Daily Discovering the Blessing

Posts tagged ‘Choose Life’

Psalm 91,Verse 1 – (Part Two)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty {Whose power no foe can withstand}.

Now we come upon the promised result.  When we purpose to dwell in His secret place our lives and our future are stable and fixed.  This stability and fixed foundation are ours when our faith is in our God; when we purposefully place ourselves in His care.  He assures us that this is so.  Always be spiritually attuned to the Truth that all Scripture is God speaking to us.

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction… (2 Timothy 3:16)

For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it {to do so – it never came by human impulse} but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

God promises these results as we lean on Him and trust absolutely in His care. Our work is faith in His Word, in the “great and wonderful and intense love” He holds for us (Ephesians 2:4), and in all that Jesus accomplished on our behalf. His work is to see to the fulfillment of His promises. We “shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty”.  In other words, He is your covering, your safe place.

over everything the glory will be a canopy.  It will be a shelter and a shade from the heat of the day and hiding place from the storm and rain.  (Isaiah 4:5-6)

Protected here, no enemy can harm us for there is no foe, no hindering force that can overcome the power of our God.  The Greater One lives in us (1 John 4:4) and sees to our well-being. There will be attempts to unsettle us, but our faith in His covenant promises and His faithfulness to His Word is the overcoming force.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered from the hand of the adversary.  (Psalm 107:2)

When we dwell in God’s secret place, when our faith holds us there, no enemy can get through His defenses to harm us.  I once heard a preacher speak of this verse in Psalm 107, emphasizing the last word.  “Let the redeemed of the Lord say SO!”  “So, you think you can harm me??”  “So what if disease is going around? It can’t come near me.” So what if a storm is trying to overcome me?  I will not be moved!  I am safe in my Father’s care.” “So what! You can’t intimidate me! You are no match for my Father.  In fact, you have no power here. You have been defeated.”  When you’re saved and you’re secure and you know it, no weapon will prosper against you. (Isaiah 54:17).  That is your heritage, your security, your right as a faith-filled child of God.  And while to many this seems too good to be true, according to the Word of God this place of refuge in His care defines our days.

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord (and His Presence) shall be my dwelling place. (Psalm 23:6)

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Psalm 91, Verse 1 – (Part One)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty {Whose power no foe can withstand}.

A story is told of Smith Wigglesworth – used of God to preach and heal – that reveals so much about the “secret place of the Most High”.  A visitor knocked on his door one day carrying a newspaper under his arm. Wigglesworth welcomed him in, “but that,” he said, pointing to the newspaper, “must be left outside.” Life in the world and life in the kingdom of God are so unalterably opposed. (James 4:4)

The extraordinary, life-affirming promises of Psalm 91 begin here – dwelling in the secret place and remaining stable and fixed there. Recognizing there is a decision to be made daily of where our allegiance lies, we purposefully determine our placement.  And if our placement is in the Lord, He guarantees that we have chosen the only secure location.  Our reliance is in the Lord and not in our own ability or the world’s attitudes and standards.

 I have given and delivered to them Your Word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world {do not belong to the world}, just as I am not of the world… (John 17:14) {Emphasis mine}

People of faith make a daily choice to either be nestled (cocooned) in God’s secret place or to permit the loud and intrusive strains of worldly issues, daily concerns, and conformity to societal attitudes (Romans 12:2) to color and compromise their walk in the Spirit. All of the comforting and powerful promises of this Psalm begin with the stipulation – live here. Fix yourself in the care of the Lord here. Determine that this is your dwelling place.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. (Acts 16:31) {Emphasis mine}

 The Lord of Hosts – regard Him as holy and honor His holy Name {by regarding Him as your only hope of safety}, and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread {lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him}. (Isaiah 8:13) {Emphasis mine}

We must meet those conditions in order to expect God to fulfill the promises and establish the protections that follow.

