One thing I really love about my association with Rev. Shyju Mathew and the ministry of Revive Nations is the privilege of witnessing the tangible presence of God at work in the lives of people. One such time was the meeting at ‘Charisma Fire’ in Trivandrum earlier this month. At one point during the meeting, as Rev. Shyju was ministering the glory of God descended so powerfully upon the place, that he had to stop preaching. What I experienced at that point was absolutely incredible.
There was such a fear of God that descended upon my soul and I just felt like I couldn’t take it anymore, that I needed to run out of that place to remain alive. It was so real to me, that even now when I think of it, I can sense an awe, of how awesome God is, grip me.
The more I think about my experience, the more I realise that we lack the fear of God in our lives today. In fact one of the reason for that is also because we have essentially stopped hosting God in our midst. We have succumbed to comfortable ideologies about God, which at times are partially biblical but fails to communicate the real personna of who God really is!
This is what the bible says about the apostles and the first century church.
Acts 2:43 NLT
“A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.”
The ministry of the apostles, together with the believers of the first century church, brought forth a mighty revival, with salvations and baptisms and communion services being conducted on a daily basis. Boy! That has got to be some real revival! Our definition of revival these days is so narrow that we end up calling anything and everything a revival.
But I believe that, whenever there is a genuine revival there will be a “deep sense of awe” that will continue to grip the hearts and the souls of people everywhere beginning from people inside the church and also outside. Like it happened in Jonah’s time, the King, the nobles and the common man were gripped by the fear of God and the need for repentance!
The fear of God is absent even within the church these days. When I hear stories of some leaders and believers, the one thing I am led to question is why do they not fear God? It is very true that it is not a fear of God but His love that should compel us to flee sin. However, I’ve not known one person on planet earth who has had a genuine encounter with the love of God and came out of it without a sense of fear, awe and greatest respect to the greatness and the holiness of God.
Acts 5:11 NLT
“Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.”
This is what happened as a result of Annanias and Sapphira being slain by God in the presence of Apostle Peter as a result of lying to the Holy Spirit. Only if we would realise that the God whom we serve is love and at the same time is a consuming fire, would we stop taking God for granted in so many areas of our lives.
My prayer for you and for myself is that our lives be lived in such synchronisation with God’s heart and presence that it would create a genuine fear of God in the lives of the people around us!
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)
Do you agree with Pastor Priji on this post? What is your understanding on the fear of God? How can we live our lives in a way that people in and out of the church will experience the fear of God through us? Share in the comments section below.