9/10/08

Standing Alone in the Fear of God

I’d just finished reading a book by Kathy Howard, Before His Throne: Discovering the Wonder of Intimacy with a Holy God, and I was all excited about learning to live in the fear of God rather than the fear of man. I knew I didn’t want to live like the world, which has no fear of God (Romans 3:18). But I didn’t expect to fall so quickly.

I was tempted to do something wrong, and instead of standing up for what I knew was right, I “went along” with my friend because I didn’t want to make my friend feel like I was being judgmental. My friend didn’t seem to have any qualms about the temptation, but God clearly was telling me to “flee,” and I didn’t. Worse yet, I actually thought, “I can ask God’s forgiveness later.” That was pride and presumption—a foolish, sinful choice (Proverbs 3:7; 8:13; 19:13).

I couldn’t sleep that night, so wracked with conviction. When I told God that I wanted to respect and honor His holiness by pursuing holiness, I underestimated the struggle. I’m thankful for God’s incredible mercy and grace, always extended—even covering my presumptuous sin. But more than ever, I knew that I wanted to dig deeper into the Word and strengthen my walk with God (Proverbs 24:10).

Standing for holiness risks the reactions of others, but if we fail to resist the pressure of temptation among our friends and family members, how can we hope to stand if true persecution comes? God give us the courage to stand, fearing Him and none else.

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