(this post is 1 year old and is being re-posted)
What makes you tremble?
What brings tears of awe to your eyes? What brings you satisfaction? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.(Proverbs 9:10) It is the satisfied emotion that rests in the awe and presence of God. Knowing his wrath, his judgement, his power, his holiness, his grace, his sacrifice, his faithfulness, his tender mercies, his riches, his holiness, we bow in reverence, in fear.
I fear wind. The wind that is so powerful that the giant evergreen trees towering, surrounding, over our house swaying 50 miles per hour with branches falling terrifies me. Oh, some people have said, “wind storms are cool.” or “the loud sound of the wind is peaceful.” what??? Some winters, I have allowed the fear of the wind and the trees to be so controlling in my heart, that I don’t trust God to protect me, my family, or our home. Fear can be irrational. Fear can be all-consuming. Fear can seemingly take over our thoughts. Every winter a tree falls near our home. On days that it isn’t windy, my heart can experience more peace. I know that fearing God would mean even on the wind storm days, my heart would be in the same place as the “still” days. Fearing God is to trust him and his power over my fear of the wind. To experience calm and rest because God is keeping me safe. The last couple seasons, my wind fear has decreased as fear of the Lord has increased! I have bathed in psalms that talk about God being our fortress, refuge, safety, rock, stronghold, etc. As God has supplied my heart with His fatherly care, concern, lordship, and strength, I am starting to get it. There is no formula for replacing one fear for the right fear. Yet, in God’s grace, he has calmed my fears as I have placed more trust in God’s power, protection, specific love for me, his wrath, his kindness, and his mercy. I have to fight for this trust and fear. I have to tune my heart to the music of Psalm 27,31,61, 71 and believe the words!
In the same way that paying attention to the wind stirs my fear, which motivates me to hide from the wind, fear of the Lord motivates me to hide in him.
Psalm 46:1 God is my refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea
Deuteronomy 6:13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
God wants us to Fear Him. He wants my heart to trust him, because he wants me to be satisfied in him, so He is glorified.
Proverbs 19:23The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
Deuteronomy 10: 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.
Fear of the Lord leads to life, and satisfaction.
“Fear of the Lord means reverent submission that leads to obedience, and it is interchangeable with “worship,’”rely on,””trust,”and “hope in.” Like terror, it includes a knowledge of our sinfulness and God’s moral purity, and it includes a clear-eyed knowledge of God’s justice and anger against sin. But this worship-fear also knows God’s great forgiveness, mercy, and love. It knows that because of God’s eternal plan, Jesus humbled himself by dying on a cross to redeem his enemies from slavery and death. It knows that, in our relationship with God, he always says, ”I love you” first. This knowledge draws us closer to God rather than causing us to flee. It causes us to submit gladly to his lordship and delight in obedience. This kind of robust fear is the pinnacle of our response to God.” -Edward Welch When People Are Big and God is Small
Fear of the Lord is Worship.
“Fearing the Lord means that this worshipful awe is the single and unchallenged motivator of everything I think, desire, say, and do.” – Paul Tripp, The Quest for More
Fear of the Lord is REAL beauty.
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Are you amazed at Jesus? Are you bored in your Christianity? Do you tremble when you see glimpses of God’s glorious grace and presence?
We need to fight for fear of the Lord. It is a temptation for me, for all of us, to not fight for the fear of the Lord. It is a fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6:12) It is a battle to take the blinders of the world off, to fight against indwelling sin, and to fight against evil (Ephesians 6:12).
Just yesterday, a surprise early fall wind storm hit us. With power outages all around and a giant tree that split in half, resting on trees near our vehicles, and wind so loud you could hear the branches spitting. I saw the wind picking up early afternoon. Jesus worked on me. I felt peace. Instead, of right away having anxiety, I went to Psalm 121 and read it out loud to my kids and prayed silently that I would trust God and have peace in my heart. I took a nap! Now, that my friends, is redemption. It snuck up on me. I was sharing with my husband how I didn’t worry, then I realized I am growing in the fear of the Lord. God’s grace is evident! Thank you, Jesus!
How can we practically cultivate and at a heart level have the Fear of the Lord? Borrowed from When People Are Big and God is Small:
1. Review the creation psalms: Psalms 8;19;29;65;104
2. Meditate on the enthronement psalms: e.g., Psalm 95-97;99
3. Memorize Psalm 139. It states that God’s providence is so extensive it goes into all the details of our lives.
4. Go through worship songs/hymn book and highlight songs that express God’s majesty and holiness.
5. Read the book of Habakkuk. It is similar to Job in that God directly addresses a man who had questions about what God was doing. All the questions were resolved when Habakkuk was schooled in the fear of the Lord.
6. Read The Holiness of God,by R.C. Sproul.
7. Review the New Testament passages on hell. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10;2 Peter 2:6, and Revelation 14:9-11.
8. Talk with others in community about your reflections and meditations.
AND- pray for the Lord to show you where you are hard hearted to fear him. Our God is slow to anger and abounding in love, holy and faithful to hear your desire for him.
Cultivating fear of the Lord is also surrounding yourself with other people who demonstrate this beauty.
Let us work out our salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING. Lord, thank you for your faithfullness to care for me. You are my rock, my safe place, my hiding place, my comfort, my refuge. I thank you for the work of redemption you have done in my heart. Jesus, your blood was shed so that I could experience new life in you, thank you that I receive that gift daily. You are a good dad, who knows me. Amen.