Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be Afraid and Be Blessed: Part 2

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! — Psalm 128:1, ESV

Yesterday we looked at the topic of fearing God.  And I know that it's a tough topic.  No one likes to admit that they are afraid of anything, but we have to drop that pride and be free to admit that we are afraid of God (and for those who say, "Well of course I'm afraid of the Old Testament God, but Jesus takes all of that fear away", go ahead and read Revelation 1 and notice John's reaction to this "tame" Jesus that you have created).

But look at what comes with this: blessing.  That Hebrew word for blessing is 'esher.  It means, "happiness, blessedness."  So we read that "[happy] is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!" To be afraid of God brings unbelievable happiness? Yes.  That's what the psalmist found to be true.    That's what Scripture teaches us.

But how can this be?

Here's how: that massive, holy, majestic, all-powerful/knowing being is entitled to our terror just because of who he is.  But, that massive, holy, majestic, all-powerful/knowing being is not against us.  He loves us beyond our ability to comprehend or explain in human terms.  John, in Revelation 1, fainted at the sight of Jesus.  However, notice Jesus' response to John's reaction:  "But [Jesus] laid his right hand on me, saying, 'Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one.  I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades'" (Revelation 1:17-18, ESV).  

So I am blessed when I:

  1. have a correct picture of who God is, responding correctly to his glorious splendor (fear).
  2. live out and obey what that holy God calls me to do.
It's not just about a correct view of God, but it's about the lifestyle that is worthy of the God who called me to himself through Jesus.  It's about obeying the one that I claim to fear.  It's about correct orthodoxy and proper orthopraxy.  It's about believing correctly and living appropriately.  It's about both.  In fact, tomorrow night at FLOOD I will be talking about this very thing, (join us at PFB Church at 7:00pm - 601 N. Garey Ave, Pomona, CA. 91767 or watch live online - www.pfblive.tv), faith and works (read James 2:14-26).

So, fear God and obey him.  The result, according to God himself: you will be blessed.  You will be happy.

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