 If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians, for I Am the Lord Who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)

In both verses, Exodus 15:26 and Psalm 91:1, we have our part to play – indeed, a significant role. “If you will…” God says, “then I will.” Your faith in God and in His Word is what secures the promises. When your trust in God is compromised by also attending to the problem in front of you – you are visiting the secret place, not dwelling there. You are demonstrating your fear of circumstances and distrust of God and His Word. When you accept negative events and concerns as an inevitable part of life on earth, all the while asking for your Abba’s help (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6) – you are visiting the secret place, not dwelling there. Let not what your eyes see or what your ears hear have the ascendancy over what the Word of God tells you is true. Let your physical sight take second place to your heavenly sight. There is a brand new way of looking out over your days when you dwell in the secret place, rather than visit.

Our Father expects His maturing children to live in the reality of His promises to us.  Psalm 91 offers a clear understanding of what life in Christ looks like as we honor our Father through faith in, and obedience to, His Word.

Dreams- From Half-Formulated to Fully Realized – Part Two

Kenneth Hagin has preached often on this story of the woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9:20-22). He readily asserts that his ministry for the Body of Christ, given to him by the Lord, was to preach and teach faith, and throughout his decades in the ministry, that was his focus. He has said that the Lord told him that if anybody anywhere would put the four steps this woman took into practice, they would receive what they were asking for. We have already covered steps one and two – “See it” and “say it”. But there is more to this faith walk than seeing and saying.

Do it – The woman with the issue of blood could have spoken continually concerning her faith to be healed, but until she then acted on that faith, on her spoken assertion, her words were useless. Saying, “If I only touch the hem of His garment” but not acting on it, her medical condition would remain unchanged. Once you have that sure knowledge that God is willing this dream to be – act. Act on the direction of the Holy Spirit.

James 2:17 – So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up) by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead)

James 2:24 – …a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God) through what he does and not alone through faith {through works of obedience as well as by what he believes.}

This woman’s faith was followed up with action; it is through the action that the faith can be seen.

Receive it

Mark 11:24 …whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will {get it}

Notice that for this step, faith is also the determining factor. In faith we realize the God-given dream in our hearts, in faith we speak forth the Word believing that God will bring it about, in faith we act on those spoken words as led by the Spirit, and in faith we “carry away and enjoy to the full what is promised” (Hebrews 10:36). Believe that you have received. The Word defines faith as:

The assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things {we} hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality {faith receiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses}. (Hebrews 11:1)

This step is perhaps the one which is the most alien and frustrating to those who have years of practice in daily trusting in the five senses – all of us! It is this step that causes many to say, “This speaking forth faith simply isn’t working for me! I’ve seen it work for some but it’s not working for me.” Realize here that in speaking those words, your words are coming to pass! Speaking doubt and unbelief is establishing that particular reality that “this faith stuff” doesn’t work for you. How do we remedy that?

God has given us everything we need to overcome the perceived difficulty in this business of receiving the promises for ourselves. First, His Word. How you view His Word is of paramount importance in this process of walking and living in the Spirit. He tells us of its “self-fulfilling power” (Isaiah 61:11). He tells us that His Word is “alive and full of power… active, operative, and energizing, and effective” (Hebrews 4:12). He tells us that He watches over that Word to perform it in the lives of those who speak It forth in faith (Jeremiah 1:12) and that His Word never returns to Him void without accomplishing the thing for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). He also tells us that while the Name of the Lord is to be revered and feared and worshipped, He holds His Word in even higher estimation!

You have exalted above all else Your Name and Your Word and You have magnified Your Word above all Your Name! (Psalm 138:2)

Now the choice to believe is yours. God has given us that choice. His exhortation to us is to choose life in Him (Deuteronomy 30:19), but you choose! The authority and reverence with which you receive His Truth will determine your success in this step of receiving all that He has promised. To honor God by believing that what He says He means, is to be a consistent recipient of the promises.

Further, He has given His Holy Spirit to be received as our Guide, Teacher, Advocate, Enabler, Strengthener (John 15:26), and to reveal to us His purposes and plans for our lives (John 16:13). He has sent Jesus, His Beloved Son, to reconcile us again with Him and to restore the relationship that was lost through Adam’s actions. How we receive all of this Truth determines how we receive our full inheritance in the kingdom of God.

