Learning to Fear the Lord

Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11

Often, as this verse tells us, the fear of the Lord is not a natural thing for us to do. We learn what it is to fear the Lord by being obedient to what we know and learn. As we study Scriptures, we learn that fear.

It’s not the kind of “I’ll zap you if you don’t obey” fear that those outside the faith would have us believe. Instead

  • it’s the “I’ve got lots of things to teach you if you’ll listen and learn” obedience.
  • It’s knowing that we can come into the Holy of Holies any day of the week, any hour of the day.
  • It’s the very common realization that we are completely and utterly dependent on God for life and sustenance.

I’ve only scratched the surface but it all starts with being willing to learn what it means to fear the Lord.

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Hungry Lions

The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10

Most animals in the animal kingdom are constantly searching for food. Why? It’s what they do and who they are. If they’re not eating something, they’re scrounging around looking for more food. They don’t know when their next meal will be so they start looking for food. Looking for food all day can be exhausting. I used to do it in Mongolia when the shelves were bare. We never went hungry but we exercised a lot and accepted the simpler things in life.

Contrast the animal life to ours as Believers. It is the Lord who satisfies. Intellectually we know that, but practically speaking, we forget.

We forget that even if you only had Jesus in this world, as the song goes, it would be more than enough. We need to be reminded of this often, and we need to remind others that too.

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What Do You Lack?

Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing. Psalm 34:9

What do you need in life? Things, joy, great relationships, peace, friends, patience, wisdom?

American Pastor Saeed Abedini wrote the following Easter message from his hospital room serving an eight year sentence for his Christian faith in Iran.

On the Eve of Good Friday and Easter I was praying from my hospital room for my fellow Christians in the world.  What the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer was that there are many dead faiths in the midst of Christians today. That Christians all over the world are not able to fully reach their spiritual potential that has been given to them as a gift by God so that in reaching that potential, the curtain can be removed and the Glory of God would be revealed.

Some times we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with Him.  We do not realize that unless we pass through the path of death with Christ, we are not able to experience resurrection with Christ.

We want to have a good and successful marriage, career, education and family life (which is also God’s desire and plan for our life). But we forget that in order to experience the Resurrection and Glory of Christ we first have to experience death with Christ and to die to ourselves and selfish desires.

Jesus said to His Disciples:  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

This means that we should not do things that we like to do (that God does not want us to do) and to do things that we do not like to do (but God wants us to do) so that He may be glorified.

So in addition to spending our days and night in doing the works of faith as described above, we should also transform our death faiths into living and active faiths through the resurrection of Christ which is an active and constructive love that is effective.

So, again, I ask, what do you lack in life?

Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing. Psalm 34:9

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How Could They?

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

I’m certain I’ve told this story in this space before but it bears repeating. We were flying from England to the United States in what seemed like we were flying over the North Pole. I was awake and staring out the window when the Northern Lights began dancing in the sky. I had seen them numerous times in Alaska but it was the first time I had seen them in the air. I sat there in silence and amazement, then looked around at the plane. Eighty percent of the plan was asleep. Asleep. Didn’t they know what they were missing? How could they be sleeping and mist the most fabulous light show of their lives? I looked back and forth at the lights and the plane over and over again.

  • If they only knew…
  • If they only saw what I saw…
  • If they only were aware of what was going on around them…

We feel that way with the Lord sometimes. We know who and what He is and what He can do for others, but the others just don’t seem to realize their lostness, their bitterness and pain. They are totally missing out on His brilliance and wisdom.

How could they possibly be asleep at a time like this?

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What Say You?

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them. Psalm 34:6-7

If you’ve been reading this space for any length of time, you’ll know that I discuss the need to cry out to God. The emphasis has always been on not what you say but that you actually say something.

Think of relationships you have.

  • Is it better that a friend confronts you on an issue than to maintain total silence?
  • Do you want this person to cry alone or on your shoulder?
  • Have you ever had something so great to share with someone but had no one to share it with?

The point I’m trying to make is simple: God wants you to seek him. What you say or how you say it is irrelevant.

Frustrated, angry, sad, joyous, perplexed, confounded, bitter.

Oh, I think He can handle it. In fact, he wants to help you handle it.

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