offend Him. It is not "dread", but neither do we ever forget that without His mercy, we would be consumed by fire forever. On the other hand, the fear of the Lord is dread for an unbeliever. Their only expectation for the eternal future is to be banned in fire from the presence of God.

WHAT THIS REVERENCE LOOKS LIKE

The Jews wouldn't say God's name except in the Torah or in prayer because they didn't want to violate the Commandment to "Not take the Lord's Name in vain, but to fear Him." Certainly, many of them made a law out of this even though their heart was far from Him, but the principle is still true. They wouldn't even write His name for fear the paper, etc. could be erased or destroyed and it be an insult to the Almighty! We don't need to imitate this action, but we do need to have that reverence.

Think of the ways society cheapens His name today with "OMG", or saying "Jesus" as an emotional expression, etc. This reflects the level of reverence one has. Again, I'm not saying we need to adopt new rules to live by. I'm saying we need to adopt a holy fear of Him in our hearts. Our actions will follow accordingly.

Finally, consider the great truth of the New Testament, that we have been given access to use the Name of Jesus - the Name above every name that is named. This is an entire teaching in itself for another time. But let us consider our degree of reverence and awe for Him. Is it worthy of Him and what He did for us on the Cross and through the Resurrection?

From this moment on, may we be in awe of our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who makes His promises a reality to us.




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