Summary: A sermon that seeks to clarify what it means to experience the fear of the Lord
Our mission team that went to Vanuatu was invited to walk to the local volcanoes.
These active volcanoes are a long walk from the coastal villages we were walking in.
One day though we set off at a very early hour and after about five or six hours walking we reached the vbolcanoes.
Then the climb began.
As we climbed up the side of the second volcano the guide we were with stopped me and made me pray before we went on.
The reason for that was he understood the risk.
The volcano is capable of billows of smoke at any moment – the drop either side was not encouraging. On one side is a very deep hole at the bottem of which is a very solid bottem hundreds of feet below.
On the – so called safe side – was a very steep shale slide.
Little wonder that the guide wanted me to pray.
I met an Australian who had been guided up the mountain and he told me that when the mountain had manifested in some way – perhaps a bit of rumbling and emitting of smoke – his guide had run away.
Because these guides understand the dangers of the mountain.
In the same way many people walk on spiritual quicksand, quite unworried because they do not understand the spiritual realities around them.
In the last two weeks I have talked to two people who have sufferred from delusions from being over spiritual.
But that is not the danger that most of us face.
We run the danger of being underdone spiritualy.
Like the tourists on the mountain we can sometimes be in a very vulnerable place and quite oblivious of our danger.
There is a bible verse that describes a quite unusual phenomenon.
PS 19:9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
PS 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
While I was writing this I was listening to a secular radio station.
The announcer was asking questions about the national anthem.
God of nations, at thy feet, hear our voices we entreat.
He was asking what on earth would we be doing at the feet of God.
The truth is, and he said this, that he had no concept of God or his plans for his life.
The truth is that man will never live his life as God intended it to be lived until he discovers what the bible describes as fear of the Lord.
What then is – Fear of the Lord???
I think in many ways it is discovering – quite simply – who God is.
PS 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom - -
When we talk about fear of someone as good as God we are talking about something quite different to fear of something evil.
In 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7 we read:- 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity(fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
This is not the same kind of fear that the bible is talking about when it talks about “fear of the Lord.”
This is a crippling fear that stops the believer living the life God called them to live.