Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fear vs Respect

Respect...Reading through the book of Acts has always been one of my favorite things to do. Anyone who says there is nothing exciting about serving God is silly! Since I tend to be quite imaginative in my mind, the scenes along with possible surrounding details are vivid and filled with emotion...LOL. I laugh because living life through  my dramas has its good and not so good ramifications. However, it can be fun!

Aside from all the drama in my mind, Luke makes a simple statement in chapter nine that I cannot get away from. He says this, "Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it (referring to the church) increased in numbers." (Vs. 31) There are many meanings that have been associated with the word, fear; most of which have often been negative. As someone who has battled anxious thoughts, it is important for me to remember that this word does not necessarily mean that I must live in a frightened state. In reality, when the word fear first appears in Genesis 15, it references our willingness to stand in awe of who God is. The challenge here is for us to consciously choose to remember and stand in awe of who God is and what He is able to accomplish. I can focus on my circumstances and my physical response of fear, however, those things distract me from " in the fear of the Lord...". When I choose to focus on what God has done for me already, His provision, His companionship, His faithfulness; I purposefully place myself in a position of standing in awe of Him. My emotional response of fear begins to dissipate. 

Even in relationships, the word respect comes from the same stand in awe of. The Holy Spirit will always point us to the characteristics and faithfulness of our Lord. That is one of His many comfort, encourage, guide. The Spirit of God will always focus our attention on the truth, the reality of God's steadfast love and unfailing mercy. I am so grateful for the correction when I become distracted

My prayer for anyone who reads this AND for myself is that as we live in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of His Spirit we can be assured of ministry, in relationship and in peace. 

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