What are we afraid of? Financial worries perhaps? Bills that come in faster than we are able to meet them? Relationship issues, marriage? Concerns over health, uncertain job prospects, insecurity, anxiety about the future?
We know God is with us, watching over us at all times, but there’s often confusion over whether we’re in God’s will or not. ‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord’ (Isaiah 55:8). This can sometimes add to the uncertainty.‘The righteous will live by faith’ (Romans 1:17). Is my faith secure and on a sound foundation? Do I truly trust Him?
Psalm 34:7 reads: ‘The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.’ In Proverbs 9:10: ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ And Psalm 34:9: ‘Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing.’ Do we really need to fear God?
In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews he encourages us to ‘worship God … with reverence and godly fear’ (Hebrews 12:28). That is, not to be afraid of Him, but acknowledge Him as Lord God Almighty, Creator of all things to whom our worship is due.
Living in reverential fear, or awe, of God draws us out of our own self-centredness and into the all embracing presence of God. Psalm 34 spells this out in practical terms: ‘Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.’ - Our conversation needs to be pure and honest. We must turn away from every kind of ungodly involvement and look for peace in all circumstances. As we walk in right standing with God He is constantly watching over us and hears our every cry. ‘The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all’ (Psalm 34:11-17).
In an article in Christianity Today I was reading it said ‘Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion’. Reverential fear is only the beginning. It’s the doorway through which we pass into the holiness of God. There we see Jesus and His incomprehensible love for us demonstrated on the cross. With a loud cry of ‘It is finished,’ love is complete. Then we can say, as Thomas did on recognising the true glory of Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). This is true worship.
Prayer: Lord, I come to You in weakness and humility. Please forgive me that I have taken You for granted and turned to You only for my own needs. I surrender all to You today, acknowledging Your Holiness, and submit all my hopes and fears to You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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