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Posts Tagged ‘fear of God’

“Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him…” Mk 6:20

If you picked up a newspaper today and saw that John the Baptist was holding revival services at a local church, would you drop everything you’re doing to make it there?  How about Elijah?  or Peter?  Would it be because they are famous?  Or is it because you would expect to hear a man speak with authority in God?

Souls are drawn to men of God who can stand up in the power and authority of God.  Revivals are poured out on anointed vessels to whom people flock to hear the Word of God, and see the amazing outpouring of the Holy Spirit work.  They came to Jesus to be healed, but stayed to listen because He spoke with authority.

We need that authority today.  Actually, we are desperate to see a man of God stand up in that kind of power and authority.  We have a lot of nice preachers, but we don’t have anyone like John the Baptist, Elijah, or Paul.  Why is that?

Search the Scriptures and you will find that the kind of power and authority we are referring to only comes the hard way.  We all read and pray, but how many of us STORM the Throne?  We all fast, but how many of us crucify our flesh?  All this lifts us up to a higher plateau in God, but the real holy boldness, the real strength and power in God, and the genuine authority in God only comes through the fear of the Lord.  That is what gives a man strong confidence, makes his face to shine, gives him that entrance into the presence of God’s power.  Moses’ knees smote together, David’s flesh trembled, the prophet’s spoke of Him being their Dread, Paul feared and trembled.  It is the common attribute for every powerful man with authority in God.  And we need that today.

In the last 20 to 30 years, the message of the Fear of the Lord has been extracted from our pulpits and has been preached out of our hearts to the point that most Christians don’t even believe it anymore.  They’ve been told that “Love” is the most important element.  Read carefully, my friend.  The Love of God is not possible without the Fear of the Lord.  Neither is wisdom, understanding, depth, or power.  And we will not see revival, nor a strong move of God without it.

Lord, raise us up to have the kind of power and authority in You that John had, that we may see the greatest revival of all time.

 

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I read a Scripture yesterday that really stopped me cold.

I am always ready to talk about the Fear of God, and how the modern church has diluted it to a more socially correct definition of “respect”. The Fear of God is rarely preached today like it was generations ago, and as a result, our whole attitude toward Judgment has deteriorated. God, who was once the holy, awesome Almighty before whom we stood with fear and trembling, (or as the old prophet said, “let Him be your dread”) has now been relegated to a God of all-embracing Love who is our “Daddy” instead of our God.

I try to be quick to explain that God’s Love is contingent upon our walk in holiness. He loves those who keep His commandments – yes, He does — but He hates the workers of iniquity. (His words, not mine.) That’s not exactly “unconditional love”. Let’s face it, God is a Jew. He makes deals, and that is the deal.

Nevertheless, when I read in 2nd Corinthians how that they had received Titus, a minister of God, with fear and trembling, I had to pause. What a different picture than what we have today!

Imagine receiving one of our popular televangelists today with fear and trembling. Or consider listening with great trepidation to one of our many prosperity preachers who expand the concept of Love into an art form for tithing. Imagine yourself hanging fearfully on every word from your Pastor. It’s just not going to happen.

Why should we? Our Pastors are all nice guys, our prophets are wrapped in garments of peace and love, and our preachers entice us with soft, unchallenging messages. There’s no room for those old Holy Ghost messages of hellfire and brimstone anymore. They’re just old-fashioned, crotchety old men whose pants are on too tight, and they just don’t get it. We’re too sophisticated these days for any such a hard-edged Gospel as that. Today, it’s all about Love.

We are missing those men of God who had real authority – the kind of authority that you can feel way down in your bones – the kind of men that, when they walk in a room, you can feel the power of God upon them, that when they speak, everybody listens. What ever happened to those guys?

Well, we’ve dismissed them. We don’t like that uncomfortable feeling we get when we listen to them, and we really don’t want to give up our ideas of personal independence and submit to reproof with abject humility. Naw, we like those other guys that tell us smooth things, that prophesy unto us deceits. They have a Gospel that goes down a lot easier.

And yet, God expects his ministers to be a flame of fire. (shudder)

Remember when the woman who had the issue of blood was cleansed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment? She fell down with fear and trembling. Why was that? Because Jesus had that powerful authority in God. And how did Jesus get that authority? The Bible says he was heard in that He feared!

It is the fear of God that gives you authority and power in God to stand as a true minister with the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit upon you. Without the fear of God, you can only get skin-deep. The fear of God is wisdom; it is strength; it is confidence; it is true happiness; and it gives you holy boldness.

When a minister of God stands with that kind of authority in God, you will feel that same fear and trembling that the Corinthians felt. There is a power in his words and an anointing in his presence that can be felt way down in your soul. It is not the man whom we fear, but the power of God that is upon him.

But our values have changed. Fear and Hell have become four-lettered words that we avoid like … well, … like what they are.

There just isn’t much of a market these days for ministers of fire, and, as they say, you get what you pay for.

