Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: "That we would fear only Him"

The Pastor’s Perspective
Vol. 32 Num. 35
“That we would fear only Him”
First Published: September 14, 1999
This past Lord’s day we thought and prayed and sang about the fear of God. “Fear Only God” ought to be the Christian’s motto. I have been helped by Spurgeon’s words on this subject. While meditating on Hebrews 13:6 “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me,” Spurgeon says: “Because God will never leave nor forsake us, we may well be content with such things as we have. Since the Lord is ours, we cannot be left without a friend, a treasure, and a dwelling-place. This assurance may make us feel quite independent of men. Under such high patronage we do not feel tempted to cringe before our fellow men, and ask of them permission to call our lives our own; but what we say we boldly say, and defy contradiction. He who fears God has nothing else to fear. We should stand in such awe of the living Lord that all the threats that can be used by the proudest persecutor should have no more effect upon us than the whistling of the wind. Man in these days cannot do so much against us as he could when the apostle wrote the verse at the head of this page [editorial note: Hebrews 13:6]. Racks and stakes are out of fashion. If the followers of false teachers try cruel mockery and scorn, we do not wonder at it, for the men of this world cannot love the heavenly seed. What then? We must bear the world’s scorn. It breaks no bones. God helping us, let us be bold, and when the world rages let it rage, but let us not fear it.

I know of no better way to cultivate the fear of God than by deliberately adoring him and his attributes in prayer. Let us study to pray regularly to God about God. We ought to (1) Honor God for His nature: "You are God, and there is none else; your name alone is Jehovah the Most High. Who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord, or who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to our God? All nations before you are as nothing, and they are counted in your sight less than nothing and vanity. You are the first and the last, the only true and living God, your glorious name is exalted above all blessing and praise." We ought to honor him (2) for His attributes: "You are very great, O Lord, you are clothed with honor and majesty. You are the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords. All things are naked and open before your eyes. You search the heart of man, but how unsearchable is your understanding? and your power is unknown. You are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. Your mercy endures forever. You are slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and your truth reaches to all generations." We ought to adore him (3) for His works of creation, providence, and redemption: “You, Lord, have made the heavens and the earth. The whole creation is the work of your hands. You rule among the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth you do what pleases yourself You have revealed your goodness towards mankind, and have magnified your mercy above all you name. Your works of nature and of grace are full of wonder, and sought out by all those that have pleasure in them.” And we ought to praise and honor him (4) for His relation to us as Creator, Father, Redeemer, King, almighty Friend, and everlasting portion. May God help us to be truly God-fearing, and to learn the awe of God in our prayers.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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