“In Awe of the Exalted” - יִרְאַת הָרוֹמְמוּת - Understanding the Fear of the Lord

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“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear
the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deut. 10:12)

The word translated “fear" in many versions of the Bible comes from the Hebrew word yirah (יִרְאָה), which has a wide range of meaning in the Scriptures. Sometimes it refers to the fear we feel in anticipation of some danger or pain, but it can also can mean “awe” or “reverence” inclusive of the idea of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, gratitude, admiration, and worship (like the feeling you get when gazing from the edge of the Grand Canyon). Thus at times yirah ought to be translated as “awe" -  "The awe of God is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10)

Some Hebrew Biblical scholars link the word yirah (יִרְאָה) with the word for seeing (רָאָה). Exod. 3:2-5 Moses “turned aside” to see the wonder and awe of the burning bush. When he saw the bush and heard the Voice he trembled with awe and the inner awareness of the sanctity of the Lord and His Calling. Such awe is not the goal of wisdom (like some state of nirvana), but rather its means. We start with awe and that leads us to wisdom - (Heschel). This wisdom ultimately is revealed in the love of God as demonstrated in the sacrificial death of His Son and his resurrection for our justification.

According to Jewish tradition, there are three “levels” or types of yirah:
  1. The tormenting fear of unpleasant consequences or punishment (i.e., yirat ha’onesh: יִרְאַת הָענֶשׁWe anticipate pain of some kind and want to run from it. Note that such fear can also come from what you subjectively believe others might think of you. People will often do things (or not do them) in order to buy acceptance within a group (or to avoid rejection). Social rules are adhered to in order to avoid being alienated or rejected.  One application of this type of fear is as Plato said in his writing "Republic", that people are "too weak to do injustice with impunity". A provoking question that could help us understand if you act or do not act under this type of fear is - would you act differently if you were able to become invisible? Would the "freedom to do whatever you like with impunity" lead you to consider doing things you otherwise wouldn't do? 
  2. The type of fear concerns anxiety over breaking God’s laws (sometimes called yirat ha-malkhut: יִרְאַת הַמַּלְכוּת). This kind of fear drives people to do good deeds because they fear God will punish them in this life (or in the world to come). Even though the fear of God's punishment may deter us from sin and wrong doing in the short run, by itself it is deficient of spiritual life, since it is based on an deficient idea about God. This is the foundational concept of karma (the cycle of moral cause and effect). This kind of fear is founded on self-preservation, though in some cases the heart's motivation may be mixed with a genuine desire to honor God or to avoid God's righteous wrath for sin (Exod. 1:12Lev. 19:14; Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:5). 
  3. The third (and highest) kind of fear is a profound reverence for God that comes from rightly seeing. This level discerns the Presence of God in every detail of our life and is sometimes called yirat ha-rommemnut (יִרְאַת הָרוֹמְמוּת), or the "Awe of the Exalted."  Through it we behold God's glory and majesty in all things. "Fearing" (יִרְאָה) and "seeing" (רָאָה) are linked and united. Thus "the pure in heart shall see God". We are elevated to the high road of reverent discernment, sacred affection, and genuine communion with God's Holy Spirit.  This love for divine good creates a spiritual distaste toward evil, and thus, the hatred of evil to fear God
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well- balanced mind and discipline and self- control." - 2 Timothy 1:7amp

The Paradox of His Strength made perfect in our Weakness

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Thinking tonight of the great paradox and mystery of the Anointing.  David the shepherd not having the crown but was anointed king yet in great straits of weakness - 2 Sam 3:39a. Elijah, a mighty man of God - the "Prophet of Fire" was "subject (homoiopathḗs) to like passions as we are" - meaning he was liable to be affected by the same thing any human being is. Yet he prayed. Paul though weak with the thorn afflicting him served in the power of his spirit - Rom 1.9 because God's Grace sustained him. Jesus Himself was crucified in weakness yet lives by the power of God...Oh what a paradox! We do not grow stronger everyday with God, but rather as the years pass we grow weaker and weaker - more and more dependent on God, His Grace and His Word to bring us to the end of The Race with joy. "For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you" 2 Cor 13.4 - Thus the power of the Anointing may be of Him and not of ourselves. Otherwise we have no affective ministry to others.

Sermon Podcast has a NEW HOME

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Hey folks! Our Sermon podcast has moved! 

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1ig2OoH
RSS: http://bit.ly/1lCfzdB 

Be sure to update your podcast player. FYI - all the old sermons are in the same place they were: iTunes: http://bit.ly/Uzfzhe or RSS: http://bit.ly/RTN74L

God's Eternal Work

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"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him" - Eccl 3.14. What Satan does through witchcraft, spells, deception, high-political posturing, blackmailing accusations, fleshly lust, frailty of health, fashion, or the malevolent storms of nature - one has to remember, that it is not forever, and does not endure, but like the fallen environment Satan is bound to, the Devil's work fades and passes away. Only God's Work remains enduring, standing forever triumphantly, though tested and tried, His Work and His Word stay true ne'er to fail. Thus we love and fear Him - Amen.

Eurocon 2014 Mission March

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What an incredible time we all had at a record breaking attended EuroCon 2014 in Budapest! It was a powerful time in the Word, fellowship and miracles. We were able to see 40+ Ukrainians attend by nothing short of a miracle with all that's happening in Ukraine now. Here is a video p. Maciek from Poland made of the Missions March. Enjoy!

The Monster Within

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I would like to convey the deadliness of sin. There is an alien infection in every believer created by the Devil that we know to be the Old Sin Nature. This nature can easily be forgotten and be overlooked of it's vicious nature. The vicious nature of the OSN is not passive but actively at enmity day and night against the Believer & to the Spirit of God - Rom 8.7. The Old Sin Nature that resides genetically within every individual is compared to the Leviathan in Job 41 - that monster that cannot be controlled - "Will he make many supplications unto thee? Will he speak soft words unto thee? Will he make a covenant with thee? Wilt thou take him for a servant for ever? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? Or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?" The moment a personal daily Cross is neglected in our lives, and our heart is not guarded by His Word, we become familiar and tolerant with a monster that just waits to pounce on the sentimental believer. The end is always death. 

Christ through His Cross has won the victory and has given power over the flesh crucifying sin in the flesh - Rom 8.3, rendering the Leviathan nature within powerless. 

But we cannot be naive in thinking that the Flesh and the Devil will passively stand by as we take steps of faith in God’s Eternal Purpose. The Old Sin Nature has not been eradicated and still resides within. Though judicially it has been rendered dead, if given the chance, the Old Leviathan Nature will rise up it’s ugly head and reap havoc in our souls. 

Whenever we put our trust in our Flesh we make a covenant with the Flesh; we are being naive, playing with our sin nature as we would as with a little bird. As we try to control the sin nature within we are in serious danger of being taken over by the ugliness of sin. Solomon soundly warned in Prov 31.3b - Do not give way to ways that destroy kings. Many have tried to tame the exciting Leviathan and make a deal with him to play with sin without getting bit - but the end is always the same. Fatal wounds.

Though we do not fear our flesh as the more powerful entity, we do have a deep understanding that many great men and women have fallen prey to the devouring beast of their sin nature and writhe in the anguish of regret because of sentimentality with the monster within. 

If we surrender to Grace and the Finished Work with a daily Cross - we will walk in peace and victory over the raging Leviathan within and not fall prey to it's deception.