Back in my
days, we students had to
preach at a Sunday morning service. My
turn was near the end of the group. The
week before me, Mark got up and preached on the latter rain (if I recall right)
and it was an amazing, encouraging, Spirit charged service. After I thought, man, how do I ‘compete’ with
that? Everyone will compare me with
him. Those thoughts made me far more
Of course it didn’t help that after all my praying the topic the Lord wanted me to speak on was the fear of the Lord. We had been trained to ‘give the right message to the right people at the right time’ and so that was what I was determined to do. I stood up behind the pulpit and began to speak for the first time. Butterflies swarmed in my stomach. In a few minutes I felt the Spirit of the living God moving in me helping me to speak. The nervousness left.
It was very quiet in the service though. People were looking at me intensely. There was none of the cheering and exclamations of the week before. Because of that, I thought it was a complete flop but I didn’t understand why the Spirit seemed so strong when the people didn’t respond. Later, one friend told me, “It was a hard topic for us to hear- convicting,” but that they’d learned from it.
And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom! And to depart from evil is understanding! Job 28:28
Now, I am of the opinion that if we saw God in all His glory we would immediately fall on our faces in fear and trembling and cry for mercy. There are many recordings of men ‘falling on their faces’ in the Bible before God (Isaiah, Ezekiel, John…). Fearing the Lord doesn’t mean being terrified of Him, but rather, knowing His is completely just (1Jh. 1:9) and holy (1Pt. ) and we are unjust (1Pt. ), sinful (Rm. ), and unclean (Is. 64:6).
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done through the body, according to that which he has done, whether good or bad. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men… 2Cr. ,11 (so they don’t face eternal damnation)
And I saw a great white throne, and Him sitting on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. ... And I saw the dead, the small and the great, stand before God. And books were opened, and another book was opened, … the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Rv. 20:11,12
In the end we will ALL stand before a holy God and be judged for our actions whether we are Christians or not. We will face the judgment seat of Christ or the great white throne of God. We would be wise to fear God. We would be wise to depart from evil. For we should understand the day of judgment is coming soon and WE WILL all take part in it.