Fear of the Lord

When we think of “fearing” the Lord, we usually conjure up images from the Old Testament.

The flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the sacredness of the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant, the many times in which people dropped dead because of their sin…

Every nation learned to “fear” the Lord and His people. And many times, when His people turned from Him, He brought them back through punishment (correction) and fear.

He was, and is, a jealous God. Passionate to His lovers, and just as zealous toward His foes. He is all powerful, all knowing, all holy, and yet—all love.

And that is what we have sought under our new covenant. His love. Forgetting that love is also submission, sacrifice, and reverent awe toward the being that bends low for our sake, and for our redemption.

Jesus was the only way we could truly enter His presence again. The sacrifice of lambs was never enough, no matter how spotless and innocent they were, they could not cover the cost of our sin. And likewise, God could not deny Himself and His Holiness to be with us. As we read, most could not survive it.

-The rope tied to the priest who entered the Holy of Holies in case he died. The time Uzzah, one of the Ark bearers, carelessly slipped and touched the Ark and died as well.

God was there, but had to remain distant. Unlike how He walked (beside) Adam and Eve in the Garden.

Today of course, we are symbolically in that Garden again. With God’s own Holy Spirit “in” us! We’re now His dwelling place!

But like the Jews, we have forgotten the fear of the Lord in our time of peace.

Churches will preach of God’s mercy and love until they are blue in the face, but will kindly skip over our proper response toward Him.

Praise and worship isn’t merely thanksgiving for all He has done, but an open acknowledgment of all that He is. A submissive awe, a reverence for His greatness and goodness. It is through our fear that we truly understand how blessed we really are.

Think of it! The God of the universe created us because He wanted us to exist. He made us in His image and gave us authority (dominion) to reign with Him. He created the stars and earth for us to enjoy and marvel at.

He then lowered Himself to be with us and to know us intimately! He wants to be involved in every fabric of your life, as both our Father (we call Him father!) and friend. And He has promised us an eternal inheritance with Him.

Despite all our sin and rebellion, despite killing His heavenly Son, He still loves us, and could never bring Himself to destroy us. He gave us His Son to save us. Our very God, romanced His creation and gave all that He could give to save it. He became a man and dwelt with us in order to serve and to know what it’s like to be us.

And now we carry His heart within us—the new temples of His dwelling place. All He ever wanted (our hearts and love) is now His throne seat.

How can we look at this and not marvel? How can we not fall to our knees in reverent praise? How could we ever dare sin against Him and His Son? How can we be a part of the greatest story ever told and it not transform every fabric of our lives?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10…)

It is this fear that should propel us into action when the Holy Spirit calls us to it. Why? Because if we truly fear the Lord we wouldn’t have room in our hearts for fear of man.

In our understanding of God and His character we wouldn’t hesitate or doubt Him. But would instead fear missing out on His goodness!

It is the church that has hidden all verses containing the word fear and the Lord together. And that is because of today’s culture and it’s definition ascribed to “fear.”

Clearly, the Hebrew/Greek meaning differs to our current one. There are many types of fear and not all of them are bad. In this instance fear equates to reverence/respect/awe. Not punishment/abuse/harm etc.

God doesn’t want us to cower before Him as we have even seen displayed in the Bible, when angels appeared before the Jews they said, “do not fear!” God doesn’t want servants who follow out of fear but friends who follow out of genuine love. However, we cannot dismiss this reverence that is so called, “the beginning of wisdom”, and much more in the Bible.

I suppose a more relevant example of this healthy fear, is our respect for authority; police officers, judges, etc. Or even our respect and submission to our husbands (in healthy relationships—the husband is the head who requires respect, while the wife is the helper who requires love).

God is not a dictator or a bully. Just like in marriage, there is sacrificial giving on both ends. We (the church/bride of Christ) are to respect Him, while as He (the groom) loves us unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25).

Today, I witnessed the fear of man play out before me and immediately laughed at the insanity of it. I fear the Lord more.

He is love. And in His love He will let us choose whether to remain in that love or not. And such is where the very real fear of Hell exists. Hell is…in all honestly, the only place where God’s presence doesn’t exist.

Even in the darkest corners of the earth, God’s presence can still be found or felt by His people. We have taken this for granted and can’t even begin to understand what it would be like to not have access to Him. It is through Him we have any hope/peace/joy/purpose/security—you name it! Without Him there is only darkness.

And sadly, many will choose that darkness.

I must say that I am still discovering what it means to fear the Lord my God. But I believe that it is vital to know and understand fully what this means, for our sake and for the effectiveness of the church.

Too often I have witnessed either a church that has removed the “God-ness” from God (the laws, and the punishment of sin) or a church that has completely removed the love and mercy of God, His “Human-ness” as you will—in the form of Jesus Christ (our new Adam).

Both are toxic places to be as neither truly understood who God is and who we are in relation to Him. We are neither worms nor equals. (The true worth and value of humanity has already been determined by God/Jesus Himself!)

We will go deeper into the subject of our worth/value next time. For now let us merely reflect on our heart posture toward God. Do you fear Him? Do you find it hard to grasp the majesty of God and His great love for us? Or do you struggle to view Him as God at all?

In other words, who is God to you?


It’s a boy! 💙

Benjamin Edward Slob

Last week we finally had our anatomy ultrasound for our second child to determine the gender.

I knew in my heart that it was another boy. With my first, I felt so strongly that it was a girl that I blinked in shock at the screen.

