Fear the Lord
This is Day 13 of my 40 day Lenten blog.
It's okay to be afraid sometimes. Even Jesus was afraid. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was so afraid of what was about to happen to Him that He was sweating drops of blood. Jesus knew He was going to face the full wrath of God poured out upon Him, and who would not fear that? Of course, it was for our iniquities, and not Christ's, that God's wrath was poured out. But Jesus knew He would feel the brunt of it all, and thus He was afraid. Yet, Jesus fought His fear by embracing His Father's will. God was in control.
Throughout 2020 there were constant reminders that God is in control. The implication was that we shouldn't be afraid if God is in control. Nonsense. Anyone who has ever read what God does to nations who have turned from Him, worshipped false gods, sacrificed children, and engaged in all manner of sexual immorality should most definitely fear the Lord.
We all need a healthy fear of authority. Without that fear there is chaos. The devil is the god of chaos. We cannot simply say "Well, God's in control so everything is going to be all right. I'll just go about my business as usual." We must understand that God being in control often leads to pain for us in the short term--including His Son being nailed to a cross. But why?
Parents punish children when the children do wrong because otherwise the children will never grow up to be good adults. God does the same thing to us. We must be disciplined so that we might become the holy children He wants us to be. And we should fear that discipline. If we don't fear the discipline we will never turn to the good but will continue on toward evil.
Nineveh was spared God's wrath because they feared His wrath and turned from their wicked ways. We must do the same thing. We live in a time of great moral decadence. It does no good to simply say "God is in control." Of course He is. Everything will work out for good for those who love Him. But how much pain we have to go through to get there depends largely on us. Shall we turn from our wicked ways? Shall we stop worshiping the false gods of entertainment, politics, money, sex, power, fame, etc? Shall we stop sacrificing babies in the womb to our careers, convenience, or swinging lifestyle? Shall we stop legitimizing sexual immorality through movies, TV, and our own sinful lusts? Shall we fear God's wrath and work hard to turn our society back toward Him? Or shall we continue on this path toward destruction? The proper response to God, as Jesus demonstrated, is always obedience to His will.
It is difficult to stand up to a society that legitimizes evil. We are afraid of losing friends or being cancelled or worse. Possibly much much worse. But Christ tells us not to fear those who can kill only the body. We should fear the One that can kill both the body AND the soul. Let us do His will and not our own. Let us turn from our wickedness. Let us be the prophets God wants us to be...before it is too late and His wrath is poured out upon us all.
Today's prayer: Lord, if there be any other way to turn us back toward You without the bitter cup of Your wrath, please spare us. But not my will Lord, but Yours be done.
R.C. VanLandingham lives in Florida with his wife and kids. He is the author of several books including the Christian fantasy books Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity, Peter Puckett & the Enchanted Chalice, and Magdalene Hope & the Elves of Evermore.