3/22/14

Wonder - What's Fear Got to Do with It?

As I've been considering the Wonder of God, it suddenly struck me that my fear of God (or lack thereof) might affect my "wonder" of Him. Was there a connection?

And then I found this scripture, Psalm 33:8 (ESV):

"Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!" 

Clearly, our fear of the Lord is somehow connected to our wonder of Him.

I have heard the term "fear of the Lord" described in terms of "reverential awe." To be honest, He is God; we are not! I thought that was sugar-coating the deeper meaning. When we think in terms of God's might and our puniness, this should evoke some real fear.

The word "fear" regarding God comes from the Hebrew and, according to Strong's lexicon, variations on the word in scripture can mean to tremble, dread, fear, stand in awe of, reverence, respect, be terrified, cause to tremble and to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe.

It is a healthy fear born out of our profound awe and respect for God, acknowledging who He is and desiring to submit to His authority (Luke 12:4-5) and power (Habakkuk 3:2), to obey Him (Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:12), and to please Him in all things (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Yes, God is a God of love, but we must never forget He is angered by sin (Psalm 76:7; Jeremiah 10:10).

We want a comfortable Christianity, not one that confronts us over our sin and God's holiness; and we get uneasy with God's expectations for us. God says, "be ye holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44a). He is holy and this is His expectation of us. He wants us to be a pure and holy people as we regard His holiness; and in that, to glorify Him (Leviticus 10:3). It's an impossible task without Christ.

I've found myself sinking into all sorts of attitudes that fail to honor and show reverence to God.
  • I go through the motions of "Christianity," rather than considering the implications of my life in Christ. 
  • I don't keep short "sin accounts" with God. (Do I think He doesn't notice?)
  • I spend relatively few minutes with God in my busy days. 
  • I suffer "eternity amnesia," as described by Paul D. Tripp in his book, Eternity: Why You Can't Live Without It; I forget that I was made to live forever with God. It's all too casual a faith. 

I was meant for so much more. I was meant to live beyond this world. I was meant to glorify, adore and worship the Creator God.

"For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?" (Psalm 89:6-7, ESV)

"Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like you" (Jeremiah 10:7, ESV).

I've also found that I cannot have a proper fear of God that leads to awe or wonder unless He is my Teacher. My heart is deceitful, and I sometimes think I am honoring Him when nothing could be further from the truth. I'm living for my puny kingdom instead of my God's majestic Kingdom (Hebrews 12:28-29). My agenda is different from His.

My focus is so scattered. Oh how I, like David, need a single focus. I need to honor God in all I do. I need an "undivided" heart (united/unhypocritical).

So my prayer is, "Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name" (Psalm 86:11).

When I fear God best, I can love and praise Him most. When I fear God properly, I am amazed by His works and ways, and I glorify His name. He deserves our reverence and praise, for He is "wonder-full!"

My prayer today is the song of Moses - and the song of the Lamb of God as recorded in Revelation 15:3-4:


“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!  
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy. 
All nations will come and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Does this resonate with you? How does a proper fear of God motivate you to stand in awe of God and desire to live a pure life before Him?

Check out all the "Wonder" articles under the sidebar label WONDER.  

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