awe (3)

Whom Shall I Fear?

“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name” (Psalm 86:11).

As you look at your present life, what do you personally fear? You may be presently struggling with a fear that has gripped your heart deeply. Satan has released a spirit of fear all over the world, but the fear of the Lord counterattacks enemy fear. In light of this fact, we must learn not only about the fear of the Lord but how to walk in the fear of the Lord. Is it your deep desire to learn about the fear of the Lord?
Maybe you wonder, “What does it really mean to fear the Lord?
Some people think that fearing the Lord is like driving down the street while watching a policeman in your rearview mirror. But this is not a true picture of what the fear of the Lord is. It’s more like a teenage driver who suddenly sees her father in the rearview mirror. She quickly puts on her best behavior in driving—eyes on the road, no texting, and stopping at a yellow light. But this tells her that her father really cares enough to follow her. She’s safe. She knows that he is trying to help her develop good driving habits by obeying the laws and staying safe until she gets home. She’s driving but not completely on her own.
For us as God’s people, the fear of the Lord is like living with our heavenly father in the rearview mirror. When we look up we see His wonderful holiness, care, and love. Our fear of Him is mixed with reverence, trust, and love.
To fear the Lord is an extremely positive subject (Isaiah 11:3, Psalm 19:9, 12-14). Jesus delighted Himself in the fear of the Lord. Our hearts are designed in the same way. In the Bible there are at least 300 references to the fear of God. To truly fear the Lord is a joy and a supreme delight when we see it the way God desires. It is not to be afraid of the Lord but to be in awe of Him. But it also can be terrifying as we look at our personal sin in light of God’s consuming fire. Romans 3 is a main chapter on sin that tells us that our chief sin is to have no fear of God (v. 18).
The godly men of the Bible feared God. Joseph was a god-fearing man (Genesis 42:18). Moses feared God and chose god-fearing leaders (Exodus 18:21). David, Daniel, Abraham, and other Bible characters walked in the fear of the Lord. Jesus Himself said not to fear those who can kill the body, but to only fear God (Matthew 10:28).
To live a vibrant and holy life like the godly men of the Bible, we must walk in the fear of the Lord.
We all want a vibrant life. We want a life full of energy, enthusiasm, vim and vigor. We want one that is vivacious, dynamic, passionate, and exciting. This is the dictionary definition of vibrant. Unfortunately we do not often see this. When I look around the world, I see people filled with fear, unhappiness, apathy, and pain. But as Christians we want our lives to be filled with the awe and wonder of God. We want to look forward to the future, instead of living in fear and uncertainly. If we want to find true success, we must live according to God’s design. When we value what He values, our lives will be blessed.
There is no better time to learn about the fear of the Lord as now when human fears are at an all time high. This is the day where we must put the fear of the Lord at the front of all other ambitions. The times we are encountering require it.
Let’s realize that there are so many rewards of fearing the Lord. Here are just a few of the 300+ Bible verses about the fear of the Lord. Quiet your heart and take time to meditate on what the fear of the Lord gives you and what this means in your own personal life: knowledge (Proverbs 1:7), a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27) healing and refreshment (Proverbs 3:7-8), strength to turn from evil (Proverbs 16:9), wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), provision (Psalm 34:9), confidence and refuge (Proverbs 14:26), God’s goodness (Proverbs 31:19), deliverance (Psalm 34:7), mercy (Psalm 103:11), care (Psalm 33:18-19), contentment (Proverbs 15:16), prolonged life (Proverbs 10:27), a satisfying life (Proverbs 19:23), God’s watchful care (Psalm 33:18-19), holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1), and so much more!
In light of these rewards, it is so important that we make it our goal to fear the Lord. If we want to grow in holiness, our long-term success is in the context of the fear of the Lord. We must determine within ourselves to be well-pleasing to God. As Christians, our lives are being set apart unto God and set apart from sin. We live in the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God.
God Sees, Cares, and Rewards
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
We must be aware of God’s presence. He holds us accountable for our words, thoughts, motives, and actions. We must consciously realize that He is watching, that He cares, and that He remembers what we do and rewards us.

