Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Penciled Prayers: Do I Fear You as I Should, Lord?
Lord God Almighty, my Creator and King, do I fear You as I should? I know I should not live in terror of Your wrath, for You have saved me. I know, by faith in Your Son, You are my Father, not my condemning Judge. Yet I know to fear You because I love You and because I am known by You. I do not want to face Your always perfect discipline. I fear disappointing You. I fear hearing the rhetorical, "What have you done?" Instead, I long to hear You say, "Well done."
Father, the man who fears You is wise. The man who says he has no fear of You is a fool and self-deceived. The believer who says he has no fear of You is like the second son in the story of the prodigal. His familiarity with his father bred contempt for his father. He thought nothing of dishonoring his father. He took both his father and his father's love for granted. He loved himself and his friends more than he loved his father. All this, all this and likely more, while remaining under his father's roof.
O Lord, You promise friendship to those who fear You. Quite literally, You promise to provide secret counsel to those who fear You--certainly not in a Gnostic way, but rather the counsel that comes with intimate relationship between a father and a child. Lord, I pray I fear You rightly so You will continue to intimately communicate with me through Your precious Word--the Bible.
Your Word describes a symptom of man's depravity as living with a blindness, with no view to the fear of God. Then it must only be the man who has experienced the outpouring of Your grace and mercy through salvation, which leads him to repentance, who fears You. With a heart forever changed, with eyes from which the veil had been removed, he can have the wisdom to fear the One who saved him. For You, O Lord, save people from You--the only Lawgiver and Judge.
Lord, You make Yourself known to those You save. I thank You, Father, for I had no fear of You before You saved me. I had no respect or reverence for the Triune God who created me. But You changed that in an instant, in the blink of an eye. One moment You were an utter offense to me. The next moment, I feared even the thought of offending You. Thank You, Father, for changing me.
Yet Lord, do I fear You enough? Do I fear You as I should? If I do not, please bring me to repentance.
Father, with each passing day it seems that there is less fear of You in the American Evangelical Church. Churches blaspheme You with offerings of strange fire of many different kinds, turning Your pulpits into a ringmaster's star at the center of a circus floor. There is no fear of God in their eyes; only the fear of man. O Lord, please bring American Evangelicalism to repentance!
Do I fear You as I should, Lord? Do I fear You rightly? Do I fear You enough? While You have not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self-control, Your Word promises good things to those who rightly fear You.
Please, Lord, help me to discern; help me to understand. Help me to know the difference between sinful fear and godly fear. Please give me wisdom, which is birthed from proper fear of You. And may my fear of You result in more holiness, godliness, and righteousness in my life, as well as an exponentially greater love for You.
In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.