We were taking communion on Sunday and I was reminded of God’s banqueting table and that His banner over us there is love. The words are from the Song of Solomon but we also sing a worship song about God bringing us to His banqueting table. It is only through that act of selfless love when Christ died on the cross that we have the ability to come to that banqueting table and to the place prepared for us there. Christ issued the invitation and I accepted. Christ’s banner of love is over me and all around me when I am there. I have a place at the banqueting table and so I have access to the full provision of God. I am dressed appropriately for the banquet with the garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness because I have accepted Christ as my saviour, so there is no chance that I will be refused entry, but how often I can neglect to go there and take hold of and enjoy all that Christ has obtained for me at the Cross. Thankfully, the invitation from God is always open to come at any time – 24/7. There is always a welcome and my place will never be filled by anyone else so there is always a guarantee that I will have a place at the banqueting table. God can do exceedingly above all that I ask or imagine there because he is a God of abundance. The banquet is a picture of abundance and plenty for everyone. The best food and drink are laid on at the banquet for the guests. Let’s not neglect to ask God for the things that we need and to trust Him to provide for us and sustain us. It might be physical or spiritual sustenance that we need and we can be sure that whatever it is, He will be faithful to meet our needs. Allow Him to fill us there with His love there so that we can be changed and overflow that love to others. There was a time a few years ago when we were away on retreat and the leader encouraged us all to take up the invitation to come to God’s banqueting table. He pulled up a physical chair and invited us to take our seat at the table. We did so and as we did that physical act we saw and imagined ourselves seated at the table feasting on all the provision of God that Christ had obtained for us. It had a profound effect on me. I encourage you to take up your place at God’s banqueting table today. Don’t leave it empty.
The early church prospered and walked in the fear of the Lord. In Acts 9:31 it says “and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied”. We long to see new people coming to know Christ and finding salvation. The Lord spoke to us earlier this year about the need for the fear of the Lord to be restored within the body of Christ at this time. I have never heard a word preached on the fear of the Lord and didn’t understand truly what it meant. I knew that fear in this context is not about being afraid of the Lord but didn’t understand that it is an attitude of complete reverence in response to the revelation of God and then responding by living in submissiveness towards Him. Being obedient to Him. Being holy for he is Holy. Job 28:28 says that “Behold the fear of the Lord that is wisdom”. We are constantly asking God for wisdom and this is one of the keys to discovering Godly wisdom.
The Bible has much to say about the fear of the Lord when you look in to scripture. Psalm 25:12 “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses”. v 14 “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him: and He will show them His covenant”. Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life; And He who has it will abide in satisfaction, He will not be visited with evil” Malachi 3:16 “fear of the Lord and who meditate on His name”.
Proverbs tells us how to discover the fear of the Lord Proverbs 2 1-5 “My son if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, yes, if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God”.
Jesus understood the fear of the Lord. In Isaiah 11 2-3 it said about Jesus “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, Spirit of wisdom and understanding, Spirit of Counsel and Power, the Spirit of Knowledge and the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” If Jesus walked in the fear of the Lord and we are called to be like him then we too should walk in the fear of the Lord.
We prayed a simple prayer that we discovered had been written when researching this topic and I encourage you to pray this prayer. “Oh God my Father, I come to you through Jesus Christ my saviour. You have put in my heart a desire for the fear of the Lord. I am asking you from now on to lead me, to teach me and to impart to me this wonderful treasure of yours – the fear of the Lord. In Jesus name. Amen”.