A Continual Feast

Proverbs 15:15 – … he who has a glad heart has a continual feast.

I have, in previous writings, written a description of the offices of the church I attend. As a teacher at the associated school I would have occasion to walk through that area and was inevitably touched by the atmosphere of peace that prevailed there. Praise music was softly playing, ministry and prayers on behalf of those seeking counsel was taking place – the entire purpose of the office area was to honor and reflect God, and the result was extraordinary, tangible peace.

Your home, your days, can give evidence of this same peace. A peace that speaks the Truth that God is here and in full control, that Jesus, Who is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14), is Lord over your life, and that God’s Holy Spirit establishes our moments in this peace “that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7);  peace that reflects the absolute certainty of new creature status:

…the {previously moral and spiritual condition} has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come.(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Unwavering confidence, unshakeable peace, and a completely altered perspective are the intended outcomes of this “new creature” status. For our new life in Christ is established on “precious and exceedingly great promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Numbers 6:26 defines peace as “tranquility of heart and life continually“. According to our Father, according to His Word, that continual tranquility of heart and life is not only possible, it is our inheritance, our expectation, as His children.

We have a role here. That “peace that passes all understanding” is not automatic. We are to search for, seek eagerly and pursue “peace (harmony, undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions and moral conflicts (1 Peter 3:11). We are to assume, faithfully accept, that this peace is ours. We are to reject outright anything that attempts to destroy that peace and diminish the Truth of our Father’s Word. We are to tune into the Holy Spirit Whose ministry on our behalf produces peace. He always points us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace (John 16:13-14), Who tells us:

Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. {Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.} (John 14:27)

When we “do not let…stop allowing…do not permit” we are choosing God’s life, God’s Truth, and God’s promises to “ garrison and mount guard over our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7). We are determining, resolving, that the Word of God overcomes anything that the world, the flesh, and the devil throw our way.

We are God’s family as believers in Christ, the Messiah, who are watching for the soon return of our Lord. Let every moment reflect His Person and His peace. Whatever you are facing this day, because you belong to God, and because He wants to bless you and do you only good – let there be peace.

“Since He may come any day, it is well to be ready every day.” A. J. Hudson

His Banner Over Me is Love

There can be no clearer demonstration of God’s love for us than His willingness to die for us, and then, having risen, coming to live in us.  We have inherited, through His love, “in accordance with the riches and generosity of His gracious favor” (Ephesians 1:7) all of the blessings of the Kingdom.  He lavishes upon us “every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence)”, He makes known to us “the mystery of His will” (Ephesians 1:9), “the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny]” (1 Corinthians 2)

There was a popular song several years ago entitled “God is Watching Us From a Distance”!  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Nothing could be closer than the Lord!  More caring, more deeply loving, more intimately involved in all of the issues of our lives. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we are guided into “the whole, full Truth” (John 16:13), we are enabled to hear “whatever He hears from the Father” and we are privileged to hear “things that are to come [that will happen in the future]”.

When the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, He will take you by the hand and guide you into all the Truth there is.  …He will take from Me and deliver it to you… (John 16:13, 15Message Bible) [Emphasis mine]

When we begin to understand the full purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit we realize how greatly loved we truly are.  We are the adopted children of God (Galatians 4:6); we are “well-beloved [by God Himself]” (Colossians 3:12); we are heirs of God’s grace (1 Peter 3:7), and the Holy Spirit was given to us to reveal all of these blessings to us.  He is here on our behalf to grow us in faith and grace and reveal to us all that God has provided.

He is here to be known intimately.  His friendship and His mentoring will bless your days and cause you to be the very best you can be in Jesus.  Stepping over into His care and guidance will guarantee success, peace, wisdom, and fulfillment.  He yearns to accomplish the good and perfect will of God in your life.  Choose this day to submit to His loving, tender, and powerful ministry.

