REJOICE WITH TREMBLING #1

Rom.3:18 – “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”

“This fear is a gracious habit or principle planted by God in the soul, whereby the soul is kept under an holy awe of the eye of God, and from thence is inclined to perform and do what pleaseth him, and to shun and avoid whatsoever he forbids and hates.”

John Flavel – puritan Pastor who lived from 1628-1691 who died in jail, imprisoned for his faith.

In Romans 3:18 Paul quotes Psalm 36:1 saying “There is no fear of God before his eyes.”  We live in a generation that takes the things of God for granted and has no fear of God anywhere to be found.  Obviously, the lost people have no knowledge of God and cannot respect the Lord.  However, the church is in a different situation all together.  The fear of God is also absent from our congregations today.  I think often about the sorry spiritual condition the supposed Body of Christ is in and I have come to some conclusions.  Apparently, we have been lulled to sleep with a message about the blessings of God in this life and self help messages causing us to lose our moorings.  Christianity is about more than careers, houses, ministries and everything else than has been the focus of “church” for too long.  The normal message today is about success, vision, purpose, church growth, marriage and other topics that pertain to this life.  Where is the preaching about Christ and His Kingdom? I thought Jesus taught His kingdom is not of this world. It is touching His kingdom by faith and drawing close to the King that produces the fear of the Lord in us.

As we reflect on the words of John Flavel, we are reminded of the difference of the church in 1600 to the church of 2000.  Flavel said that the fear of God is planted supernaturally in our soul.  Natural man is afraid of a lot of things, but the fear of God is nowhere to be found.  As we call upon the Lord, and hunger after Him our heart is filled with the fear and majesty of Almighty God. This fear is strangely associated with joy. That’s why David said to “Rejoice with trembling” in the second Psalm. Seek first His kingdom and the rest of our lives will be sorted out.

Continued tomorrow…

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