I’ve been thinking more on the John Mulinde sermon that I posted HERE a few weeks ago. If any of you watched his message, you may identify with the heavy weight that came on me and many of my friends who watched it.
If you didn’t see it, I recommend that you do.
I think that the weight that we felt settle on us as we watched was a physical manifestation of the fear of the Lord. The Bible talks a lot about the fear of the Lord, calling it –
among other things – the beginning of wisdom.
As I’ve been thinking about that experience, I’ve come to believe that without the fear of God, we cannot know our perspective before Him. When we get a glimpse of Him that scares us, we begin to truly comprehend our own helplessness. Something shakes inside of us, knowing that even our best efforts are like dirty dishcloths to Him. On my best day, I cannot earn His favor. So, when I understand that, I fear Him; that fear makes me understand my perspective before Him. Only when I know my perspective before God can I really rejoice in understanding the MAGNITUDE of the grace He’s given me in Jesus!
“The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant.” -Psalm 25:14, ESV
When we have a revelation of the fear of the Lord, we realize that we are hopeless cases. We are never going to make it into God’s presence or earn a hill of beans in the Kingdom of God – BUT FOR JESUS! The fear of the Lord causes us to decrease – filling us with poverty in spirit – so that He may increase! We suddenly understand our perspective before the God of the universe, and we grasp more deeply the high Truth that all of our lives with God is grace. Every heard prayer, every still small sound of His Spirit speaking to us, every moment of our existence before this holy, pure, perfect, right, just, Judge and King is only possibly because of His grace! We absolutely do not deserve His grace, but He has extended His favor toward us all the same. Wow.
Worthless, dirty, helpless, little-nothing us. Loved. Loved perfectly – by the Perfect One.
He loves us to the point that He submitted Himself to degredation, hatred, torture, and death at our puny hands because He wanted relationship with us! His love for us is such a mystery! How amazing that His love and favor are lavished on us so freely!
If we draw back from Him at all – in any fear or shame – we tell Jesus that His completed work on the cross was not enough- that little us have messed it up too much to draw near. Yet, the word of God tells us that Jesus’ sacrifice paved the way for us to approach the very throne of Father God with confidence. No confidence in ourselves – but absolute confidence in Jesus. No wonder we can rejoice always!
So, throw everything else away! Trash the guilt! Trash the pride! Stuff your striving into the garbage can. Approach God confidently – taking no confidence in anything you have done nor being held back by your failures – but trusting fully in Jesus’ finished work and the Father’s abiding pleasure to want your friendship. 🙂