The Fear of the Lord
A devotional by Nanci Rubin
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” –Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)
When I was baptized as a child, at the age of eight, church was a very different experience from today’s services.
We were assembled in a one-room country church with no air conditioning and we used the cardboard funeral parlor hand fans. Yes, when you see this depicted in a movie, we actually did use them. All the windows were opened, birds chirped and there was always anticipation for the Word of God from the pastor. Dinner on the grounds was the end to a perfect Sunday. We’d go home, take a nap and get ready to come back for the evening service.
Children remained with their parents for the sermon in church and we didn’t move about or talk. We were taught the fear of the Lord. And, it had nothing to do with physical or emotional fright as one would feel when threatened by an adversary. It was respect. God was revered.
We had respect for God, His house and everyone in the ministry. As a matter of fact, our generation was taught respect for all authority and we as children were taught to pray for our teachers, our family and our country. I am saddened that this concept has been abandoned along with the fear of the Lord. This is my perception and I am expressing what I see through my eyes. We need a little more conviction and a little less condemnation.
I’m not judging anyone’s heart when it comes to their faith in God, but according to the Bible, God made some very distinct rules governing His house and those He destined – pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists and apostles – to perfect the saints and to do the work of the ministry. There were and still are qualifications regarding those in authority ministering God’s Word. It appears that in this 21st century, many things have become obsolete. Rules are ignored or bent to fit the need or the direction that man has destined for the church.
According to 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (KJV), “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
The church is not a building. We, the believers, are the church. But what are we bringing each time we gather? Would an unbeliever even feel they were in church?
Several years ago, John Bevere wrote a book, The Fear of the Lord: Discover the Key to Intimately Knowing God. In his book, he wrote, “Do you think the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is going to come into a place where He is not given due honor and reverence?”
I think that this is a question we probably should consider today. We have become so familiar with God perhaps even taking Him for granted. Do we truly welcome Him into our churches? Or, have our services become rote? The Bible says in Leviticus 10:3 (NASB), “Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.’” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.”
I have pastor friends who long for a mighty move of the Spirit of God and can’t understand why miracles aren’t happening in their churches. They do not see the casual behavior of their parishioners, the eating and drinking in church, cell phones in use and all manner of distractions. This is not the atmosphere for the miraculous. We have become de-sensitized to the things of God. We live in a highly technology-driven world and we are inundated with all manner of distraction.
We need to return to a true fear of the Lord. When we enter into God’s house (our church buildings), let’s do so with thanksgiving and let us dwell upon Him. Worship Him and give Him all the Praise.
I have been blessed to had experienced powerful moves of God and it had little to do with the size of the meeting. It had everything to do with those gathered being in one accord. We were not asking Father God for anything, but with hearts of worship we fell at His feet. In that atmosphere miracles occur. This, I believe, is what occurred in the Upper Room with the disciples.
If we as believers would humble ourselves and seek God’s heart, not only would our churches be more like the New Testament church, but our world would be a better place in which to live.
Let’s Pray: Father God, let us not forget how great You are. Let us enter into Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise. Return us to the former things and set aside anything that distracts us from You. In Jesus’s Holy Name we pray, Amen.
Nanci is a poet and short story writer published in Cypress News, Family Times E-Zine, Free Verse and the Commonwealth of Poetry.
She belongs to RWA, ACFW, and Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild where she’s enrolled in his novel writing program.
Nanci lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and cats, Romeo and Juliette, along with their newest member of the family, Roni who is a seven-month-old Goldendoodle.
Recently, Nanci completed her debut novel, A Betrayal in Cross Keys. It is an Amish romance that she has placed in her agent's capable hands. The rest is up to God.