Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Revere The Lord, Your God!

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. ~Hebrews 12:28-29

What is reverence? Reverence is a feeling of deep respect, love, awe and esteem. Because of His majesty and holiness, God arouses a feeling of reverence in those who worship and serve Him. (Nelson’s Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible)

Through out the bible, there are many instances in which the people bowed down before the Lord as they came before His Presence. Their encounter caused them to fall prostrated whether they were seeking healing, in thanksgiving or in worship. Most of those who came seeking and bowing didn’t know Him, but heard of His power and their need produced faith; faith that brought freedom and healing. They arose with awe of His love, goodness and power causing them to praise His Holy Name. They went forth boasting of the One who delivered them from their afflictions, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. In the atmosphere of His presence there was a sense of awe of His Majesty!

Oh God! We have lost that sense of awe! Somewhere, somehow along the way we have forgotten His Majesty. Long ago, when we first encountered Him through our desperateness and brokenness, we found Him. He embraced us, forgave us, transformed us and we tasted His goodness. Oh how we sang His praises unto all who lent their ear!

But then, somehow we entangled ourselves with the routine of living a Christian life and we lost our awe. Our once fiery and passionate love slowly dissipated and our affections turned away from Him.

Our devotion now consists of attending weekly services, occasionally attending bible studies and rarely attending prayer meetings. We have become content and passive in our service to the Lord. (“This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me" ~Mt. 15:8).

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever--holy and awesome is his name. ~ Ps. 111:9

Is it NOT enough the salvation we received to keep us in that place of awe and reverence? The sacrificial love that He offered to each of us deserves a continual flow of gratitude, love, awe and esteem.

My heart grieves when I enter the sanctuary and I see the people talking amongst one another, sitting nonchalantly, and even sleeping while others are worshipping the Lord! The children are running, people are coming and going. There is no respect for the house of the Lord and neither reverence for His Presence. And these are the very ones that will sit and complain that they didn’t feel His Presence in the service. Yet they did not position themselves to seek Him and distracted others that did!

Please people of God, teach your children to revere Him as well, if they are too small  and are crying then take them to the nursery until they are calmed.  If you are sleepy, then stand! It's hard to fall asleep while standing and if you do, well atleast you be on your face prostrated!  If someone approaches you to discuss something that is not important, ask them kindly to speak to you afterwards! Give God your full attention despite if you don't "feel" Him! He is worthy of such!

I wonder if Jesus was physically present with us, if He was sitting by our side, would we still be sitting, talking or sleeping or would we fall flat on our face.

"The first element in worship is adoration. The Hebrews expressed this by their posture and not alone by their word. For they prostrated themselves before God. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Ps. 95:6). They did not come with an easy familiarity into the presence of God, but were aware of his greatness and majesty, and came with a sense of privilege to His house." H.H. Rowley "Worship in Ancient Israel"

We serve a Holy and Sovereign God! And He deserves ALL of our heart. A heart filled with love, passion and holy reverence not only for the great things He has done in and through our lives. But for Who HE is! He is God! We have been privileged to come boldly before His Throne. Therefore let us do so in holiness, reverence and awe …lifting holy hands, rendering our hearts and bowing before Him as the King He is….

““Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.
Who will not fear you, O Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
~ Revelations 15:3-4

Article for further reading on Reverence Toward God