Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.

    All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Praise him forever! Psalm 111:10 (NLT)

This passage comes up for me time and time again over the years.  In part, because I spend more time than I should trying to figure out if I am off my rocker.  You may wonder why.  Well, it's because I don't see alot of the fear of the Lord in the people around me.

More often, even within the church, there are many excuses made about why it's acceptable for an individual to engage in pretty much whatever they want to do.  In the church, the hideous excuse is 'GRACE'.  As though God's incredible grace were a good reason to sin against a holy God continually.

So what is fear of the Lord?  Is it being literally afraid of Him?  Is it reverence?  Is it obedience?

Fear of the Lord means seeking the Lord for wisdom in all things.  Fear of the Lord means looking for His way of doing life.  EVERY. ASPECT. of life.  

The way you talk(tone of voice, word choice, body language), how you spend your time, what you watch, what you listen to, how you dress, what you look at, what you read, where you go, who you go with, who you ignore or don't ignore, how you spend your money, what causes you champion, what causes you malign.

I've heard people mock those who will literally ask God about every action they take.  I like to stand a little distance from someone who would mock someone else for seeking wisdom.  We are called to submit to the Lord in all things, not just the things we decide are the important ones.  

It may be the case that after a person has spent years asking the Lord for direction in every little thing that he gains the perspective of the Lord more fully and doesn't need to ask every time, but how can we go wrong in asking the Lord for direction?  Is learning to wait on His answer ever going to hurt us?  

Fear of the Lord is ultimately humility. Humbling ourselves before an awesome God and seeking Him alone for wisdom.  Putting ourselves in His hands regardless of what those around us may think and fully surrendering.

Since fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, I'm going to guess it's also the beginning of true love.  And we know that is a priority dear to the Father's great and gracious heart.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Does following Christ really look like what we see in the Church today? Ask Hard Questions.

Just as He asked Peter, Jesus asks each of His children, we, who are disciples of Christ are asked, by the Lord himself, 'Do you love me child?' ................................'Do you love me child?.......................'Do you love me child?'

I believe He is asking if we love Him first and best?  He was showing Peter that he was going to need to lay aside whatever else he loved first and best and love Jesus himself, FIRST and BEST.  

The scriptures are full of passages demonstrating what that looks like.  We can believe an interpretation that we've been taught, or we can choose to act on what the Scripture actually says.  

I've often wondered why it is so confusing to read the bible and then hear it taught in ways that are often quite non-literal.  I've wondered why it has to be so confusing.  I've asked LOTS of questions along the way and the answers are different depending on who I ask.  But the most common response I've received is one that explains away what the Scripture actually says.  

For example I'll share the following Scripture with you that has often tied me up in knots.  Mainly this is because what I read has not been consistent with how I've lived or how I've seen others live.

1 John 3 says 'Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life[a] is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers[b] does not belong to God.' 

Does it actually mean that a believer can't continue to live in continual sin?  The common explanation is that this means that while they will continue to sin, sin won't characterize their whole life.  Even this is pretty weak when I look at myself and others who say we are children of God.  The Scripture says that a child of God CANNOT keep on sinning.  CANNOT!

When it says that a believer is filled by the Spirit and can do things greater than what Jesus himself did, does it mean it?  What does the Lord say about that?  

And what about the spiritual battle?  Is that a real thing that we must expect and actively fight, moment by moment?  

If you've read this far, I am encouraging you to look at the Scriptures and ask the Lord to show you the truth.  Many of us have been looking to men for answers which we should be looking to God for.  Take 1 John 2:26-27 to heart and be taught by the Spirit of God instead of the spirit of religion. 'I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit,[h] and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit[i] teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ'.'