Monday, November 7, 2011

fearing the divine and being naturally fearless

today i had a brilliant prayer time at the cpr (commission prayer room). i have to admit however, being the caretaker of the kids, at this current time in my life, i was not so excited about transporting a toddler around brussels. partly because he is the kind of kid who NEEDS a nap EVERY day (i know i am the only parent who has a kid like that). this new venture downtown was not something that would guarantee sanity, at least i knew i would be going insane around 4pm due to a cranky child. i also am doing life without a vehicle and even though i am, most of the time, mentally prepared to handle the inconvenience i would like to remind you that i am still a "merican." there is that little voice that continues to remind me that if i lived in the states i would be an idiot if i didn't own a car. so naturally i entertain the thought that a car is absolutely essential to living. thankfully i find out every day that it is not...but that is only by the grace of god.

titus slept nearly an hour at the cpr and that seemed, up to this point, to be sufficient. we will see around an hour from now. the commitment i have made is participating in the activities 2 times a week (mondays and thursdays). i can do this, i can do this, i can do this.

back to the at the cpr was very rewarding. when i woke this morning to be with the lord i read through the moments that saul had heard the voice of jesus and received his spiritual awakening. i re-read the moments ananias was charged with laying hands on saul for him to receive his eye sight again. i am certain, as i thought about it, saul's reputation preceded him greatly. saul was pursuing those who began walking after the way. he was violently opposed to this movement, which by the way, was gaining momentum due to the holy spirit and the power god was releasing in the manifestation of miracles.

so imagine, people are becoming excited; enjoying peace with each other, being built up; going on in the fear of the lord (this bit is huge) and in the comfort of the holy spirit, continuing to increase (acts 9:31). the news of saul coming to damascus would not necessarily generate a sense of rejoicing in one accord. further more, ananias was god's instrument to lay hands on the very individual who ruthlessly opposed this movement. ananias, as human as any one of us, felt great discomfort at the request of the lord. but understand this one mindset of ananias...he feared the lord more than he feared saul. i don't know how long he wrestled with this request, all we are given is that saul was blind for 3 days. ananias was not overcome by the natural authority saul had, he did not fear what could have happened. instead, he feared the lord. now get this...the fear of the lord actually gave him the courage to do what god wanted him to do. this is a profoundly different type of fear here.

it is recorded in psalm 25:14 that "the secret of the lord is for those who fear him, and he (god) will make them know his covenant." again, in psalm 31:19 "how great is thy goodness, which thou hast stored up for those who fear thee." i have no doubt in my mind a faithful and god fearing reader/doer of the word, as ananias, echoed david's sentiment in the later verse of 24 in chapter 31, "be strong, and let your heart take courage, ALL you who hope in the lord."

what a refreshment, what a testimony, what a bold truth for all who genuinely rest their hope in the lord. those who do are able, with authority, to tell their hearts to take courage. i hold to the conviction that the fear of the lord is truly the beginning of wisdom.

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