Posts Tagged ‘ fear ’

June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017

PSALM 1-8

Focus Verse: Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.
Psalm 4:4

 

Interesting verse here. The verb ‘tremble’ used here in the NASB comes from the Hebrew root ‘ragaz’ which means to tremble with violent emotion. This lends itself in several ways in this passage, and both are applicable to us today.

 

The two emotions most commonly associated with this Hebrew word are fear and anger. Because of the lack of fluency between the Hebrew and English here, we have multiple translations of the Bible that translate this passage differently. The King James version says to “Stand in awe, and do not sin…” while the NIV and NLT say, “In your anger, do not sin…” The first assumes we are trembling with a fear of the Lord (a healthy fear, a reverence for him…standing in awe), the second that we are trembling because of anger.

 

Either translation holds some cool stuff. If we are trembling out of fear of the Lord, that really is the only way that we can truly keep from sinning. NOT because we fear punishment from Him. This is the wrong motive. 1 John 4:18 tells us that perfect love casts out fear. On the cross, Jesus Christ took away ALL of the wrath and punishment of God. So it is not our fear of punishment from God that keeps us from sin, but instead, our adoration of Him. Standing in awe of Him, a God so strong and so might and SO FOR US! That kind of reverence, that kind of adoration, will drive you to a place where sin is the last thing you want to do. You want to please your Father, you want to make Him happy, so out of love, you cling to Him and the path He has laid before you.

 

The second translation is also very cool. If you are trembling in anger, there follows a warning to be careful not to sin. But note that trembling in anger is not a sin. Did you catch that? IT IS NOT A SIN TO TREMBLE WITH ANGER. In fact, there are certain things that it would be a sin to not get angry about. If you witness abuse or injustice and are ok with that, there’s something wrong with that. The key in anger is not to keep from getting angry, the key is to be angry in a healthy way…under control and without letting sin creep in.

 

With both of these, we need to be careful. Our fear and reverence of God has to be healthy; it needs to be balanced. We must have the humility to be in awe of Him, yet the confidence that He has called us His prized possession. Likewise, our anger must be controlled and without sin. To do both of these, we must follow the second part of the verse, meditating in our hearts on our actions and trusting completely in God. Being still and allowing God to move on our behalf, trusting Him to tell us when to take action and when to let things go, is the ultimate test in self-control and in faith in Him. Do you believe He will guide you through it?

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March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

1 SAMUEL 13-14

Focus Verse: Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire.”
1 Samuel 14:6-7

 

I LOVE this story!!! Mark Batterson writes about this story in his book All In and talks about how amazing this posture towards God Jonathan takes is. “Perhaps the Lord will work for us…” Why don’t we operate like that more often? Make huge moves, do huge things for God that are completely out of our comfort zone…things that we can’t do unless God intercedes. I think the primary reason we don’t is because we’re worried about our reputation.

 

Now we’ll mask that. We’ll pretend that it’s God’s reputation that we’re worried about. Show me in the Bible where God has ever been worried about His reputation and I’ll buy it. I don’t think that’s what we’re really worried about though. We are much more concerned with how we are going to look if we step out on a ledge for God and He doesn’t hold up His end of the bargain.

 

We’re comfortable and we like to stay that way. The Israelites probably got pretty comfortable hiding in caves. But Jonathan wasn’t. He knew God wasn’t comfortable with it. He knew the character of his God and knew His will wasn’t for Israel to be hiding from their enemies. So Jonathan decided to get uncomfortable. He put it all on the line, his reputation, his comfort, his very life, and let God take center stage. And what did God do? He showed off! He used Jonathan and his armor bearer and started a revival in the nation of Israel.

 

The nation that was terrified and hiding in caves suddenly became mighty warriors. Fearless men came out of those caves where their fears and doubts had driven them. All because one man decided to put his life into the hands of God.

 

Surrender yourself to God and He will call you out from whatever it is you’re hiding from. He will deliver you. How do I know? Because I know who my God is.