"Always Be Zealous For The Fear Of The LORD" Proverbs 23:17 NIV
We have living back in Oregon 4 years now. A recent mission trip for me to Mexico worked a renewal of something. Zeal. Jesus had zeal. Today he is eager to find lost sheep. He serves his brothers and sisters by "washing feet". How can he do this if he is in heaven? Through us! Am I fervent to do this?
From 2002 to 2008 the occupation of "missionary" meant for me 6 months of service in Mexico and 6 months of tent making (work) . It took a lot of intensity to "make it happen". Some people who have known me for the last 4 yrs have said that I have enthusiasm and passion for seeing souls saved, and for all kinds of other good things. God knows my heart and I know what struggles there have been for me. Feeling lukewarm in my own personal walk, and a coldness of heart is what has been on the inside. The need for renewal in me has been to overcome apathy. Yes, there has been some good fruit come of some efforts to serve in the kingdom, but on the inside there has been rebellion to obey what Holy Spirit has been wanting to lead me in. Things like sanctification. Intercession. Fervent prayer. There is a prophesy of Jesus in Psalm 69 "zeal for your house consumes me," NIV When he made a whip of cords and drove out the animals and he turned over the tables of the merchants in the temple. Jesus put to action what was in his heart. He cleansed the temple of fraud and scandal, saying, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!" John 2:16 NIV
So, for Jesus to be telling me to be zealous is no problem. Zealous for what though? I have been zealous for things like football, hunting, romance, even serving other Christians. The "Fear of the LORD" is more than a term. It is an experience. Fearing God can be an emotion, a way of thinking, and a good perspective to have. Fear has to be in my relationship with Almighty God. What is this "fear of the LORD" that I am to be so passionate about? The scriptures explain that when we fear God we are going to learn wisdom. Passages speak of how we can be choosing to have a healthy respect for his discipline, even his wrath and punishment. I have been asking God for knowledge and wisdom. Isaiah 33 says that a reverence for God is like having an arsenal or a treasure room that I can draw from in life's circumstances.
There is a saying "no fear" and " fear no evil". I am not sure what it means to different young people. Fearing God is to turn away from evil. To hate evil and pride. I hate saying bad things. Gossip, swearing, all of it. I do it and don't want to any more.
Father, show me what it means to " number my days" Your promises for me if I fear you are a long life. I want to fear you more. I want to live a fulfilled life. Make me like you Jesus. Its your joy to obey Father. Please give me that kind of joy.
May we all be choosing to fear Jesus more than ever. May we be learning what it means to always fear God, to continually live in fear of him. Sounds unhealthy doesn't it? Listen, there was a king in Judah who told the Judges of the land: "Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the LORD. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes."" - 2 Chronicles 19:6-7 NLT
I have prayed many times " Jesus, I want to fear you more than men. To seek your approval way above the favor and honor that I receive from other people." May the justice of our land come from leaders who are not partial but want to please God. Jesus promises to be with his disciples to the very end.Proverbs 28:14 says we have his blessing over our lives because we fear him. G.W.