Now James has a brother…and I’m no novice, but a level 2 boy mom 😅, it’s fitting though! As a preschool teacher at my church and having worked at a daycare previously, boys are less drama.

Oh still a handful! But I’ve always known how to handle them and have loved what they love…dinosaurs, digging in the dirt, adventures, bugs…it’s all up my alley.

This pregnancy has been both easier and harder. I can’t just spoil myself and lay around bonding with this new kicking child in my stomach. Now I have a 2 1/2 year old to contend with.

But the excitement is multiplied for sure! Covid is over (as far as I’m concerned) and so are it’s penitentiary-like regulations which made it impossible to “enjoy” my first birth experience.

Now I can truly celebrate! And to make things even more special…James gets to meet his brother.

Will he be excited? Upset? Confused?

I’ve tried very hard to explain it to him in a way he can grasp. He knows there’s a baby in my tummy, but does he know what that means for him?

James has been tied around my finger since birth. And potty training hasn’t gone great. He still wakes up once or twice a night for a drink. At nap, he still prefers the nook of my arm.

Will he adapt to sharing mommy? Will Aaron and I adapt to two kids? Will I?

It’s been harder to grasp the reality this time. This baby was a surprise, and having James to care for has made it hard to really think much about the other child within me. But boy those kicks are increasing and with it—I can’t ignore the coming day any longer!

My eyes were glued to every movement on that ultrasound. The way he held his head in his little hands and sucked his thumb. Twisting and rolling to find a more comfortable position in the cramped space.

I’m 20 weeks tomorrow and already hunting for all the items I need. Car seats, bassinets, diaper bag…everything I had borrowed the first time or had sold/threw away I now need again asap!

It’s exciting and scary. I haven’t forgotten my last birth experience. The epidural and actual birth was the most pleasant part of the whole process. The only time I could truly escape into numbness from the pain and trauma.

When I held James it didn’t feel real. I was so much in shock that it took me awhile to feel. But my body did seem to know what to do…it knew how to hold my son, how to feed him, and I couldn’t help but pull his little rolling crib beside my bed the first night at the hospital.

This time, I have to consider visitors, being able to pass my son over to my family for a well earned nap or shower. I’ll be allowed to watch his first bath! Just another moment I was denied before.

My due date is June 8th. My first son was due the 7th (born May 30th). And my birthday is May 29. 😅 One of us may lose a birthday.

I really could use some prayer as I continue to navigate pregnancy and as I welcome this new baby into the world and into our home. You all have been a positive blessing to me, and I appreciate all your kind words and prayers throughout the years.

Thank you! God bless ❤️

To Die is Gain

“Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.” -Isaiah 57:1

God directed me to this verse after I, again, began to grow tired and angry toward something that was promised to us. Authority over illness.

Don’t worry! No one is dying! God was just wanting me to understand that there are factors I can’t understand. He is God and I’m not.

I can’t solely blame my lack of faith, or lack of relationship, or commitment to reading His Word for a healing that wasn’t immediate. Perhaps, our response should be simple, even when the answer isn’t.

But regardless of what happens, whether I see healing or not in this life. God is still good. And my love for Him shouldn’t depend on what I go through or what I feel in the moment, or even by what He does for me.

At the end of the day, we must all evaluate why we follow Jesus and why we love God. Let me put it this way…if God never did another thing for you—would you still love Him?

I’ve learned a lot recently about my own contribution to answered prayer. That my faith is key to allowing the Holy Spirit to move through me in authority.

A friend of mine said it best by quoting someone (comment below if you know!) during a sermon on faith:

He said, “Don’t tell God about your circumstances, tell your circumstances about God!”

This isn’t saying we shouldn’t pray, but that a lot of our prayers would find their resolution through us. If we were to discover what Christ paid for and to take up that authority—we could essentially become the answer to many prayers (through the release of the Holy Spirit power within us).

Or have we forgotten that Christ (God) is in us? That we are now His temple and dwelling place?

Healing is ours… and even the raising of the dead! But there is a reason that such miracles aren’t common place and aren’t always successful.

Perhaps, aside from our lack of faith…the verse at the top is one other answer as to why?

When I read it, I instantly thought of another verse:

“To live is Christ, to die is gain.” -Philippians 1:21

I began to think about what that means in a deeper way. In order to understand the verse we have to understand who Christ was. He was the Son of God yes, but He was also a servant who came to sacrifice.

To live is to sacrifice (lay down our life) like Christ, to die is to (pick up our life or gain it).

Give vs. Receive.

We aren’t here to just take, take, take. This life isn’t about me or you or even your kids. It’s about living as Christ. It’s about sacrifice and service. Fulfilling God’s call and purpose for your life…until He calls you home and gives you the mantel (crown) equivalent to your life’s surrendered-ness to Him.

If we are to take, it is to take back the territory satan has held captive. Healing and other miracles aren’t something we take but something we already have. Gifts. Just as salvation is a gift we can either receive or cast aside.

I’m not sure if this is a word for you today, but if it is, I pray that you too will realize that you have power, that your job isn’t to have all the answers or to get it right every time when it comes to miracles and works. It’s all about Him and living in the moment with Him. Offering our lives as a sacrifice just as Jesus laid down His life daily for us.

Press in, let go, and perhaps, more miracles will happen on accident than they ever did on purpose.

And should life breath it’s last…God’s hand of protection is on those who are asleep, and they have been given their promised inheritance and crowned with victory.