The right approach..

I read a really good post recently by Andy at http://www.BerryBunch.family about approaching God with respect. It was called God, You and Me S3 E19- I recommend a read of the transcript or you can watch the episode. It reminded me of when I was discovering the “Fear of the Lord”.

A few years ago I posted a few thoughts about rediscovering the fear of the Lord which I’ve reproduced with a few updates below:

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“.

As Christians we long to see people coming to know Christ, finding salvation and having a relationship with Father God through faith in Jesus.

The Holy Spirit spoke to us a few years ago during a time of prayer and intercession about the fear of the Lord being restored within the body of Christ.

I don’t know about you, but I had never heard a sermon about the fear of the Lord and didn’t really understand what it meant.

I did understand that fear in this context is not about being afraid of the Lord – I’ll stress that again:

IT DOES NOT MEAN BEING AFRAID OF GOD

but I didn’t really grasp that it is:

an attitude of complete reverence in response to the revelation of God.

The dictionary explains reverence as a deep and profound respect, worship of or being in complete awe of someone. An outward expression of that deep respect would be to bow or prostrate yourself before them. In worship times we sometimes kneel, bow or prostrate ourselves before God.

It’s like Isaiah’s response in Isaiah 6 when he sees God’s throne. Isaiah realises how sinful he is and holy God is. He feels completely undone. It’s like John’s response when on the island of Patmos whilst worshipping in the Spirit he sees King Jesus in all His glory and falls to his feet as though dead.

When we have a revelation of our awesome Holy God as revealed in His Word, we respond by living in humility towards God and in loving obedience to Him.

It makes me consider again how absolutely incredible it is that as the Apostle Paul teaches us in Hebrews 4:16 we can now “boldly” approach God’s throne of grace because of Jesus. Not arrogantly through anything I’ve ever done or by treating Jesus’ sacrifice for me in disdain, but confidently because my sins are completely cleansed in Jesus, I’m forgiven and righteous in Christ alone. God sees me as redeemed in Christ.

So I guess the challenge to keep before me and to regularly consider is. What is my attitude when I approach God. Do I have an attitude of deep love, respect, reverence, humility and thankfulness. Understanding again the power of the blood of Jesus that has cleansed me and made it possible to even be able to approach God.

The Bible has much to teach us about the fear of the Lord and the promises attached to it when we live in that attitude.

Psalm 111:10 It is foundational to wisdom as this verse teaches us “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.

Job 28:28 “Behold the fear of the Lord that is wisdom”.

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

These verses from Proverbs help us 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 who is our example delighted in the fear of the Lord.

In Isaiah 11 verses 2-3 it says 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.”

Jesus delighted in the fear of the Lord…. I had not considered it that way before. It’s a delightful thing. I too want to delight in it and learn to walk in it.

At the time we prayed this simple prayer from the teaching materials on this subject. If you feel led then please pray it too:

“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”.

The heart of worship

I was reminded this week of how easy it can be to neglect our worship times with God especially in the current COVID circumstances. I can get distracted by doing life, work and the busyness of doing and then my times of personal worship to God suffer.

The Lord prompted me through a dream not to neglect the former things but to return to the heart of worship. There is a song about this by Matt Redman with beautiful lyrics which say:

“When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart”

Those words really spoke to my heart and as I listened to the song, I realised again how gracious God is when He gently reminds me to check my heart and draws Me back to Him. The source of life and perfect peace.

A glimpse of heaven awaits us in our times of worship. We lift up our eyes to His throne and His glory. Heaven’s seat of might and power. As we worship we see the Lamb of God..His beauty, His power, His glory. Heaven’s darling. We saturate ourselves in His presence through our praise and worship. We get a heavenly perspective of things and clearer revelation to help us be steadfast in faith and overcome things. We ascend those hills of praise and answer His call to come up higher to Him. To ascend the hill of the Lord. Our faith rises up as we gain fresh understanding and revelation of our great God and Jesus. We encounter the refreshing power of His Holy Spirit as we meet with Him.

I encourage myself (and I hope you) to keep the music of heaven and worship alive in our hearts. We exchange the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise and are filled with the joy of our salvation.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” Psalm 42:1

Bless the Lord Oh my soul

Whilst walking in the park the other day, these words kept coming to me, “Bless the Lord oh my soul, forget not all His benefits, who heals all our diseases”. I started singing the words from the song 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord by Matt Redman which starts with the same words , “Bless the Lord oh my soul” but I also remembered includes the line “May I be singing when the evening comes”.

I pray for those who are going through very difficult times at the moment that God will strengthen you by His grace. His grace is sufficient for us and His mercies are new every morning. Keep going, hold on, keep your eyes lifted to Him. He is sovereign and on the Throne. He loves us with an everlasting love. Remember His faithfulness and promise to be with us at all times and in all circumstances. I encourage you not to give up your confidence in Him but hold on so that when the evening comes you will be able to say “Bless the Lord Oh my soul”.