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Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.  They were all brothers, but were very different from one another.

There was also a big, bad wolf, but nobody paid him much attention because, although he was very dangerous, he wasn’t seen very much.  There were plenty of signs that he was around, but he rarely came out into the open.

Life was good.  The sun was shining, the fields were warm, and it was summer – time to have fun.  The first little pig loved to play in the fields.  It made all the sense in the world to him to live for today and enjoy life while it was summer.  He would worry about tomorrow when tomorrow came.  So he built himself a house of straw.  It was easy to make and didn’t take much effort.  That gave him more time to have fun.

His older brother also loved to have fun, but knew that he needed a better place to lodge in than just some flimsy straw.  He took pride in the fact that he actually put forth some effort to build a house of sticks.  It was a form of a house, but it didn’t take that much more time to build. At least, he felt he had a better place of safety than straw – and it still gave him plenty of time to enjoy life.  He knew there was a big, bad wolf out there, but didn’t feel too threatened by him because the wolf had never really caused him any trouble.  As a matter of fact, sometimes the wolf could be seen smiling at him.  Maybe he wasn’t that bad of a wolf after all.  So a house of sticks would probably be sufficient.  After all, work wasn’t his prime objective.  He could do just enough to get by and he would be OK.

The oldest little pig had a different view of life.  He knew that old wolf was just biding his time and lulling his other brothers into a false sense of security.  He knew that half-hearted efforts of straw and sticks would not protect them from the wolf, but his brothers would not listen to him.  They thought he was just over-reacting and was missing out on all the fun and blessings that the world had to offer.  So this little pig spent all summer building a house of bricks – precept upon precept, line upon line, brick upon brick – while his brothers played, had fun, and got fat in the summer sun.

Then came that day… you know the rest of the story.  Only one pig survived.

I think by now you’ve picked up on the obvious analogy.  We are in a time of relative “peace and safety” and many Christians are relaxing in the summer sun.  Life is good, and we spend a lot of time singing songs and watching “Praise the Lord” television shows and listening to “feel good” ministries, but we are only getting fattened up in relative spiritual ease while the real Big Bad Wolf is biding his time.

Safety won’t be found in a “name-only” Christianity of straw.  Neither will half-hearted efforts of sticks be sufficient to stand against what’s coming.  The warnings are there in the Word of God for all to see.  It may not be fun to spend your time building your house of safety while others proclaim the blessings and prosperity of the Lord, and it’s hard work laying all those bricks one at a time.  It may not even seem that it is really necessary to work that hard, but if you understand how diabolical Satan is, you will put forth the effort no matter what the cost.

If your Christianity is cheap and easy, you will find that the time will come when Satan huffs and puffs and blows your house down.  And where will you run to then?

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Ephesians 6:13

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Voltaire, one of the intellectual world’s heroes from the Age of Reason, once said that to know that you know what you know, and that you do not know what you do not know, is wisdom. Voltaire may have been a fool himself because he had dismissed the idea of God until his deathbed, but his reasoning here was sound.

God put it slightly differently.

“The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,
but the folly of fools is deceit”. (Proverbs 14:8).

A prudent man is wise because he makes sure his way is on solid ground before he proceeds.  Proverbs also tells us that the prudent man walks circumspectly – in other words, he looks all around himself before he goes forward to make sure his way is right. Or as it says again, “he looks well to his going”.

The folly of the fool, on the other hand, is that he deceives himself to believe only what he wants to believe, and so rushes in where angels fear to tread.  He has no fear of God, neither does he want to fear Him, neither does he believe he should.

I recently had a fool attack a Facebook entry of mine because he did not believe in demonic activity or witchcraft.  It was all voodoo hoodoo to him. That would have been okay as his opinion, but he had to justify his point by mocking others who had witnessed the realities of demonic powers. He had no idea what he was talking about and had never seen the realities of spiritual warfare, but ranted about how stupid we were to believe in the devil.  As it is written, “Fools make a mock of sin”.

I have to wonder, is this all a test?  Do we, as individuals, all face our challenges in life to make a choice whether we will follow the Lord or choose our own ways? Why do some of us rush down a path that is so contrary to the Word of God while still proclaiming that it is the Truth? Some excuse sin as something inconsequential that God will excuse simply because we believe in Jesus; others dismiss the fear of God as being harsh and judgmental and do not tremble at His Word; still others fashion their own set of beliefs that veer dramatically from the Word of God and declare it as a “new revelation”, a “new truth” if you would, that is better than the “old truth”.

How foolish!  And yet they run on in the folly of their deceit, assuming an elevated status over those who have chosen to stay with the established foundation that God has set down for us. Is it by choice, or are they just a corrupt seed?

A friend of mine said it well, “People will follow their heart.” How true.

Perhaps that is why the Word tells us to guard our hearts for out of it are the issues of life. We choose our own paths, whether sin unto death or righteousness unto life.

Therefore choose life.

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:14-16)

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