One of the sentence that stuck out for me was “It is impossible to be devoted to God if one’s heart is not filled with the fear of God.” And I was once like that; I had no fear, because I honestly did not know My Father in heaven. I grew up in a Baptist church and heard the same story over and over again for many years; a lot of preaching and a lot of hollering; but actually not enough teaching of His word. Except the usual story that are taught in the bible. So I was confused between the fear of God and the love for Him. Once, I learned who I was in His kingdom and that He had a plan for me, even in my mother’s womb; then the fear became raiment and my love for my Heavenly Father became great.
Yes, I do fear Him, especially when I know that I am out of his will. Yet, if I continue to reverence Him, respect Him, acknowledging how great God is and submitted to his rulership; the fear is not as great as the love for Him.
Solomon wrote, Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One understands.” In the same way a child would in relation to their parent(s). God is gracious, but if we are in rebellion and lose our view of fear he can also judge. And His wrath - is what I fear.
For the unbeliever, the fear of God is to fear the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31).
For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer's fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this, "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire." This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator; because 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” “1 John 4:8 God is Love.” “1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fear is not made perfect in love.”
Pure Praise - Week 3, Day 2
It seems like we spend a lot of time talking about how close God is, how we can approach God in worship... we work hard to make Him seem, close, friendly, someone we can be comfortable with. And I do believe he is all of those things... but as today's study reminds us, He is also far beyond anything we can imagine... He is transcendent, and His power and strength and plan are always there and so much more than we could ever understand.
Suppose you were a janitor in a large corporate office, and that for some unexplainable reason, the CEO took a liking to you. He learned your name, invited you into his office frequently, even asked you to eat lunch with him in his office. And sometimes he would seek you out as you cleaned a restroom, just to tell you how important you are to the operation of his company.
The truth remains, that he is the CEO, and you are the janitor. If you ever forget that truth, you have compromised the friendship. If you become too "buddy buddy," you may forget to give him the honor he deserves.
Never forget that his office is on the top floor, and your closet is in the basement.
This is a poor illustration of our relationship with God. But no matter how close we become to Him in our relationship with Him, we need to always remember that His throne is in heaven, and our "closet" is here in these decaying bodies.
Another of God's attributes is his omnipresence. He is everywhere at the same time. He is enthroned in heaven's splendor, and he is dwelling in my tiny heart. Hallelujah! What an awesome God!
from one of the janitors
I really needed todays reminder - I am very familiar with the personal, loving God - the One so close to my heart - but I need reminding of how unfathomable He really is to me - that I AM a janitor in this, the world HE created, that i could NEVER begin to understand His Ways, His Workings and His Neverending Sovereignty.
This was a very good study for me today.
Oh, Father - all that I am is Yours.
First, Erika - thanks for being bold and jumping out there and sharing your disagreement with that line - I can relate to that as well.
I think if that sentence were an all-inclusive line to summarize God's relationship with us, it would definitely be off the mark. However, I get the sense that Dwayne (the author) is just sticking that in there to remind us - of that other perspective ... yes, God is in our hearts, He's our Friend, He will never leave us .. yet, He is still Almighty God - and He does still sit in heaven and "do whatever he pleases", the Psalms say.
I believe it's healthy to have both perspectives in mind.
The passage from Hebrews 12: 28-29 jumped out at me ... I saw that word "acceptable worship". This reminds me of the passage in John 4, where it says we "must worship in spirit and truth". This clearly shows me there is "acceptable, true worship" versus "unacceptable, false worship", and it makes me cringe with the thought that my worship could be "unacceptable" or "false".
The other line was on page 43, in the story of Jim Elliot's wife ... "Things like that will strip away people's head knowledge about God".
Oh, how we need to have that head knowledge stripped away at times, and get a full revelation of God in our hearts.
That head knowledge is so defined by our culture, our upbringing, our denominations (or lack thereof), our parents, etc ... and God will see to it that it's challenged.
I praise God that He's Everlasting, Never Changing, Always Knowing, Knowing All.
PS: Ericka, I just finished Day 3 - can't wait to see if you said anything about that "far off" God, as presented in Day 3, heheheh