  • God sees - We are often so concerned about what others think about us and how they judge what we do. How much more should we be concerned about God’s evaluation of our words, thoughts, actions, attitudes, and motives! He sees us in the hidden place of our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Every hour of our life is meaningful because God sees us completely. As we grow in this minute-by-minute awareness, we will grow in the fear of the Lord. See Hebrews 4:12-13. 

  • God cares and remembers - He is involved in our lives and passionate about what He sees. He finds great value in our daily choices to love Him. Even when we give a glass of water in His name, He takes notice. He cherishes every movement of our heart towards Him. If we repent of the bad things we do, God will forget our sin. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). See Malachi 3:16-17, Proverbs 16:2, and Psalms 56:8.

  • God rewards - When we stand before Him, He will openly reward us (Matthew 6:6, Psalm 45:7, 86:11, 98:10, Proverbs 1:29,31, Romans 12:9). 

    “The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous… By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11). 

The fear of the Lord is a holy fear where we learn to stand in awe and respect the good, greatness, and glorious nature of God. It should be our desire to be near the Lord and to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Through fearing the Lord we can become all that He desires and accomplish that which is beyond our own ability in the natural. God wants our fear of Him to be above every other fear in life.
You may feel that your actions are often mundane, insignificant, and makes very little difference in life. But take notice of this: God sees and cherishes every single thing you do for His glory. Your daily choices to love Him bring great joy to His heart. Realize that God holds the world in His hands and that nothing formed against you shall stand. He is your Strength and Shield. He goes before you and reigns forever. Your God is faithful and always by your side. He is the one you must fear and no other. In my next article we will learn about how to walk in the fear of the Lord.
Let’s ask God to give us a minute-by-minute awareness of His presence and consciously choose today to walk in the fear of the Lord.

“Lord, teach me the fear of the Lord. I ask for an awareness of Your presence. I thank You for being my strength and shield and for being always by my side. You are my light and my salvation and the stronghold of my life. I worship and stand in awe of You today. You are the one I shall fear. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Listen to this song and worship God for His personal care over your life - Whom Shall I Fear 
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” 
(Psalm 27:1)

Intercessors Arise News

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

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Whose Time Is It Anyway?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. - Genesis 1:1-5, 14-19

God created time to help bring order to our lives.  Day and night was established to mark sacred times, and days and years (v. 14).  Do you ever marvel at God's desire for order and structure instead of chaos?  Time brings order to our lives and exists to help us align our hearts, minds, tasks, and all things before God.

Time was Created for Man
God exists both within and outside of time- all at the same time.  This can be difficult to ponder.  For God to create time, He had to already be existing outside of time.  Once he created time, He was both within and outside of time- as God does not abandon His creation or works. 

As created beings made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), God ordained that we live, work, and worship within a structure called, "time."  When God created time, He saw it was good (Gen. 1:19).  His whole work of creation was completed in 7 days.  Have you ever considered that days did not exist prior to creation?  Even the existence of days point us toward God and many of His perfect attributes!  What a perfectly wise God we serve and worship!

The Fall of Man

Those familiar with the creation account in the beginning of Genesis are aware that by chapter 3, Adam and Eve fell into sin.  Sin brought a curse that affected all of creation, including man and time (Gen. 3:17-19).  Since then, all of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:22) 

Taking a Good Thing too Far
Often in our fallen, sinful, world, time can seem to become a burdensome yoke or restrictive slave master.  This was not God's original design.  While time exists to help bring order to our lives, we can easily take orderliness too far- to a point where it can dominate our thoughts, actions, and attention.  When this happens, our relationship with God is the first to suffer.

Sin has warped how we see and utilize time in our daily lives.   It has caused activities, others-focused priorities, and self to usurp God's #1 place in our moment-to-moment lives.

Sadly, in our culture, doing things (whether to please God or self) often take priority over the abiding, deepening, relationship that God desires to have with us on a moment-by-moment basis.  When this happens, time can easily become an idol.  Activities on to-do lists are exalted before time with God, and our flesh becomes the driver of our lives instead of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.  When this happens, and happens with increasing frequency, our awe and wonder of God, His power, perfections, and other attributes, are dimmed- often to a point where God may seem distant or even irrelevant.  Time, and the act of filling our time to accomplish things, replaces a deepening relationship with the Holy, Perfect, Sovereign, Mighty God of all.

