Softened Through the Fear of the Lord
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We all recognize “the look.” Whether from parents, schoolteachers, police officers, or someone else in authority, there was a look they could give that stopped you dead in your tracks. It was a look that let you know you were about to cross a line and the consequences would not be good. Their eye contact held a look of warning, of protection, and depending on what you were doing, a look of discipline.
I will never forget as children when my brother and I rigged the small part of a walkway to collapse when stepped on it, thinking it was a funny prank. Yet, there was nothing funny about the phone call my mom received from our friend’s mother. Her son had been injured when he stepped through, walking exactly where we had tricked him into stepping. The feeling of dread, knowing that we were in trouble and would have to face the music, was immense. The look in her eyes and sound in her voice had me praying that the rapture would happen any moment!
If you are a parent or hold a position of authority, you understand the effects of giving someone that same look. It is not something you try to do, it is instinctual. The goal is that they will stop whatever it is they are doing before having to experience negative consequences. If they have already done it, your look lets them know their action will not be tolerated. You are not acting from a place of animosity; rather, you are taking this step for their own good.
In the same way, there is “a look” from our heavenly Father that we catch with the eyes of our heart. This look causes instant conviction, immediate knowledge that we have missed or are about to miss the mark. In those moments, it is up to us to humble ourselves so our heart can remain soft. Or, we can continue with our current behavior and experience the consequences He is trying to prevent. He loves us enough to leave the choice up to us.
As the wisest man who ever lived (next to Jesus), Solomon reveals to his son the source of his wisdom:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NIV)
To fear the Lord means to hold Him in a place of healthy reverence and respect. This is not a tormenting fear that leads to panic; rather, we see the perfect example in the life of Jesus. His desire was to please the Father in all things, out of respect for His great name. He was not willing to do anything that He did not first see His Father doing. () May the same thing be said of our lives: that our respect for Him is what motivates us to please Him with every thought and decision we face.
Prayer For Today:
Father, we worship and lift You up. You alone are holy, thank You for dressing us in the robe of Your righteousness. We ask You to root us deeper in the fear and reverence of Your great name. May our hearts be further tenderized to recognize every look you are giving, both of approval and of conviction. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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