One of the things that I periodically take time to do, is check to see if I have a healthy fear (reverence) of the Lord. What does it mean to fear the Lord?
The fear of the Lord is all about reverencing God for who He is. It’s about understanding His power and might. Its understanding that He created everything with a purpose. Its understanding that God alone can and will redeem our soul and deliver us from the destruction of Satan’s efforts—if we will learn to revere Him and His Word above all things in life.
Some years ago, God spoke to me in one of my quiet times with Him. He was kindly but firmly chastising me. He said, “Tim, unless you learn to revere and esteem my words and the things I say to you, over that which you hear from men, I will be nothing more than just one more opinion in your life—an opinion that you will discard or forget about. It is only when you reverence my Word above the words of men that you will experience my Word coming alive, speaking direction into your life, bringing instruction and causing life-transformation that will always take you toward my blessings. My word has to have preeminence in your life.” Upon hearing this from the Lord, I was reminded of Acts 5:29 that says “… we must obey God rather than men!”
I was convicted, humbled, corrected, and repentant after hearing these words. These word triggered one of the greatest changes of my life. It was this word from God that led me to begin daily journaling what God was speaking to me, which in turn led me to begin the journey of writing Fresh Manna. That simple act of obedience resulted in me writing daily devotions that have now been read in over 217 countries around the world. Could I have ever known that would happen? No, but reverence led to the obedience which created this life-changing opportunity! It has happened to me again and again. It happened when I obeyed God and created the world’s first commercial fold-down infant changing table that you know see in public bathrooms all over the world. Reverence and obedience will create amazing opportunities that are all hidden in His plan for your life!
Why does God want us to reverence Him? Is He on an ego trip? Is He a dictator? God forbid that we would ever think any thoughts of this kind. To the contrary God is pure in love, mercy and goodness. His desire for us to reverence Him is so that as we follow His leading—the result which will be a life of blessing. His perfect will for each of our lives will ultimately lead us into a life we look back on and consider greatly blessed. That is exactly how I feel today looking back over my life.
God speaks to us through His word so that He may lead us in our thoughts and create godly desires that motivate us and lead us in His path and will for us. We see this in Psalms 37:4 (NIV) which says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” And, Psalms 37:23 (NKJV) that says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” And again in Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV) which says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” All this direction that leads our life into God’s blessing comes to us through His Word—if we reverence what He says!
A part of reverencing God is to learn to pay attention and respond to the impressions we feel in our heart that often come from His word speaking to us! From this comes His blessing, deliverance from evil, and divine protection.
Learning to obey God in the simple day-to-day impressions in our heart that we suspect are from Him is how we learn to follow His Spirit. If you continually neglect responding to those impressions, they eventually fade. You’ve not learned to value reverencing God’s voice and His direction for you. You’ve neglected the small things that God is directing you to obey Him in. He wants obedience in the small impressions of the heart.
Impressions of the heart come to Christians far more often than they are aware of. If we learn to obey them, we learn to live a Spirit-filled, Spirit-directed, empowered life. If not, we become like King Saul.
Saul was a king that was chosen by God to serve His purposes and be blessed in the process. Saul saw God lead him and work supernaturally in His life. Yet his desire for gaining the respect of others became more important than obeying what God was telling him to do. He stopped reverencing God as you’ll see various verses in Samuel chapters 10-15.
“Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the LORD anointed you leader over his inheritance? The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power… and you will be changed into a different person….God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled… Sometime later… “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
God delights when our reverence for Him leads us to obey those promptings in our heart. His grace will supernaturally help us do them. It is always important to take time at some point in your life and ask, What is and what has God been impressing upon my heart to do for some time? Learn to catch those impressions of the heart and promptings you feel as you read God’s Word. Remember, He only wants to help you and lead you to blessing. Obedience will develop your spiritual character, heighten your love for God, and lead you to His will and blessing.
James 1:25 (NLT) “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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