“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;…” Psalms 111:10
Well, I might as well face it. I’m probably going to ruffle a few feathers here but I sincerely pray you see my point before judging. At a revival last night the preacher was talking about the fear of the Lord no longer exists. It no longer exists in America, in our homes and even in our churches. We have all seen the kids who have no respect for their parents. I admit, I am probably the first one thinking to myself “he/she wouldn’t talk to me like that”. Bare with me here…I’m not just picking on kids. Shamefully, I was quite a rebellious kid myself. Just last week at my church one of the ladies had to chase down a young girl to cover up her behind. The short top and low cut pants were understandably too much to bare in the house of the Lord.
So here is my point. We see all of the rebellious children today. We see the parents who did not make them mind. Many parents are actually scared of their children now. The children have no fear what so ever of their parents. The children do not respect them. They do what they want, when they want. Now, let’s look at the larger picture. I wonder what God thinks when He looks down on His children. I wonder how the Lord feels about His Word being diluted so much, by His very own children, that it’s almost unrecognizable. I wonder what He thinks when we turn the praise and worship meant for Him into entertainment for us? I wonder how he feels about our schedule? We will allow Him four songs to touch His children…then time is up, must proceed as planned.
I was at a service 3 nights this week where God moved so mightily. I can’t idolize that service but I can still get on my face and thank the Lord for His moving that touched so many lives, including mine. These were old time Pentecostal services where the Holy Spirit was in control from beginning to end. We weren’t on a schedule. People were healed both spiritually and physically. They didn’t need inspiration but were drawn by God’s Holy Spirit. These are the services where the presence of the Lord is so heavy, a rebellious heart is melted when God’s love is poured out. I know this because this is the type of service I was saved in. I remember that pull, the draw, the heaviness of the presence of the Lord. I knew the arrow of the Holy Spirit was aimed directly at my heart by the words coming out of the preacher’s mouth. So when I’m in a service now, seeing young people turn to the Lord, I’m so thankful to God for the preacher who is being led by the Holy Spirit. I’m thankful for the preacher who will stretch that altar call out as long as he needs to, until the conviction of the Holy Spirit is too much for that sinner to bare and he runs and collapses at the alter. I’m thankful for the preacher who is speaking out what the Lord has put on his heart for that sinner to hear. I’m thankful for the brothers and sisters in Christ who, when the sinner finally comes to the altar, fall on their knees and praise God for saving that sinner.
How long has it been since we have seen a sinner saved? I don’t mean a box checked on a card or a hand raised while heads are bowed. I mean a repentant sinner saved. I know, I know… I’m not judging. God knows peoples hearts. Our humility and gratitude towards the Lord is our witness of His mercy. Jesus and His Cross are nothing to be ashamed of. Is the draw of the Holy Spirit thwarted by the compromise of the altar call? I realize one can be saved anywhere, anytime but at the Lord’s house shouldn’t He be given latitude to do His work instead of us doing ours?
Getting back to my point – fear of the Lord. In our zealous attempt to correct legalism in the church, have we turned God into a pushover? Remember, the devil doesn’t care what we call it as long as we don’t focus on Christ and Him crucified. Do we really think the Lord will allow His children to lose their fear of Him? Respect in the house of the Lord is not legalism but fear. The fear of suddenly seeing a man’s finger begin to write on the wall (Daniel 5:5). All of the pastors who are not compromising or diluting God’s Word are being persecuted. They are being called hypocrites because they will not allow homosexuals to serve in their church. This is not their word they are standing on, it is the Word of God. This is once again called fear of the Lord. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Did I use to do any of these things? Yes, more than I’m willing to discuss. Have I repented? Yes. Do I still live in these sins? No. Am I forgiven? Absolutely! I’m washed in the Blood of the Lord. The Lord has paid my debt for those sins and I am grateful AND respectful of the Blood He shed for me. Don’t crucify the pastors who are preaching the Gospel of Jesus. Don’t call them legalistic for having fear of the Lord. Yes, we all fall short. The difference is the repentance verses rebellion. As a Christian, when we fall we immediately look up and say “Oh Lord, I’m so sorry. Will you help me?” We don’t judge others for their sins because many of us have committed the exact same sin.
The conviction and draw of the Holy Spirit is what led us to repentance. It is for that very same reason that we cannot now compromise that conviction to “draw” you into a false religion. If you are truly seeking God and not compromise, you will find Him. A compromising church offers up a compromising counterfeit. They will send one straight to hell with a belly full of hot dogs and hamburgers. The lust to build a shrine to attract the members will lead to the need to compromise the Word to tickle those same members ears who were attracted by the shrine and not drawn by the Holy Spirit. However, the zeal for the truth of the Gospel of Jesus and Him Crucified is when Heaven rejoices. Good intentions won’t save souls but good preachin’ will point the lost to Jesus for their answer instead of trying to give them a methodology to follow (that’s a fancy word for works).
Not accepting open rebellion or a diluted gospel in God’s House is not being legalistic. It is simply me being jealous over the Blood that saved me, you and the rebellious ones. We cannot expect miracles, signs and wonders in a home where children (both young and old) think their Heavenly Father is a pushover. While we have the plank in our eye and pointing to all of the spoiled children in the world today, maybe just maybe, we should realize how spoiled we have been acting. Liberty and reverence are not mutually exclusive terms. – Donna Warren