Monday, December 21, 2020

Fear, Faith and Full Surrender: Three Essentials in Coming to Christ and Following in his Footsteps

Tim Challies’ post regarding his grieving from the loss of his son’s recent death pointed me to this theme. He quoted Pr. 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. As I thought of “the fear of the Lord” as being a non-negotiable, foundational element of our heart’s respond to the person and work of our God, I began to think about the ramifications of the lack of or diminished fear of God. The fallout is staggering

Sodom’s culture was a result of refusing to fear God (Gen. 20:11). Amalek’s lack of the fear of God (Deut.25:18) resulted in his ultimate destruction (Ex. 17:13-14). Israel and Jerusalem were devastated because they did not fear God (Jer. 5:24), instead they chose to trust in “lying words” (Jer. 7:4,8) and suffered great loss.

Foundational Element #1 is “THE FEAR OF THE LORD”.

Then consider the absolute necessity of faith in the LORD. Hebrews makes a statement that I believe is so familiar to the average person in the pew, that the profound importance of which is often unknown or lost…”Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith, simply put, is believing God, that is, taking what God’s Word says and truly believing that He means what He says.

Faith is Believing God’s Word (Heb. 11:1; Rom. 10:17), and acting on it (Ja. 1:22-25; Psalm 19:11), out of a heart of worship (Matt. 4:10), for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31-33), no matter how I feel (Heb. 11), or what I think (Is. 55:8-9), knowing that God promises a good result (Rom. 8:28-29), in His own time (Rom. 5:6; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Peter 5:6).

Consider the ramifications of the lack of faith…

The lack of faith deteriorates into idolatry. Idol-worshippers become like their idols. Idolaters invited God’s wrath, judgement and ultimate rejection (2 Ki. 17:7-23).

Israel “did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power” (Ps. 78:22; see also vs. 32) and received the wrath and punishment for lack of refusing to believe God, in spite of truly awesome demonstrations of His delivering power and :almighty hand”. Ultimately, failing to believe God has eternal consequences. “He who does not believe is condemned already – because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn. 3:18).

Foundational Element #2 is “FAITH in GOD, as He has revealed Himself in the Bible.

Fearing God is essential, but incomplete and isn’t enough. Demons fear Jesus, but are not saved and do not walk in harmony with Christ. When faced with the prospect of their pending doom, “…they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:28; Mk. 5:1-13).

Believing God is essential, but incomplete and not enough; the demons believe but tremble (Ja.2:19). So fear of God and Faith in God requires a third, essential element… the response of a full surrender to God. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mk. 8:34).

Full surrender means to become meek before God’s sovereign call on your life, that is for you to represent Him as an ambassador (2 Cor. 5:14-21). Full surrender also means to meekly surrender your rights in humble submission to His rule and reign over your heart. Vine’s definition of meekness offers a sobering challenge to the theme of meekness or full surrender: “Meekness is “an inwrought grace of the soul that is first and chiefly before God, in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” Full surrender to God is made complete with repentance in response to godly fear and faith in the God who saves.

Foundational Element #3 is “FULL SURRENDER” to GOD, motivated out of reverent, godly fear and faith and trust in Him and His grace as He has revealed Himself in the Bible.

Fear, faith and full surrender are three essentials in coming to Christ and following in His footsteps.

Kent Kloter

No comments:

Post a Comment