When Attention to Time Overpowers the Holy Spirit
Have you ever been in a time of corporate prayer or worship (where two or more are gathered in prayer) that ended seemingly before the Holy Spirit had finished the work He was doing in that time?  Maybe somebody began repeatedly interjecting the word, "Amen" into the prayer meeting in hopes it would end so they could leave for their next activity.  Maybe the meeting was forced to end because the prayer leader had somewhere else they felt they or others needed to be at that time.  Or maybe the Holy Spirit was halted early in doing a ministering work because there was another church service to follow (and it was expected to begin on time).  Maybe a service was on the verge of becoming too long compared to how some attendees were conditioned to stay.  The Holy Spirit was chased away due to somebody's set time schedule.  Sadly, these kind of things happen more than we'd care to admit. 

The Holy Spirit does not often perfectly fit into our schedules, our set-aside times with Him, or the clock on the wall.  What if He desires to minister to or through you beyond, or outside, of your scheduled quiet time?  Will you let Him, or will you permit your other priorities to quench Him?

Some Pertinent Reminders:
God is sovereign (He can freely choose to do whatever He pleases whenever it pleases Him to do so). 

God is our King.  He engages us as He pleases.  Who are we to dictate to Him when He should meet with us?

God is not restricted by time.

His ways are above our ways!

He sees the past, present, and future all at the same time

He knows how He will resolve the meeting, service, or appointment that He'll make you late for- if you stay with Him until He's finished meeting with you.  He also knows how He'll glorify Himself to or through you if you'll let Him complete what He desires to do in that moment.  Will you trust Him to do so and permit Him to complete the deeper work in you He desires to do? 

He knows how He will adjust your circumstances (in ways only He can) so that you'll completely receive what He desires you to hear or experience when you're deeply in prayer, meditation, relationship, or worship with Him.  Will you stay with Him long enough to permit Him to do so?

God is a Perfect Gentleman.  Because He is, so is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  He will not force us to be in communion, meditation, or worship beyond whatever else or whom we prioritize before Him.  He allows us to choose others before Him- but at our own loss.

The Spirit always ministers in the present moment.  He can not be delayed, DVR'ed, or Tivoed (recorded, and then watched/listened to at a different time)! 

The Holy Spirit can be quenched
(doused, chased away, grieved).  Through disobedience, prioritization of others or other things before God, the Spirit can be quenched or grieved. 

We can miss much, if not all, of what the Spirit may desire to teach or do.  This can happen by boxing God into specified appointed times in our schedules.  If we're inflexible with aligning our schedules with God's, we miss out on God's best for us in that moment and afterward.

Liberty Within Prayer
During corporate prayer and worship (where two or more are together doing so), it could be made known to all in advance that all in attendance have liberty to come and go as they please.  This permits the Holy Spirit to continue His work within that time until He's finished with those He's ministering to or through- should they choose to wait for Him.

He extends liberty to us in each moment- to choose whether we'll invite or ask Him to fill, use us, or show us anything we're missing in that moment.  As a Perfect Gentleman, He always leaves the decision up to us.  That's liberty (for better or worse)!

When the Lord has completed showing, teaching, or doing what He desires, He'll release you to your next assignment, activity, etc.  He is trustworthy!

Keeping the First Thing the First Thing
Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."

We belong to God.  We are created to be in constant relationship with Him.  He desires our attention, affection, worship, joy, meditation, lives, hearts, minds; all of us, always to be centered upon and within Him.  Time belongs to God.  The clock gives structure to our days and nights, but He should always rule over time- the time He's given us to live, serve, love, and worship.

Aligning ourselves with God will help us see Him more completely, and catch the greater depths of relationship He desires to have with us.  This is sometimes referred to as redeeming the time.

Let's redeem the time well and yield to the Holy Spirit in His timing!

