A few weeks ago, I received an SMS from a friend saying something like “Please pray, I’m feeling very much under attack at the moment”. As I pondered on the words ‘under attack’, I was reminded of so many other occasions when I had received similar messages with the same phrase. Perhaps you know the feeling? Maybe you’re even feeling ‘under attack’ right now.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of this phrase I visualise a person crouched down, trying to protect their head with their hands while bullets fly past them, all the while screaming “I’m under attack! Help! Help! I’m under attack!” Spiritually, that seems to be how people feel as they start praying and quickly send out messages asking others to pray for them.
As soon as I received the message I said a quick prayer for my friend, but then I had to ask myself some questions. “Is it OK for a Christian to be ‘under attack’? Is it God’s will? Is there anything we can do to stop it happening? Is desperate prayer the only thing that works in that situation? And what about the times when desperate prayer doesn’t seem to work?”
‘Under attack’ wasn’t a phrase I’d ever used to describe myself since becoming a Christian. I wondered why I’ve never felt ‘under attack’. Why are there no examples of believers in the New Testament describing themselves as being ‘under attack’ in the helpless kind of way that we hear Christians using the phrase today?
A day or two after receiving the SMS, I was reading Proverbs and I came across the most incredible verse. It says, ‘The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble’ (Proverbs 19:23). I thought to myself, “Wow! Is it even possible to live untouched by trouble?” I was so taken aback by these words that I had to check another version. Here’s the same verse in the King James Version ‘The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.’
I was instantly reminded of the fact that one of the first books I read as a new believer (aged seventeen) was ‘The Fear of the Lord’ by John Bevere. I remember being utterly amazed by the absolutely incredible promises God makes in His Word to those who fear Him. Since then, I’ve sought with all my heart to understand and live my life in the fear of the Lord. Does that mean I’ve never been through hard times? No. But in those hard times, God’s desire is that I would be an overcomer. I believe that His desire for you is the same, and the fear of the Lord is one of the most significant keys you’ll need along the way.
What is the fear of the Lord? Well, we haven’t got time to go into that in any depth now, so I wholeheartedly recommend you read the book for yourself. Very quickly though, the fear of the Lord is a ‘fountain of life’ (Proverbs 14:27), it’s the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 & Proverbs 9:10), it keeps us from sinning (Exodus 20:20 & Proverbs 16:6) and it brings health to our body (Proverbs 3:7-8). Those who fear God lack nothing (Psalm 34:9) and God shares His secrets with them (Psalm 25:14). If you spend the next year learning how to live in the fear of the Lord, your Christian life could become a totally different experience.
Prayer: Father, I want to thank You today that there’s a way we can live our life that will allow us to be ‘untouched by trouble’ and ‘not visited with evil’. I’m sorry for the times that I’ve not lived in the fear of the Lord. I’m sorry for the times when my opinion has been more important to me than what Your Word says, and I’m sorry for the times when I’ve invited trouble into my life by the way I’ve lived. Please teach me what it means to live in the fear of the Lord. I want to drink from the fountain of life and have a deeper level of intimacy with You than I’ve ever known before. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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