With Reverence And Godly Fear – Josh Journal
How Christianity evolved to exclude any fear for God and retain only enjoyment of grace, provision, and every good thing is a mystery that is beyond me.
For most of us, we have come to see the God of the old testament as different from the God of the new testament.
With grace brought into the equation, we now handle God and His business with levity.
When the veil at the temple was torn at the death of Christ, it signified access to God without the priest as the intermediary. We are now the priests.
Becoming that priest didn’t only mean we have access to God for ourselves and whoever we chose to intercede for. It also means we are supposed to relate with God with the level of reverence, personal holiness and sanctification, and respect and fear for God.
The priest doesn’t show up drunk. Or filthy. Or absent-minded.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:16
We come boldly because we have been granted access. But we should never take that access for granted.
We find grace and mercy. But we shouldn’t take them for granted too.
Do you remember Ananias and Sapphira? That was not in the old testament, it was in the new testament. Their death was totally unnecessary.
They had done a good job. The choice on what to give was theirs to make. Others had done the same to varying degree, so there was nothing unusual.
That was until they told a little lie. A lie so little, any human would argue they didn’t deserve to die for it. And it was in the era of grace.
Yet, people are serving God today with a heart that is totally away from Him. Their impurities are so obvious, yet if you correct them, they’ll scream “judge not”.
Grace does not invalidate the law or the consequence for sin. It gives you a way out.
The problem is that if you give some people trapped in a well a rope to hold on so you can pull them out, they’ll rather tie it around their neck than around their waist.
The same grace that should be saving them is the bedrock for their destruction.
While at it, they feign and display a performative relationship with God.
He has gone from being God to being sky daddy. The Holy Spirit has gone from being a companion to a trickster and jokester for them. He is now the butt of their jokes.
True enough, God is a loving father. But the most loving of father is still a father. He has a duty to keep his children disciplined and well behaved.
When David said “His rod and His staff, they comfort me”, he was referring to two sides to one person.
The Eternal Shepherd of our souls uses the staff to protect and point the flock in the right direction. But he uses the rod to correct and punish the flock as necessary.
If there ever was one man who felt both sides of God, it was David.
Despite being “a man after God’s heart”, God never overlooked his flaws or slip-ups.
From the Barsheba incident to David numbering Israel, he was severely punished. Yet there was no one on record that God loved more than him.
This is not about bowing down, prostrating, or rolling on the floor during worship. It is also not about how you love your neighbors or treat others with care.
You might even be faithful at your duty. More than that, every other aspect of your life might be perfect.
But what I want you to revisit is how you handle God. How do you talk to Him? On what issues do you bring up His name?
Is He now like anyone else, and you can drag His name through the muds? How quick are you to make Him the punchline for your joke?
From “sky daddy” to “smite me o thou mighty smiter”, the snickering is endless. Challenging Him like you would challenge any other man. The list is endless.
In the midst of it all, remember that even Jesus was reverential when He said, “Hallowed be your name.”