Lord, you are my all-in-all.  Everything I have and am is Yours.  The time you've given me this day belongs solely to You.  Thank you for giving me this day and night ahead.  I desire to utilize the time you've given me in fellowship with You- even while I work, serve, and do all things as unto You.  Have Your way in me and through me.  Help me to realize things I hold on too tightly to, and grasp You more fully in my heart, mind, life, and soul.  Be glorified and magnified in this day.  Teach me Your ways and show me greater depths of Your heart for me and others.  You are the One I seek.  I worship You.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Stop Filibustering God

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.  Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know what they do wrong.  Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few...therefore stand in awe of God. - Ecclesiastes 5:1-2,7b

God desires to hear his children pray.  He made us, formed us (Psalm 139), and placed love in our hearts for Himself and for others.  Thus, it's good to pray and express our hearts to God in worship and petition.

But how should we bring our petitions to God?  Should we back up and dump our dump truck's worth of concerns on Him and then move on with our lives?  Should we badger or filibuster God to get our way (plead God's ear off to do something our way because we think we know the best possible outcome if we do)?  Or is there a better, more God-honoring way?

Paris Reidhead, a 20th Century pastor, wrote a little book titled, "Beyond Petition: Six Steps to Successful Praying."  In it, he outlines a pattern for praying that I believe presents a well-balanced way to approach God in prayer- anytime and anywhere!
Prayer of Affirmation
Prayer of Confession
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Prayer of Praise
Prayer of Wisdom
Prayer of Faith

It goes beyond the common A.C.T.S. (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication/requests) format to include:
Affirmation: confirming that God loved you even while He knew the worst about you.  He first loved you.  Nothing you've done has earned his love.  He loved you first and He loved you to Himself.  That's why you love Him and follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  David and Solomon prayed prayers of affirmation, and so can you as you pray.
Wisdom:  This is a prayer that's a request to God; asking Him how you should pray.  Prayers of affirmation, confession, thanksgiving, and praise (listed above) have not asked God for anything.  They establish and grow awe and wonder of God in our hearts and minds (and are important as we pray). 
The prayer of wisdom is the first request offered in this format of prayer.  It serves to seek God's heart and thoughts on a matter or concern before we launch into pleading for God to do something we'd like Him to do for us.  It requires first asking Him of His opinion, and then listening, waiting, and being still (remember Psalm 46:10?) to hear His answer(s).  It may also require you to invite others to join you in praying for God's will to be discerned in the matter (this is different than asking somebody to join you in praying for a specific outcome you desire prior to first hearing from the Lord. To pray in that manner would be to potentially invite others to partner with you in badgering God for your will to be done!).  There's a difference between the two, so consider how you plan to ask a praying friend to pray prior to asking them to pray in a specific way!
Once God confirms His will in the matter (directly to you and/or though what He's told praying friends who have faithfully sought the Lord's answer with you), you can pray and earnestly seek Him for the specific result He's revealed to you- and He will do it!  He's faithful, and His promises are true!
To see God's best possible outcome should be our desire in each and every petition or concern that we bring to God.  Yet, how easy it is for us to think through potential outcomes, come up with one we sincerely desire, then request or demand of God that He do it that way!  I've found that as I yield to God first, ask Him to show me how to pray in a matter, listen for His voice, then pray accordingly to what He desires, that He does immeasurably more than I previously thought or imagined possible (Ephesians 3:20)!
Some might say, "But it takes time to wait, to listen for God's voice, and be still before Him!  I don't have that kind of time.  I need the answer or result right now!"
You can have a Burger King (have it your way) result, or you can practice Psalm 46:10 and discover God's much greater result and answer to your prayer- as you align your heart, mind, and soul with Him, and then pray His way in the matter.

As we practice this way of praying; our relationship, trust, faith, dependency, joy, patience, awe, and wonder in the Lord grows!  Those are an incredible number of outcomes that happen when we seek God first, let our words be few (let His words become ours instead of only speaking ours), and be still and in awe of Him!
May the filibustering of God cease! 
Final thoughts:
* A personal relationship is a two-way conversation, not just a one-way dominating speech.

* God's spelling of the word, intimacy = In to Me see.

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