TITLE: Fear and Respect Revision
By Elizabeth Hale
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We've been studying the Book of Revelation on Wednesday nights at church. This is a difficult, often frightening book. It's hard to interpret. The pastor said something I rarely hear from anyone in a leadership position. He said, "I don't understand some of this book myself. Since I have been charged with rightly dividing the Word, I want to be sure that I know that what I'm telling you is right".
Then he added, "I don't know about you, but I fear the Lord".
Hmmm. That kind of stunned me, made me think about what exactly that meant.
I fear the Lord, yet, I am in no way afraid of Him. I feel like He is my best friend, my father, my brother. He is the highest authority in my life. Great leaders here on earth are often unreachable for a commoner like me; you have to jump through hoops if you want to stand in their presence. I can approach my Ruler freely at any time, and know that I will not be turned away by Him. All I have to do is call His name and there He is. I don't even have to do that--He is everpresent in my life.
When I was young, I had a few good times with my father. But there was always that little line I knew I better not cross. He was the parent--I was the child. There were boundaries. I didn't want to make my dad mad, didn't want to anger him, yet often I deliberately crossed that line in defiance. Trying to get away with things I knew I shouldn't do. I would get grounded, spanked and yelled at. I would be ashamed of myself for making Daddy so mad. He would eventually cool off. I would apologize. All would be restored.
This parent child scenario is representative of our relationship to God. I don't want to displease Him, yet, as with my dad, sometimes I cross the line, even intentionally, mostly not even realizing that I am doing it until later.
God is not human. His ways are not our ways. He sets boundaries out of love for us, trying to keep us from damage that is done when we step over those boundaries.
We cannot pull God down to our level. He is not 'just like us'. We may never fully understand what His plans are for us.
Who you are is solely based on what your relationship to Him is. We should fear His judgement. We should respect His leadership over our lives.
But should we be afraid of Him? No.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding".(Proverbs 9:10,NKJV)
"Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments". (Psalm 112:1,NKJV)
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgement, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil".(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NKJV)
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