While not a coffee drinker, I have recently have started liking tea. The desperate times of a sore throat call for the desperate measure of a hot beverage, I suppose. The first time I tried tea, I believe it was of the peppermint variety, it lacked a certain sweetness to which I had grown accustomed. So, naturally, I swore off tea, until the hot springs of my heart began bubbling vanilla chai. Anyone who drinks such nectar is familiar with how difficult it is for one's love for it to grow cold. However, time passed, and probably about a hundred cups later, I found myself looking to mix it up. Present Day. I'm drinking the stuff sans sweetener, dumbfounded at who this person is who is waiting for the pot to whistle. I used to be so afraid to try new things, like tea, but what I have discovered is that just because I didn't understand tea didn't mean it was something to be afraid of.
This got me thinking. Perhaps the elusive "fear of the Lord," the origin of wisdom, is not this nebulous thing I so often make it out to be. Could there actually be some sort of practical, tangible way to fear Him?
It's almost like He can read my mind or something, or like He knows my thoughts, because He showed me this the other day:
"[speaking to those who were serving other gods]'You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall fear the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to do. You shall not fear other gods, and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods, but you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.'" 2 Kings 17:35-39
It seems like the first step in fearing the LORD is to REMEMBER WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE. In their case, he had plucked, rescued, took, delivered, relieved, recovered, SAVED them in a powerfully mighty way. They chose to reject His mercy and grace toward them; we know that God does not handle rejection well, and rightfully so since He is the Creator and Sustainer and Giver of all things. He urges us plenty of times to remember Him, but we insist on rejecting. Sure, we can argue that we are merely forgetting what He has done as other things come to the forefront of our minds. Other prayer requests, other "pressing matters." We minimize and justify, while the reality is that we are actively rejecting Him by choosing anything other than Him.
By the way, every time the word fear is used in this passage it means to reverence him as the avenger of wrong. This is the way of godliness.
To fear Him is REMEMBER Him. So, I ask you: what keeps you from remembering Him?
Want more? I would also encourage you to make two lists that you can keep handy or post somewhere so you will see it and REMEMBER Him. In the first list, write down all you know about His character. Feel free to use verse references or personal experiences (Example: Faithful-2 Thessalonians 3:3-He didn't abandon me when I moved to California). In the second list, write down what He has done for you with a similar format (Example: Set me free-John 8:36-I was enslaved to the sin of discontentment, and He freed me from that to live a contented life in Him). There can be overlap, or if you prefer to make only one list, that is fine too. You can even make it look artistic! Maybe you want to print off a copy for every room in your house!
Brittany Van Ryn
Working out thoughts with HIM.