This question should pierce the heart of everyone who calls themselves a disciple of Jesus. Who is Jesus to you? Is He real? Is He someone you turn to only when times are hard, or merely someone that you look to because you had parents that steered you in the direction of Christianity? There is no way that we can declare He is real, and the Lord of our life, and still consistently withhold a portion of the control of our lives.
Jesus wants a relationship with you so bad that He was willing to die to get it. But living up to the greatest potential of that relationship requires a shift on your part. A shift in your thinking and in your doing – living your life as though it isn’t yours at all. Realizing that your life belongs to Jesus and He is in control. The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him – shifting your entire life to be a faithful follower of the only One worth following.
Recently I had the privilege of getting to know a Christian man who had lived under an oppressive communist regime in Europe for many years. He shared many harrowing stories with me about various hardships and how he smuggled Bibles without the authorities catching him. Although communism has since dissipated in that country and everyone living there has experienced freedom for many years, he said something that really hit me. He stated how he has realized that the hardest thing for any Christian is to just be faithful to Jesus. The temptation is always there to take control of our own lives, but our responsibility as a follower of Christ is to be faithful in our freedom or in persecution.
Let it be said of us That the Lord was our passion That with gladness we bore Every cross we were given That we fought the good fight That we finished our course Knowing within us the power of the risen Lord
Let the cross be our glory And the Lord be our song By mercy made holy By the Spirit made strong
Let the cross be our glory And the Lord be our song ‘Till the likeness of Jesus Be through us made known Let the cross be our glory And the Lord be our song
I’m not sure if the Chinese language has a similar way of expressing this, but in English we have a saying (typically spoken as an exasperated reminder): “The world does not revolve around you!” Implying that you are only concerned about your personal needs and problems and want to be treated like the entitled ruler you believe you are. When analyzing ourselves objectively, we usually can realize the arrogance in living with that mindset. If you’re a Christian, then hopefully you can take James’, the brother of Jesus, reminder to heart: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
But what if we look at this even deeper? Part of living of like God is real is honoring Him for the holy and awesome creator that He is. We know that we are not the center of the universe, but how would we live if we fully understood how mighty this God is who with a word spoke the heavens into place, flung the stars, and gave the earth its frame? This point is emphasized in Psalm 89:6-7 – “For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”
Feeling kind of small and unimportant yet? You should. Our God is mindful of us, loves us dearly (Psalm 8:3-5), and even tells us to boldly approach His throne (Hebrews 4:16) – but you cannot forget He is deserving of all your respect and devotion. If that doesn’t translate to a life that’s lived in humility then you’re still not recognizing the greatness of our King. With every new discovery that science makes, it simply confirms the complexity and awe of everything around us and tells of a magnificent designer (check out this “Scale of the Universe” if you want to have some fun with that topic).
Our God is great. Greater than we’ll ever realize – but that should not stop us from trying to realize or understand it. The minute we start treating God like an equal or even approaching Him like we’re entitled to something, we’re placing our Creator on a level that is blasphemous. You aren’t the center of the universe – but how about we all start living for the One who is.
Disclaimer: My apologies if this post comes off a little “preachy.” I recently had the opportunity to do a study on this topic, and since then it’s been hitting pretty close to my heart.
How well do you understand the fear of the Lord? What does it involve? Is it really that important? Does it mean actually being afraid of God? While I necessarily don’t have all the answers about what the fear of the Lord may entail completely, I am convinced that God expects His people to come before Him with fear.
Throughout the last few months, I’ve been looking at a few different passages in God’s Word with my church small group that have been giving me a better understanding of how important it is to come before God in complete and total fear. Look at Leviticus 10:1, where Aaron’s sons simply came into God’s house with irreverence and God killed them on the spot. Consider also Acts 5, where Ananias and Sapphira didn’t respect a Holy and Awesome God, and were also killed immediately.
It is amazing to see how quickly God’s judgment fell on those who walked before Him without the fear of the Lord, especially during the times where God’s glory was present (which is a topic for another day). Have you ever considered how you treat your Heavenly Father? I don’t deny for one second that we have the ability to come boldly before the throne of grace because of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:16); however, it is vital that each one of us walk carefully in the fear of the Lord. The Old and New Testament both declare that our God is a consuming fire, and deserves the utmost respect and fear. But that’s not all: we also have the confidence in knowing that there is tremendous blessing and the power to be kept from sin when we walk within the fear of the Lord.
We have gotten away from revering our Holy God. But if we truly do believe that our God is alive and real, we have got to be living like it: especially when it comes to fearing Him. I would highly encourage you to dive into God’s Word and see all that He has to say about fear and reverence. You will come away with a greater awe for your King.