they have no fear

today the preacher said that there were members in our congregation who, after hearing him preach about sin and repentance, left the church and were spotted in a nearby convenience store buying, of all things, reifer rolling papers. No doubt when he heard this, he was grieved and upset. when i heard it woven into the fabric of the sermon today, i too thought about it and was taken aback.

the subject of the sermon was  humility and becoming like a little child in order to enter the kingdom. Interesting, huh?

Then i realized that the problem is that people have no fear of God or what He will do with the offenders. I am reminded of the story of Jesus turning over the tables of the vendors who were selling doves in the temple. not only were they at church but they apparently saw nothing wrong with the practice. The bible doesn’t specifically state if it was on a sabbath day but, really does that matter?

The fear of God is very important for our spiritual survival. it is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10) and the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

fear used as a noun rather than as a verb

but let me explain why this type of fear is different from my desire to live fearlessly. it’s about the object or subject of the fear. if i occupy the space of afraid to live, afraid to change, afraid to grow, then i deny the love and power of God in my life. i am as a statue, a lamp, a sofa, an ottoman. overcoming fear of people and what we percieve they can do to us must happen before one is free.

on the other hand, fear of God is purposeful and good and leads to wisdom, knowledge and understanding on the part of the one who experiences this. at church i see more and more people walking around while someone is praying, talking and passing notes during the sermon, getting up and going to the bathroom during the sermon, walking in front of the camera no less. the list goes on and on.

today’s faux pas was committed by a young man whose cell phone started ringing half-way through the sermon. the gentleman gets up and steps outside to take the call. I could not believe that someone had balls that big (pardon the expression; it exemplifies how I felt as he stood on the church steps taking the call.)

what if what Posley was saying while he’s out there chatting with his boys might have been the very thing that God wanted him to know that would change his life forever.

Like when God showed me beyond any doubt: What looks like an emergency is not–God can handle it.  Life-changing.

Unfortunately, he forfeited the wisdom and he’ll never know and because he lacks that knowledge for that thing, and he has no fear of God. because if the fear is the beginning, the lack of it is a beginning too.

It’s the same phenomenon i witness when i’m driving. there is no fear of the road or the power of a 2-ton vehicle moving at speeds that exceed 40 miles per hour. Nobody wants to use their brakes–as if braking is an inconvenience. i’ve experienced it in traffic: i look in my rear view mirror just in time to see a car swerve to avoid hitting me as i attempt a left turn, or i’m getting on the highway and merging with existing traffic on my left when suddenly out of nowhere an impatient driver blasts past me on my right as the lane narrows into the merge. Scary, very scary.

As i come to grips with my fear of the dentist and the process, considerations and consequences of having my upper row of teech pulled, I have haiku on the subject for 4-25-10 in celebration of NPM:

my teeth are broken
without money to repair
they remain unfixed

will fear of dentist
cause me to reconsider
getting the repair

as teeth are missing
my smile is on vacation
wish they would come home

Be blessed and live life loved!


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