Our long time Pastor, mentor, oversight and friend, Apostle Mary Edlin used to say, “There’s one thing we can be sure of… God always has the last word.” She didn’t say that to instill a sense of shaking in our boots fear of God. Instead, the phrase reminds us of the utmost respect and honor we should have for God.
In Search of Joy and KnowledgePsalm 2:11; Proverbs 1:7 The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines reverence as an “honor or respect felt or shown, with profound adoring, awe and respect”. This describes what our attitude should be toward God. We are called to revere the Lord, or fear the Lord. This is not a shaking in our boots fear of the Lord. But it is the realization that God has the last word.
Psalm 2:11 says, “Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.” King Solomon tells us the “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
It is here we discover our source of joy and knowledge as we sojourn together.
Moving Beyond Sloppy Agape
Many love God and serve the Lord, but this love and serving does not come from a place of reverence. Instead, it’s based in a sense of what we can call sloppy agape. In other words, there’s a belief that God is love and no matter what we do, He will always love us. While this is true, such an understanding of God’s love eliminates a healthy understanding of “profound awe and respect”.
A healthy understanding of the fear of the Lord leads to rejoicing and true knowledge. Some today hold to the old adage, “it is better to ask forgiveness later rather than permission now”. In other words, in a sloppy agape world, we can do whatever we want, without asking for permission. Then when things don’t go our way, we simply ask forgiveness, God waves His magic wand, and all is forgiven.
God is true to His word and forgiveness is given. However, with such an attitude, there’s no sense of responsibility or accountability toward what we shouldn’t have done in the first place.
Empowered On the Journey
Pondering the words of Psalm 2:11-12 and Proverbs 1:7-9 empower us on our journey. Seeking His wisdom enables a discovery of a healthy attitude of profound adoring, awe and respect toward God. As we respond in a positive way to a call of reverence, we in turn unlock the blessings of the Lord.