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Striving for Perfection


26/07/2012

Having a healthy attitude towards God

As I was reading through Psalm 19 recently I was contemplating the miracle of God’s word and how clear God has been about how we can live the right kind of life. It’s pretty straight-forward really, read God’s word, believe God’s word, apply God’s word. It isn’t rocket science after all! But as I read through verses 7 – 11 and considering the perfection of God’s word I noticed something among the lines that seemed to leap out at me... among all the verses extolling the word of God there was in fact one line that did not refer to God’s word, yet equated itself with God’s word in terms of its level of importance... So verse 8 ends ‘The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living...’ then verse 9 ‘Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever...’ 

So ‘reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.’ Or to put it in more familiar terms ‘the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever’. Now God’s word is objective, it is written down and clear. We can look at it, examine it and apply it and it will always produce in us what God says it will. It is perfectly designed for us humans to make us right with God. ‘The fear of the Lord’ however is something subjective, in other words, it is something we experience in ourselves. It is a heart attitude that comes from having experienced God’s salvation. It is not native to the human soul outside of Christ, it is a gift given to us by God at the point of our conversion. But what a mighty ally this is! It creates within me a disposition that is entirely suited to growing in grace and walking with God. In fact, it is the one thing that God can see in me that he loves. How can I justify that statement? Simply because this verse tells us it is ‘pure’ and God loves purity. Just as God’s nature is repelled by sin and impurity, so He is drawn to purity and holiness. 

So God gives me a gift in salvation that prepares me to receive all that He has for me now and in the future. There are indeed many other verses in the Bible that extol ‘the fear of the Lord’. In one place we read, ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ Then again ‘the fear of the Lord is to depart from evil’ and if I may add one more, ‘By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.’ That’s a pretty impressive list if I do say so. So whatever else I may desire in life, at the top of that list should be to have ‘the fear of the Lord in my heart.’ Speaking from a mercenary perspective (which you may feel is out of tune with the subject) the fear of the Lord is probably the greatest thing I can ever seek to have in my life, I mean, it promises me life, riches and honour, it will help me to avoid sin and give me great wisdom... not bad! Not bad at all!!! (and that’s just looking at a few verses on the subject – there are plenty more)

Ok, so what can you do if you haven’t got ‘the fear of the Lord’ in your heart? Well the good news is you can be taught it. Psalm 34:11 tells us that the ‘fear of the Lord’ can be something you learn. You learn it by being careful what you say and avoiding lying, as well as turning away from evil and seeking to do good. In other words, set your heart on a course to do what is right and pleasing in the eyes of the Lord and he will teach you to fear Him. 

 
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