â€œYour own wickedness shall correct you, and your backsliding shall reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that you have forsaken Yahweh your God, and that my fear is not in you,â€ says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies. â€œFor of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bonds; and you said, â€˜I will not serve;â€™ for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the prostitute. Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me? For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me,â€ says the Lord Yahweh.Â Â Â Â Â Â Jeremiah 2:19-22 (WEB)
Take a moment and read this Scripture again. How does it make you feel? I want to duck my head then just be done with it and get down on the floor. I feel â€“ the Fear of the Lord. Holy Fear.
Too often thoughts of God reduce Him to the size of the print in my Bible or pictures of James Caviezel on my television. (He played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ.) God holds oceans in the palm of His Hand. God knew me before I was conceived. He has no end to time or space. Am I beginning to get a more realistic picture???
The alternative to living without God is hard for me to consider now. The confusion and chaos of my life as it was is not a place I like to revisit. But I see it every day.
From April 1999 to September 2004, I lived an intimate life with cancer through my son. I met many people who were also on similar journeys. Some people walk the journey with God â€“ some did not. Fear walked the halls of the hospital, far outweighing disease in strength.
This lifeâ€™s journey is not easy. It goes into places of uncertainty where fear lurks in shadows and even behind seemingly pretty scenes, just waiting to pounce, especially if I have chosen to walk alone. Snipers do not go after convoys. They pick off the one walking slightly apart from the Body.
I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables. Â Â Â 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (WEB)
Even after making the decision to choose and declare Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, the temptation to take that life with Him for granted is there waiting to slip in. Plateaus in my spiritual life are not for resting but dangerous ledges where it is easy to slip off into my own religion. This is where I build a doctrinal structure that feels good to me and supports the way I want to live. It is a cushy pond of quicksand!
My spiritual life is living branch on Jesusâ€™ vine. (John 15) It bears fruit when I allow the Father to prune, irrigate, and fertilize. He brings excitement and life into my spirit. The Spirit of God is the Comforter but He is not always comfortable. He brings the Truth of God that exacts discipline, encouragement, and prevents the mold of this life that allows those insidious roots of bitterness and decay to form.