Love the Fear of the Lord

15 Aug

Wow!  We’re on what seems like the ride of a lifetime, but I’ll bet that there are even better ones ahead.  Personally, I feel like I came to the Kingdom for such a time as this.  I’ve never been more gripped, more alive, or more inspired.  And frankly, even though I’ve walked with God all of my life, I’ve had more Heavenly experiences and activity in the last year or so, than most of the rest of my life.

David said, “He brought me out into a large place” (Ps 18:19), and that’s what it feels like.  The horizon is full of frontiers that are all begging for radical pursuit and euphoric discovery.  It’s all very invigorating and can be rather mesmerizing.  But there’s much more to this territory than just the rush of exploring the unknown and uncommon.

As we ascend into the Heavenly realms we’re finding ‘territory’ that is not inside contemporary mainstream Christianity.  Interestingly though, much of what we’re experiencing is not something new.  First, it is mentioned in Scripture, but you have to have eyes to see it… and that’s a whole subject in itself.  Second, most of the things we’re currently discovering have been experienced and written about by the old ‘mystics’ – Teresa of Avila, Joseph of Cupertino, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, and many others.

But my focus today is, that as we venture into ‘wild’ country, we must have much appreciation and even, reverence for the fear of the Lord.  This is paramount because some of the areas that we’re exploring won’t have common safeguards (books, peers, societal norms, etc) to keep us from going off on a dangerous sidetrack… there may be very few ‘police’ to ‘arrest’ us… or mentors to tap us on the shoulder, if we stray.  Avoiding shipwreck will require that our hearts be captivated by the fear of the Lord.

And even though the reverential fear of the Lord hasn’t been trendy to talk about, it is none the less, a vital necessity for every successful and enduring Christian.  Without it, we may be tempted to try to get away with as much as we can before getting into trouble.  For instance; this sentiment, “How close to the edge of the cliff can I play without falling?”… inherently signals that there is very little fear of the Lord in one’s heart.

When we were baby Christians, we had many tutors and caregivers to ‘call our hand’ if we strayed.  There were many people to help us in the elementary ‘rights and wrongs’.  Truth is, we desperately needed those tutors to help us find our moorings and the guardrails for life.  Those tutors served us well.  In fact, Paul affirms our tutors’ value.

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. – Gal 3:23-25

When we graduate from our tutors, it is vital that the teachings of the tutors be written upon the tablets of our hearts… and that our current and vibrant relationship with God is poignant enough that our ‘inner governors’ will aggressively ‘arrest us’ if we violate our relationship with Him.

And it’s quite possible that as we continue to ascend, we will encounter frontiers that have no Biblical precedent.  Now I know that sounds sketchy or even heretical, but consider Jn 3:12, Jn 16:12, Eph 3:20 and I Cor 2:9-10, etc.  All of these passages allude to Heavenly things that are not mentioned in Holy Writ.

There may be times when there are no explorers ahead of you.  What will you do in the day that you experience a new revelation… or ‘stumble into’ an extra-Biblical experience?  What will govern over your heart and mind so that you don’t spin out or flame out in some heretical tangential doctrine?  I believe we must be:

1) firmly grounded in the Word of God and His ways
2) keenly impassioned in our relationship with Jesus
3) deeply embrace the reverential fear of the Lord

Here’s a simple and profound quote:

“A healthy fear of the Lord can cure the fear of anything else.” – Leif Hetland

A sad reality is that there will be casualties along the way.  Some zealous sprinters will think they have sufficient grounding to not come under the spell of a ‘shiny new object’… or think that they are capable of weathering any dark test.  But many will be bedazzled by the allurement… and/or succumb to the trauma.  Obviously, this grim fact shouldn’t deter our obedience to Father’s invitation to “come on up here”, but it surely does infuse a serious note of sobriety into the big picture.

Those who ascend… those who explore the mystic frontiers must be motivated by much more than the pursuit of knowledge and goosebumps.  They must willingly and voluntarily delight in ‘bond slavery’ to our most loving and wise Father.  This is the same Father who is ultimately good, delights to exhilarate us and longs to share His ruler-ship with us… and yet… HE IS TO BE FEARED!

We must not forget:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” – Prov 9:10

You see, the fear of the Lord is really God’s gift to us.  It’s an invaluable treasure (Isa 33:6), given to us to establish and secure us through all of life.

This quote captures much of what we’re saying:

“Mysticism at the core is not about knowledge but being a Love Slave.  Like Paul who said “the Love Christ has for me, overmasters me and presses me on every side, leaves me no choice.  The very spring of my action is the Love of God”.  This is the purest form of mystical theology!” – Justin Paul Abraham

So, ‘gird up your loins’ you intrepid explorers, we’re headed into wonderfully epic times.  We have come to the Kingdom for just such a time as this!



2 Responses to “Love the Fear of the Lord”

  1. Mel Wild August 19, 2020 at 3:59 PM #

    Good word! Staying in reverential awe of the Lord keeps our heart right as we explore new territories. Humility and teachability is paramount. But we should not be afraid to step out and take risks because we know His love can bring us back from the edge if we stray too far. We hold on to what we learn loosely, keeping fluid, and avoid making it dogma. Change is here to stay!

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