Fears—everyone has them. The very thing I’ll be doing immediately after Dr. Jeff’s introduction is the number one fear I found when I researched “things people fear the most.” Yes, public speaking is considered a “social phobia” and it tops the list of things that people fear the most. It’s hard to imagine considering the competition: death, poverty, loss of a loved one, sharks, etc. Interestingly enough however, is that nowhere on the list of things people fear the most is the “fear of the Lord.” Sure, not everyone surveyed was a professing believer, but since the study was conducted in the United States, where the majority of people still claim Christianity as their faith, it should have had some influence on their responses. I pray “fear of the Lord” missed the list because of a proper understanding of what it really means, awe and reverence for a holy God; may it always be.
But I have a strong suspicion that is not the case at all, especially if we observe the lives of most church attendees. If what is easily observable is any representation of how most “professing Christians” really feel about Yahweh, then I’d say self-deception is much more prevalent than awe and reverence. A sad commentary for sure, and I shudder when I think about what God views as lip service. Y’shua said this of religious hypocrites, as He affirmed the words of the prophet Isaiah; “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” Self- deception is much more common than we would like to admit and, as you can see, we are not alone; both the children of Israel and first-century leaders suffered from the same character defect.
One of the hardest things to do in our daily walk with Christ is to recognize the areas in ourselves that require attention. These are classically things we like to avoid, often painful things.
Unfortunately, these are the sins in our lives that ought to be addressed promptly, but instead we oftentimes minimize them, saying, “I’m not perfect; I’m just a human.” Of course you are human! But that should be no excuse for Christians, as you are no longer “just human”. You are now human with a heart possessed by God. My prayer for you today is you put aside your defense mechanisms and let God’s word be the spiritual scalpel He designed it to be, one that is “sharper than any two edged sword.”