Psalm 103 is a beautiful and uplifting Psalm. I have posted it below and hope as you read it today that you are blessed, edified and inspired by Gods Word.

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.

Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord , O my soul!
Psalm 103:1-22

I have added the link to Matt Redman’s song 10,000 reasons below.

Have a blessed day in Jesus name.

It’s time for a praise party! Rise up in praise people of God #24/7 praise

Morning everyone 😁 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord hallelujah! hallelujah! hallelujah! It’s time to rise up in praise to our God. Psalm 150 what incredible words of praise. Let all things praise God.

We are at a time I believe when giving praise to our God is key to seeing His kingdom come and overcoming the darkness and evil which is seeking to rise up in these times in opposition to God. There is power in praise. Power to see victory and freedom in our lives. Power to overcome.

Satan hates our praises of God and will do what he can to stop us praising our mighty, wonderful and awesome God. He wants to silence God’s people and rob our praises. He wants to silence us so much. We under estimate how much he wants to rob our praises. He wants to discourage us. He wants to distract us from praising. He wants to try and quash any revival amongst Gods people.

We see around us disease, civil unrest, injustice, violence and lots more evil at work at this time but God is on the throne. Light is more powerful than darkness. Good is more powerful than evil. Truth is more powerful than lies. Hope is more powerful than despair. Death is defeated in Christ Jesus. Satan is defeated.

I refuse to be silenced at this time. I will speak, shout out, sing, write and declare my praises to God and Jesus. I am waking up with praises running around my head at the moment so can’t ignore this prompting from God’s Holy Spirit.

My actions, what I do, my very existence and my life will be my praise to Him. My very breath every day is testimony and praise to Him and the power and grace He works in my life. So it is in yours too!

Take hold of that. Who you are, your very life in Christ, your faith and service of Him is a powerful testimony of Gods amazing work of grace and redemption. We may fall and mess up but His grace is more than sufficient for us. His mercies are new every morning. His forgiveness is overwhelming.

Our Father in heaven and our saviour Jesus are worthy of all praise, honour and glory. All glory and honour belong to them. Whatever is happening at the moment, whatever season we are in, let us praise. In the good times and in the bad. He is worthy. Not because of what He does or has done or will do but simply because of who He is.

At the moment many of us cannot meet together as Gods people for corporate praise. Let’s get creative. Let’s share ideas and our praises. Let there be 24/7 praise to our God.

Can I encourage you to praise. To keep praising or to start again if you have stopped. Let’s get the praises to our God and King flooding the airwaves and the spiritual realm with truth, hope, life and light.

Praise Him in your homes, in your car, on your phones. Share praises with your social network, organising online praise parties or meeting in smaller numbers outside to praise. There is great praise music and resources out there on line to help. There are bible readings on line. Play or read aloud the word of God.

Let’s get praising Hallelujah 🙏🙏🙏 please share and encourage everyone you know to praise our awesome God. Let’s get a praise party going 24/7 down here on earth just as it is in heaven to Him who sits on the throne.

Revelation 4 v 8 “ and they do not rest day or night saying “ holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come.

V11 you are worthy, O Lord to receive glory, and honour and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created”

24/7 praises Amen 🙏

Going deeper for the treasure

grayscale photography of man jumping on body of waterOnce a month our fellowship has started an evening service dedicated to worship and seeking God’s presence.    I had a picture during the worship time recently of a large lake.  A leisure lake and there were lots of people enjoying and having fun in the water.  Some people were running and jumping into the lake, doing back flips, dive bombs etc.  Some people were stood on the shore just dipping a toe into the water – testing it out.   Some went up to their knees for a paddle – some ventured a bit further and started swimming.    I felt God saying that the lake represented His presence.    People entered and experienced it differently.  Some people were taking things slowly (especially if this was new to them) whereas some would dive straight in,  but the most important thing was taking that first step.    If you want to start by dipping your toe or if you are the sort of person to jump straight in then that is fine.   That is your starting point and from there we gain the confidence and enjoyment to stay longer and go deeper with God.    God wants to encourage you not to stay in the shallows all the time though and also not just to play around on the surface but to go deeper with Him.

 

 

gold beaded necklaces on gold jewelry box

In the picture, I saw people diving down below the surface of the lake going deeper and deeper down.    As they did so they discovered beautiful pearls on the bottom of the lake- some of the pearls were hidden in the weeds, some were hidden in the muddy depths, some were in the dark places – these pearls were God’s treasure that was hidden waiting to be discovered.     As we go deeper into God’s presence we will discover this treasure that He has for each one of us.   We have to search it out and press in even when we feel uncomfortable.  I encourage you today not to stay at your starting point but to press into God and see what He has for you and what you will discover about Him.