“There is no fear of God before their eyes”
Brothers and Sisters we have NO excuses for not gaining wisdom on a biblical scale. What once would take a pastor or biblical scholars days, weeks or even months to research now takes mere seconds with the click of a search button in a bible app.
Case in point: the ABIDE APP has a series on anxiety and offers tools, tips and most importantly God’s Word and prayer to address our worry and anxiety.
Because these are strongholds in my own life (worry of things that haven’t happened and anxiety over things I many times cannot even pinpoint) I desired to look more deeply into the Bible for insight.
What I found?
In the NIV there are:
- 15 verses on worry
- 7 verses on anxiety
- 336 verses on fear
Hmmm, huge contrast! So I decided to dig deeper
We are basically told about the folly of worry. Do not worry about your life, food or drink, what you wear, about tomorrow, or even how to defend yourself verbally when in confrontational situations. We are asked the question: does worry add a day to your life? And told to “decide to not worry”.
Again we are told of the needless burden of anxiety
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
- 336 verses in total
- 92 verses on the Fear of God or lack there of
- 135 verses to Fear the Lord
We are also told to fear the Word of God, and about those who feared God and who didn’t fear God as being those who were blessed and cursed.
Then it got real interesting, I looked in the right-hand column and saw it was broken down by Old Testament and New Testament. What did I find?
With “Fear Lord God” the breakdown is
- 38 Old Testament
- 2 New Testament
This made sense to me. Under the Old Covenant the LAW and sacrifices was the path to God.
Out of the 2 verses in the New Testament only 1 was directly relevant (and what I found spurred this blog this morning)
The Ministry of Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
How true I find Oswald Chambers’ in my own life. I still in so many ways live “under the law of sin and death” yet sadly without the OT covenant of fearing the Lord.
I so easily fall back to pride, anger and judgement to build myself up, or fear external circumstances as if they hold the power to make or break me or fall back into sins of performance for validation or lust for escape. So often a healthy Fear of God does not prevent those behaviors but instead an unhealthy view of God convicts after those behaviors.
And from a New Testament perspective of fear I completely miss the “Ministry of Reconciliation” and when I fall into those sins I reap self-condemnation and self-loathing instead of rejoicing in the atoning price that Jesus paid to cover my transgressions.
Our righteousness is not a matter of measuring the degrees of sinlessness we obtain (although that is the goal) but our right-standing with God is what was purchased on the Cross.
Our missionary work in day-to-day life has nothing to do with flogging ourselves over our sin-nature but instead simply to preach the good news of Christ’s salvation available to all who call on His Name and to walk with our heads held high and praise on our lips and worship in our hearts because of who HE is.
To fear God is to exalt Him with our life because nothing in this world holds the power of heaven or hell. Our battle is spiritual in nature and freedom is ours today, purchased by the Blood of Jesus and it will never be about our performance.
We’ve got to get over our focus on us and others and instead focus on the love of our Father who gave us a new name, we are co-heirs with Christ!
Glory to God forever!
Father God your Word cuts life a knife exposing those areas of our old selves that still cling for control and comfort in the flesh… and I thank you for that. The revelation this morning that fear and anxiety are to be tossed aside as folly without another thought because they do nothing but weigh us down. However a holy fear of You is healthy, a reverent fear that doesn’t generate anxiety over our destruction but instead becomes fuel for rejoicing as you took care of our right standing with you through the Cross. Help us Lord recognize the incredible power You have over our destiny and claim with boldness and authority the power of the Holy Spirit within so we can tackle the insignificances of life with a sole vision on the eternal glory that gives us new life, purpose and calling today. We thank you and praise you in the Mighty Name of Jesus…