523256256_6c61919e40_m.jpgWell, it’s been some time since my last post.  This writing stuff is quite the dilemma for me.  When I have time to write, there seems to be nothing worth writing about.  When there is something worth writing, I am so consumed that I don’t have time.  I would like to say, “when it rains, it pours”, and excuse myself.  But, I’m afraid it has more to do with discipline.  There, I’ve said it!  I guess part of it is a desire to write something “good”.  Oops, another confession – my fear of man.  See, this writing stuff is dangerous.  You never know what you might say. 

I have this odd feeling of bearing my soul to a vacuum.  Is there anybody out there?  The LORD has given me quite a bit to say, and He has been up to quite a bit in this ministry, so I want to get the word out to those of you that have supported and loved us.  Your encouragement has been sweet and beyond measure. 

Starting a new ministry has been easier and harder than I expected.  I have learned a lot about myself and the LORD.  He is an awesome and fearsome God.  In our best moments, we wonder why anyone would refuse Him and His awesome love; and why anyone would dare to cross or contend with so fearsome a Being.  Any yet, we find it easy to do both at the worst times.  We are a strange people. 

Why is it that our children will stand under severe correction and punishment over the simplest things, and continue to try and find the place of compromise that carries the least amount of pain and effort?  The frustrating thing is they will do this even when the compromise is absolutely contrary to what they are trying to achieve.  For example, they will hurry through a job, refusing to do their best, knowing that the outcome will be more work in the long run.  It is mind-boggling!  Do they think?  Do they consider the outcome of their actions?

I am convinced that our children have been trapped by three of insidious lies.  The first is that “any excuse will do”.  America is the land of excuses.  We have gotten so good at it that the excuses come before we have time to consider the consequences of our actions. 

The second lie says, “immediate self-gratification is worth future pain”.  This is completely opposite of the truth that led many in America to sacrifice today’s comfort (and life) for the freedoms their children might enjoy.  We have lost our sense of eternity’s importance; and the promise of the future, with it. 

Lastly, our children have been infected with the notion that everything will work itself out in the end.  No need to concern themselves with changing their behavior.  The pain will go away or become bearable if they just hang in there long enough.

These lies have left our children defenseless against the wiles of the Evil One.  Those that have tried this path of compromise and false security have learned that it only gets worse; until the only relief is found in the narcotics of the world – or death.  But, then comes the judgment.  My hearts aches to think of how many are being led into an enternity of suffering.

By the way, here’s a big revelation:  We are also children… with a Father… that wonders when we are going to get it.

So, what is missing?  What have we failed to teach our children, and learn ourselves?  The answer is a healthy “fear of the LORD”.  Yes, I mean FEAR – awe, reverence and terror.  You may recall (though I bet you have never been taught) that Paul said we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Over the years we have lost this understanding of the fear of God.  We have been taught that we must stand in awe and reverence of God; and this is true.  But, the weakening of this understanding has left us with a false sense of security that leaves us, and our children, vulnerable.

Thankfully, God wants to teach us to fear Him. 

When God brought the Children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery, He invited them to approach Him.  In fear, they refused God’s calling.  Ironically, this fear of approaching God prevented them from learning to fear Him rightly.  Instead of going to Him, they stayed behind and left the uncomfortable steps to Moses.  They traded a moment of discomfort for a future of disappointment.  They became whiners, never understanding the power of God’s blessing for them.  Ultimately, they missed out on His invitation into the Promised Land.

The LORD has not changed.  He still wants to teach us.  He is determined to will and to do for His good pleasure, in every person that will seek Him.  Our part is to submit to the lesson and obey His every command.  Obedience and fear are inseparable concepts in the Old and New Testaments.  Interestingly, so is love and obedience.  Only with God could such a relationship exist in harmony.  He desires our love; and He knows that our lack of fear will lead us to compromise and disobedience – and eventual separation from Him. 

I cannot explain the fear of God to anyone’s satifaction.  I am still learning it my self.  It requires each person to approach Him and learn.  What I do know is that it leads to intimacy with God and a surprising number of promises:  angelic protection, provision, great mercy, wisdom, peace of mind, etc.  Do some research yourself.  Go to www.BibleGateway.com and do a search on “fear God” and “fear LORD”.  You will be encouraged to approach Him with a sincere desire to be taught by the Father that loves you and knows what is best for you.

Afraid not the fear,

Rob