Your Morning Coffee 09/03/2022
Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father test us today, those of us who are willing to ask this of him. Father, test our hearts and minds and see if we respect you and revere you as we should. We do not. You know we do not. And you love us and show us grace! But Father, in your love and grace, grow us. Gather us up into your arms and embrace us. Draw us close to you and make us wise in fear of you. Father, in the name of your son Jesus, and by the power of the Spirit, help us to be mindful of who you really are and what that ought to really mean for us. Make us mindful of our steps in your presence Father.
Your Morning Song: "Nothing But the Blood" by All Sons & Daughters
Your Morning Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
In Proverbs 9:10 it is written, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Fear. I've enjoyed discussing how fear of God relates to wisdom over the years, over coffee, in the classroom, in Bible Studies, etc. And if you'd like to have that conversation, please let me know! But understanding what is meant by "fear" is not what we're going to discuss in this devo.
For our purposes here, I am understanding "fear" to mean respect. But not just respect. Respect to such an intense, white-hot degree that terror of a sort becomes a part of its meaning. Like suddenly coming upon a bear in the woods. Let's call it awe-fear. We are so in awe of God's greatness, his holiness, that we fear his greatness, fear his holiness. And this is a Biblical response (see Isaiah's reaction).
But we're not going to focus on what is meant by "fear." Rather, let's take a moment and consider what it would look like if we lived out of this wise, healthy place of awe-fear of God.
"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God."
Before Jesus the house of God was the tabernacle and the temple. But now through Jesus the Holy Spirit lives within us, we are each of us together being built up into a house of worship for the Lord.
Do we awe-fear God enough to be careful of our steps when we fellowship with each other and worship with each other? Do we awe-fear his present, knowing, powerful Spirit that guides our interactions with each other? Annanias and Sapphira did not awe-fear the present Spirit, lied, and died for it.
It scares me how quickly and how easily "church" becomes a casual, common, fear-less thing for me. My familiarity with spiritual sights and sounds and scriptures and singing and sermons and studies so often leaves me full of a very specific sort of contempt. I do not awe-fear God. I do not awe-fear his power and presence and purposes. And my ears become locked doors and my mind a great, big, empty, hibernating thing.
But if I live out of true, God-honoring, God-understanding awe-fear, then I am intentional with and mindful of my thinkings and doings and sayings when I'm with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am quick to listen and resist the urge to speak out of my desire to be heard. I do not foolishly do and selfishly say things to satisfy myself with the attention of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I seek to satisfy the one I awe-fear. My words become wise, measured, and worshipfully few.
Heavenly Father draw me near to you.
Make me wise in awe-fear of you.