God’s Word on the subject:

Song of Solomon 2:4                            1 Corinthians 2:9-12                                      Ephesians 1:7-8

The Dark and the Light

One of the first things that my husband, Jim, said when he was born again was, “I never realized that I was lost until I wasn’t lost anymore.”  Profoundly simple but powerfully reflective of the basic truth and promise of the Gospel – that which was lost is found (Luke 19:10).   The Truth that God is everything He says He is invades the darkness of the souls of the lost; those who never realized that in this world you must choose. A light finally shines for them.  John 1:5 tells us:

And the light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].  [Emphasis mine]

The darkness brought into the world through sin and a selling out to Satan hides from God and from everything that is ultimately for our benefit, blessing, and fulfillment.  Proverbs 4:19 says that the wicked walk in deep darkness and don’t even realize what they are stumbling over.  “The road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker – travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.”(Message Bible) And our Lord further reveals the desperate state of those who are unreceptive to God’s love and to the light that love brings:

Matthew 6:22-23 The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light.  But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness!

From the very beginnings of time our Father has brought light to darkness:

Genesis 1:2-3The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep.  The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the water.  And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.

That same Genesis moment occurs in the life of any man or woman who abandons their lost state for life in the Lord.  Like the turning on of a light switch in a darkened room, there is awareness, understanding, and revelation.  1 Peter 2:9 says that we have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light:

to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.  (Message Bible) [Emphasis mine]

With his words upon being born again, Jim began his testimony of the goodness of God, and of the reality that unless and until you choose the life that our Father extends to you, you are a lost soul, still groping around in darkness.

 

God’s Word on the subject:

Proverbs 4:19             Isaiah 9:2             Matthew 6:23

John 1:5                      John 12:35            James1: 17

1Peter 2:9

The Last Bastion – Part One

From Father one morning:

“You must keep your eye on Me – your heart on Me – always.  You have allotted Me a certain time slot, and then given the rest of the day over to former things.  Why step away from life in Me to entertain life in the world?  This is the last bastion – let it fall.   The woman you desire to be is hidden in Me – that self-confident and spirit-controlled woman.  You are allowing yourself to be robbed. Step up into your fulfilled self.  From this moment forward – all that had perished in misdirection, misunderstanding, and poorly defined identity – all is restored, recreated, refreshed, redefined, refined.  See yourself as I see you.  Accept nothing less.  Your future in Me hinges on this willingness to allow Me to transform your moments.”

Webster’s Dictionary defines “bastion” as “a fortified position, a stronghold”.  Through the years of my faith walk there have been many moments when the Holy Spirit pointed to a particular issue or lingering idolatry in my life, leftover remnants of my life before Christ, and instructed me concerning the need and the method to be rid of it.  Once, early on in my faith walk, His light shone on the Beatle albums that I had been collecting and treasuring over the years.  I was clearly led to throw them all in the trash – and the collection was quite extensive!  When I share this story and the Holy Spirit leading with others I am asked why I didn’t sell them rather than destroy them.  The answer of course is, “Because that’s not what the Holy Spirit directed me to do.”  It was not just a matter of removing them from my home in whatever manner I chose, it was the recognition that this particular idolatry needed identification in my life as trash; it was a heart issue.  Some would call that foolish and some would turn that into doctrine and say, “Well if He asked you to do that, I had better do that too.”  The trash was where my albums belonged because they represented idolatry in my life.  God’s Holy Spirit carefully tends and lovingly guides each one of us.  This is not a one size fits all.

It profoundly matters to God what we fill our heart with.  He is a jealous God on our behalf (James 4:5).  He knows how we are made for He made us; He knows how Satan has attempted to diminish or destroy our faith walk and He has the perfect antidote in each case; He knows the potential people each of us can be and how to help us reach that level of maturity and accomplishment and complete peace.

