While preparing this post today on the Fear of the Lord- I remembered a quote from C.S. Lewis about Aslan- (who represents Jesus Christ).
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
As can happen when reading God’s Word- I found that today certain passages stood out to me.
I felt conviction about my lack of fear of the Lord. I ended up reading 1 Corinthians and part of 2 Corinthians and then Psalm 19 and Proverbs 19.
Proverbs 19:23-The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
In first and second Corinthians, Paul addresses problems in the church and encourages them, reminding them of all they have received in Christ.
In chapter 5 he uses strong language when addressing sinning among Christians.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
I came to chapter 15 and came up short at the power behind Paul’s words.
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
Do we fear God enough to speak boldly into the life of a brother or sister in Christ who has unrepentant sin?
Are we willing to be uncomfortable and lovingly address how their sin could be a stumbling block to others?
Then 2 Cor. 5:9-10 stuck out to me:
9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
And then I read Psalm 19 and verses 7-14 stood out to me:
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I think many times we focus so much on God’s love and compassion and mercy and forgiveness- that we forget that we serve a righteous God, a just God.
Sometimes when I read about this aspect of God- it makes me squirm in my seat a little. Because I am aware of the sin in my own life- and it is easier sometimes to sweep it under the rug than deal with it.
I think many times in church it is easier for us to make excuses for not addressing sins in our brothers and sisters in Christ too- thinking that we should leave it to God to convict them- but what if God wants to use us to bring about repentance?
Does thinking about the judgment of God make you uncomfortable? Having all of your sins laid open for all to see and hear about?
Verses like 2 Cor. 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
I remember my thoughts about other people, the things that I do in secret- some of the evil that lurks in my heart- things I am ashamed of and anxious to keep hidden- but God knows.
I cannot hide from Him. He sees all the secret parts of me- there is no thought that I have had nor thing that I have done that He does not know fully.
Do I ponder the grief that I cause my Lord and Savior when I willfully sin? Do I love my family in Christ enough to be willing to be used by God to bring others to repentance?
I pray that as you ponder the fear of the Lord you will pray for courage to confess those areas of your life that need to be surrendered, and pray that you will have discernment as you seek to lovingly urge others to repentance in Christ as we strive to be more like Him.