The Fear of the Lord; December 25, 2018

Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

As familiar as the Christmas story is, this little detail often gets overlooked. Angels are scary, and the glory of the Lord will scare the socks off of you! I think the present generation could be described as having a famine of the fear of the Lord. Amos 8:11 speaks of a famine of hearing the words of the Lord, but these days there are preachers in abundance. What is lacking is the right response. When we fail to fear the Lord we fail to respect what He says to us and take it to heart. These shepherds were scared witless, but at least they had the sense to go looking for the baby they had been told about. The
Bible says repeatedly that the fear of the Lord is essential for wisdom. The book of Job is said to be one of the oldest in the Bible, and it states clearly, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28) That is why there is so much foolishness in the world, and so little understanding. People flock to evil instead of shunning it! If the Church operated more in the presence and power of God, we would have more of the response that was given to the believers right after Pentecost: “No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” (Acts 5:13-14) Because they were manifesting the power of God, people were scared to enter their meetings, but on a personal level, believers were sharing Christ and people got saved. Platitudes do not generate that sort of response, but the presence and power of God does.

This is something I’ve understood for a long time, yet I haven’t acted on it sufficiently. I certainly can’t dictate to God how he manifests Himself, where and when, nor should I try. However, I can and must live a life that is welcoming to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to do whatever He likes in and through me. For that to happen, I’ve got to fear the Lord appropriately myself! I was raised with a strong awareness of the love of God, and sometimes the fear of Him gets lost in the shuffle. He is totally holy, and He does not delight in any sort of unholiness. I don’t think He wants me to be a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher, but His words through me should generate respect and obedience, as well as peace and love.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You did in the service last night. Thank You that our newest neighbors showed up, and seemed to have a good time. Thank You that two of my nursing students also came, and seemed quite captivated. There were those we were very disappointed not to see, but You clearly were working. I pray that we would follow up as You intend, so that Your will may be done on every level, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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