The Message Bible so very beautifully expresses today’s Scripture (“God’s Word on the subject”):

The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.  We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.  Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

 

God’s Word on the subject:

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Heaven’s Answer – Part Two

As we continue to direct our attention to allowing the Word to inform our expectations, be ever aware that the extent to which you receive the reality of God’s Truth into your heart and into your life is the extent to which the manifestation of those truths will be evident to all.  For it is faith in God’s Word, and God’s Word alone, that receives the promises.  Heaven’s answers are there for all to discover, yet so many skim the surface of His will for their lives. Yesterday we spoke of the Truth concerning God’s delight and great pleasure in the prosperity of His people (Psalm 35:27).  There has been so much poor teaching on this subject.  There is a poverty mentality among Christians which is debunked by a close study of the Word.  Prosperity honors God – poverty does not.

The same is true of sickness.  Sickness is overcome:

Psalm 103:3 – …Who heals each one of all of your diseases.

Exodus 23:25You shall serve the Lord your God; He shall bless your bread and water, and I will take sickness from your midst.

1 Peter 2:24 –  By His wounds you have been healed (Isaiah 53).

It is that knowing in the face of symptoms that defeats Satan’s agenda to “steal, kill, and destroy”  (John 10:10).  This is another one of those blessings of kingdom life that speaks so powerfully to the lost.  When you own it, when symptoms of ill health cannot gain a foothold in your life and you proclaim daily the promises contained in the Word which declare God’s will on the matter, you are drawing that line in the sand – that demarcation between the world’s bleak understanding of “reality” and actual Kingdom Truths.  You are announcing to Heaven, all of the demons of hell, and any human who cares to look and listen that you know that here lies Truth.  Standing on “every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4), and refusing to judge by what you see with your eyes and what you hear with your ears (Isaiah 11:3), you are demonstrating Kingdom realities to a world plagued by fear concerning illness.

When we stand in faith for abundant life in the area of continuous health we are proclaiming (as with prosperity) that this is what God in a life looks like.  We are demonstrating that God means what He says and says what He means. We are silently sermonizing of the goodness and trustworthiness of our Father.  We are standing in faith – in absolute reliance – on what Jesus accomplished on our behalf.  No half measures here.  Don’t straddle the fence and accept less than in your life in any area.  Less than does not correctly represent Heaven’s answers.  Heaven’s answer is “nothing missing – nothing broken” (Shalom).  Heaven’s answer is peace overcoming fear, prosperity replacing poverty, abundant health instead if illness, confidence and fulfillment triumphing over doubt and confusion.  These are not just wishful words.  This is reality.  Dig deeply into the wonderful Word of God and you will discover the extraordinary richness and blessings of life in Christ.  And as you appropriate Heaven’s answers for your own life, you will ultimately bless many with you testimony.

God’s Word on the subject:

Psalm 35:27              Psalm 103:2-3              Matthew 4:4

A Prosperous Spirit

I recently spoke with someone very dear to me who was sensing a change of direction in her life – a crossroads experience – and she felt very unprepared to correctly assess the direction she should take.  She spent much time alone- forced time alone due to injury – and, never having practiced listening carefully to her heart, did not trust the process.  Even if she felt a leading, how could she know that  she was either hearing correctly or being misled by her own preconceived ideas of where her life should go?  She shied quickly away from any reference to God – His willingness to carefully and lovingly direct her path and life decisions,  the reality of His Being as presented in Scripture which she had been very purposefully avoiding, and the clear-cut call to obedience which the Word requires.  She welcomed a generic, “I’ll pray for you”, but when she sensed any step toward a discussion of God’s covenant promises to His children, when she understood that the conversation was veering toward the inevitable discussion for or against the Lordship of Jesus, she shied away and brought the conversation to a close.  And yet through today’s Scriptures (God’s Word on the subject) we understand that there is no life outside of God, for nothing is independent of Him.

In His book The Power of the Blood  Covenant  Malcolm Smith writes:

“The problem with defining death is that those who are in the state of death are doing the defining and are convinced that they are alive!  From their perspective, they are alive now and death is what happens at the end of physical life;  but the Bible plainly says that ourside Christ they are not alive now!  This is the world of the walking dead who do not live but exist.”

