What does man fear?

The fear of the wicked will come upon him,
And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

Proverbs 10:24

What does man fear? He fears losing what he values most. The thing he puts his time into, where he finds his identity. He fears losing his career, his possessions, his home, his family. And in the end, all these things will fail him. They will all come to ruin. His fear will most definitely come upon him.

The righteous man is the one that fears and loves God. His desire is for the Lord. God will never fail, our desire for Him will certainly be completely satisfied.

Fill’er up

What is it that fills you up? What is the contents of your life?

Romans 1:28-32 gives us a good idea of what we are most probably filled with. v29 says “being filled with all unrighteousness…” At the core, unrighteousness is being outside of God’s will, and the root of all sin is pride, self. (I touched on this briefly in this post.) In other words, we are full of ourselves. This is not a good thing, this is not what God intended. Ephesians 3:19 tells us that we should be full of the fullness of God.

How does one go about being filled with the fullness of God? I do not want to go into that now, because that is step 2. Step 1 should be obvious.

You cannot be filled unless you are first emptied. If you are helping a friend move, you do not show up with a truck full of gravel. “OK, I brought the truck, fill’er up!” Your friend will laugh (if they are in a good mood). Neither should we come to God asking to be filled when we are already full of ourself.

When I got married, I learned that I was really very selfish. There were a lot of new demands on my time and attention to which I was not accustomed. It forced me to let go of some things and to grow. Then we had a baby and I learned I was still a selfish jerk. A whole new set of demands were thrust upon me to satisfy on the baby’s timetable and not mine. I grew because of it. Then we had another baby, and guess what, I had improved, but I was still a selfish dolt.

What is the point of all this family talk? Well, to show that as I released some of my claims to myself, I was able to grow, and be filled up with something other than myself.

In the last post, I pointed out that we have no right to anything.
Scripture makes it clear that we should not be living for ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15, 1 Corinthians 10:24-27). In fact, it sets up Christ as the example:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8

God has a calling for you. What is standing in the way of Him accomplishing that calling in you? Let go, dump out the truck. Be filled with Him.

Surrender or be conquered

Who owns you?

God created us all. However, He released us from any obligation to Him by giving us a freewill and a choice to choose what we would follow. However, if you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you must acknowledge that God owns you. He paid for your ransom.

Romans 12:1 tells us that in response to all of this, we ought to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God. What rights does a sacrifice have? It has none. You have no right to yourself, or anything around you.

You are not your own. We can accept this, and give everything over completely to God, or we can fight it. When faced with overwhelming forces (i.e. God), you can either surrender or be conquered. If we surrender our lives, and put them on God’s alter, we become the living sacrifices that Paul is writing to the Romans about. If we do not, if we insist on being conquered, we end up as road kill. It is your choice.

Jim Elliot once wrote in his journal, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” These are great words from a great man. However, I think it could also be expressed, “He is no fool who willing sacrifices all he cannot keep to gain forever what he cannot lose.”

Never gonna get it

A lot of times when we go through something we consider hard, we want to figure out the purpose of it. Romans 8:28 tells us that no matter what we are facing, God is going to work it out for good. Now, remember, that is His good, not ours. Good is a four letter word after all. So what is the good of going through something horrible? Sometimes we think we figure it out and other times we have no idea. We keep asking God, “Why?”

In the end, you are never going to figure it all out. God’s plan is woven through the whole of human history. You are a part of that. You can never comprehend the complete affects on your life nor the effects of your life on the world and people around you. You may be able to see some good here, or some good there from something once considered bad, but you can never get it all.

So what is the purpose of this post. It is to remind you, and me, that there is one main purpose in it all. It is not to figure it out. It is to “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. 33 times in the old testament God says, “then you shall know that I am the LORD.” Once we learn that, and never before, we can move on. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10.

Do you know that He is God? He is our heavenly father. He will bring us what we need even though we most likely will never understand it (Matt 7:9-11).