Cultivating the Fear of God

Note: Today’s post is the third in a series of posts about the Fear of God. Click the recent posts on the right to see previous posts.

I’ll be honest and say I don’t automatically make it a priority to approach God daily with reverence, humility and worship. My flesh is constantly warring against the desire of the Spirit to commune with God. So how can we cultivate the fear of God in our lives?

The first thing I’ll say may seem obvious: it has to be a daily exercise. When I first started working out again after my third child was born, I was really hoping I’d be able to pick right back up where I left off and be able to do everything I had easily done before. But, alas, the gift of motherhood weighed heavily on my abs (and other places, too). So I started over. And for a pretty long time, every day felt like starting over. Eventually, though, I found a routine and got back into the rhythm of exercise, and it became fun again.

When you’ve fallen out of the habit of communing deeply with God (or have never really begun), starting up may feel really awkward and difficult. But it’s just like exercising your body – with time, you will gain muscle and become more adept at the disciplines. Set aside time each day to enter His throne room and meditate on His character.

Second, study Scripture that reminds your soul of its position before God. Remember that when you view Him correctly, you will automatically see yourself correctly as well. Let’s take Psalm 103:15-19 as an example:

“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.”

Reading this passage of Scripture should stir us toward the fear of God. We are futile and small, but His throne and His love are eternal. This should produce worship in our hearts because He has poured out this love on us! We are among those who will see Him face to face in His throne room someday. So remind yourself of these truths. Write them down as prayers and think about them often throughout the day.

Finally, remember that reverence and humility can be done from afar, but worship requires that we draw near. I have great reverence and humility toward tornadoes, but I have no desire to get close to one! Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you and show Himself to you.

In our next post we’ll talk about the fear of man and how it detracts from and can eventually destroy our fear of God.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What are some of your obstacles to entering God’s presence?
  • Who are a couple of people in your life you can ask to hold you accountable to spending daily time in His presence?

Passages to Study: Jeremiah 32:36-41; John 12:1-8; Luke 1:46-55

Biblical Womanhood: A Series

Pearls on Bible
Three years ago I led a study for some women in our church on six aspects of biblical womanhood. Recently I came across the material again and decided to write several posts about the topics covered in that study.

Let me warn you – this is not a typical discussion of biblical womanhood. I have had more than my fill of books and studies about being a good wife and mother, about marriage versus singleness, and about modesty in a culture of sexual progressiveness. While we certainly benefit from talking about these things, I prefer to go a different route in the discussion.

So here are the topics we’re going to discuss over the next several weeks:

  • The Fear of God
  • Quietness of Spirit (it’s not what you might think!)
  • Wisdom
  • Virtue
  • Submission
  • Diligence

Sound interesting? I’m telling you – I was so floored as I began to study these topics and how they apply to me as a woman belonging to Christ. And I want this to actually be a discussion, not a monologue. So as you read, think, and answer questions, please respond. It’s that comment box at the bottom!!

A side note for those of you who are men: I believe you will be equally blessed to learn about these things with us. Just because you’re not a woman does not mean you don’t need to learn about womanhood. You have women in your life, right? And I’ll bet they hold significant influence and affection in your heart. Understanding their God-given gifts and roles will grow your love for them and for Christ. So stick with us, guys. You’ll be glad you did.

Churches Need Women Leaders

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” Ephesians 4:1

What is the calling to which we have been called? What has God specifically commissioned us to do? First He calls us to be His disciples, to deny ourselves and follow Him (Matthew 16:24), and to love Him with all that we are. Second, He calls us to love and disciple others (Matthew 28:19). I wonder if we’re making it more complicated than it has to be.

I work with leaders. These are women who have already taken up the mantle of responsibility to love and shepherd others. They are strong. They are upright in character. They are committed. But the thing I keep seeing is how timid they are.

I understand. In a church culture in which we are led well by male elders and pastors, we can easily begin to feel as if our leadership is unnecessary. We also don’t want to overstep our roles as women who desire to submit and humbly follow those in authority. But here’s what I’ve learned, both from listening to our male elders and to women in our congregation: we are necessary.

If you have any semblance of biblical knowledge, if your heart longs for the things of God, if you are fighting against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit – I promise there is a sister who needs your leadership. In fact, churches have scores of women who feel stagnant in their faith, who don’t know the Bible, and who simply don’t have the desire to follow Jesus in this season of their lives. They need someone to come alongside them and disciple them.

The problem is we tend to think there needs to be an organized program that allows us to sign our names on a list. We think someone else who’s smarter than we are has to be the one in charge, and we can just show up and follow orders. The truth is that we are not fulfilling our calling when we leave the leadership to someone else.

If your calling is to follow Christ and lead others to do the same, how are you carrying it out? In what ways are you pleading with the Lord for vision? Are you asking Him to show you how to love others with Christ-like gentleness and patience?

You may not be a master organizer or a phenomenal teacher, but you are called. Do you remember that movie “The Princess Diaries?” This normal teenager finds out she’s a princess, and then she has to learn how to fulfill that role. In the same way, we have already been called disciplers. Now we just need to learn how. And it won’t be without its bumps and bruises, but discipleship is a treasure you can’t just sit on. In fact, Jesus told a story about the wickedness of sitting on our “talents” (gifts, time, calling) instead of investing.

You matter. A lot. The lessons you’ve learned from the Lord are meant to be shared with others. You have no idea how the Lord will use you until you step out of your fear and into His calling.

I’d love to hear from you about this topic. Please leave a comment so we can continue the conversation!