My daughter Carly was recently sharing in an e-mail some Scripture passages that she felt would significantly help a young friend who was also dealing with life decisions after a path which she had taken ended in disappointment and seeming defeat.  The girl responded that, yes, those were Scriptures which she enjoyed and appreciated as well.  But Carly felt that the awe and wonder and the excitement and joy were not there in the girl’s response.  For, if that was God’s promise, His living Word, His covenant guarantee to His faith-filled children, then the Word should be latched onto with great expectation and gratitude to our Abba.  How wonderful, how assuring,  how success-filled is the Word!  For He does not lie – he is faithful to His Word!

A prosperous spirit is established firmly in this realization.  A prosperous spirit lives on “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).  A prosperous spirit relies on the Truth that our Abba extends to us “age-enduring love and kindness…compassion and mercy…a covenant of peace and completeness.” (Isaiah 54: 8, 10)  A prosperous spirit rests in peace.  A prosperous spirit recognizes and fully depends upon that covenant relationship that Jesus restored through the shedding of His blood; a covenant that God will never ever break.

He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, {I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you or let you down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 3:15)

God’s Word on the subject:

Lamentations 3:22-23                John 1:3-4              John 15:4-5

Hebrews 13:5

Fearing God – Part One

Psalm 111:10 –  The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill (the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet); a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do (the will of the Lord).  Their praise of Him endures forever.

In my Bible classes, for both the junior high and high school levels, “the fear of the Lord” was a difficult concept for my students to own. Trying to grasp that a God of love was to be feared seemed a confusing combination.  Often my students would claim that they understood it, but couldn’t explain it in words.  My response to that statement, in any class that I taught, was “If you are unable to use your words to explain it, then you truly don’tunderstand it.”  Fuzzy thinking, the unwillingness to “dig in” and encompass the meaning of a thing, is a wide-ranging symptom in today’s world.  So we would dig in.  We looked to a good dictionary for a definition, and we looked to the Word for an explanation.

Fear – to have a reverential awe of God, to be apprehensive, to have a distressing emotion aroused by the awareness of impending danger, to have reason for alarm.

Why would God command us to have a distressing emotion aroused by the awareness of impending danger; to be apprehensive and to have reason for alarm in our relationship with Him?  Why are we to fear God Who identifies His Being, His primary characteristic as love (1 John 4:16)?  Because of that love, Jesus came to die for us (1 John 4:9, John 3:16, Galatians 2:20).  We are controlled, urged, and impelled onward by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14).  As God loved Jesus, so He loves us, tenderly (John 16:27 Amplified). We are to trust in His love, base our faith on His love.  His entire Word is a letter of love to us!  God is for us, for our success and prosperity, our health, our peace of mind and heart.  All of His commandments, His stated expectations of us, are for our benefit.

Deuteronomy 6:24 – And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to (reverently) fear the Lord our God for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is this day.  (Emphasis mine)

To fear Him is to realize that life without Him is not only unsuccessful and incomplete and unfulfilled, but dangerous.   To fear Him is the recognition that to walk in a way other than His way (of doing and being right) places us in harm’s way – open and susceptible to the enemy’s devices.  To fear Him is to acknowledge, by word and action, that wisdom chooses what He requires, because the alternative is sin/ disobedience (Exodus 20:20) , and therefore a choice to walk away from the protection of His promises, guidance, and provision.  Fearing God is our life-preserver, our righteousness compass, and, ultimately, our reason for being.

Look at Proverbs 1:7 in the Amplified version:

The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and the choice part of knowledge (its starting point and its essence); but fools despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction, and discipline. [Emphasis mine]

Attend to that definition.  The underlined words truly instruct us in the significance to our lives of the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 111:10 (Message Bible) – “The good life begins in the fear of God – do that and you’ll know the blessing of God.  His Hallelujah lasts forever.”

 

God’s Word on the subject:

Exodus 20:20               Deuteronomy 6:2, 24                 Proverbs 1:7

1 John 4: 16-19