Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Fear of the Lord I

In the post below "The Fear of God at Jubilee" you see the dash ornament called "Buddy Christ." It made me think of a brief conversation in C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Two of the characters (Susan and Lucy) were getting ready to meet Aslan the lion, who represents Christ. Two talking animals, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, prepare the children for the experience.


"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "That you will, dearie." said Mrs. Beaver. "And make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knee’s knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly." "Then isn’t he safe?" said Lucy. "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you!"

Just a few thoughts...

Living in the right kind of fear is not living in terror, nor is it waiting for God to smash us for our shortcomings and failures.

Holy fear is..."Worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to God”

Worshipful submission. We can come to church, sing, lift our hands (or fold them reverently), pray piously, share the bread and the wine, say and do all the right things, but if we do not worship and live in an attitude of surrender--submission to God--we do not fear God.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 says, “Guard your step when you go to the house of God. Better to draw near in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they are ignorant and do wrong. Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”

Drawing near in obedience--worshipful submission--means God can do eternal work in us. And his "heavenly view" must be quite different than ours!

Real change. Philippians 2:12-13 says, “So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, [enabling you] both to will and to act for His good purpose.”

Proverbs 8:13 says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.”

"Working out" (not "working for") our own salvation with fear and trembling has to do with change and growth. Why fear and trembling? It must be serious business. Why do you think that is so?

The words "reverential awe" in the above definition of holy fear made me think of how we might see something amazing and catch our breath. The almighty, glorious, holy, wise, awesome God who created us wants to work in us! Amazing! How do we dare take this God so lightly?


HeyJules said...

You know I'm loving this whole thing. I didn't really understand the whole "fearing God" thing but I'm really getting it now. Thank you so much for writing this!

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

J., don't know if you will see this, but I've lost the link to your blog (many others too--wah)so would you please email it to me?

Thank you. Your blog posts about this subject are part of what got me thinking about it in the first place, so I am rejoicing that it is helping you! :-)

Anonymous said...

The more we submit the more we'll desire change in our own lives. Change for the good is always difficult. But good and lasting change comes from God.