“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 ESV
When I first received this word, reverence, I will admit I was scared. What if I don’t know how to do this big word? What if I disappointed God? What if I don’t “fear” Him the way He wants me to?
As you know, I was not raised in a church. I never attended a church that showed a fear of God. Most of the churches, I’ve attended (until recently) were all about a loving God, all sugar and sweet. How could I fear a God that was so devoted and loving to us?
So I’ve been unsure on this word, reverence. Reverence isn’t like last years word, faith. Faith wasn’t easy but it came from trusting God and what He says. Faith came by obeying Him, in the good and the bad.
I thought that reverence meant I had to be in fear of God. That I had to now start worshiping Him in fear, rather than in love and awe. How could I do that? I love Him so deeply, I believe His promises, I know His Word is true!
As I’ve been meditating on the word reverence I’ve come to understand that reverence is a fear that is an awe of our incredible God.
Reverence is an understanding that He made us, little ole us, in His great image.
Reverence is an understanding that God loves us deeper, wider than our tiny minds could ever imagine.
Reverence is an understanding that He has created all for Himself.
Reverence is understanding God is bigger, bigger than the universe, He, Himself created.
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3 ESV
Reverence is understanding what He wants from us, is love, praise, worship and obedience.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 ESV
As His chosen children, we have been saved by His grace from consequences of our sin. I know, before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I had plenty of sin. Since Jesus died for our sins we now have an obligation to Him ~ to give to Him all our honor, all our praise and everything we have ~ to give Him all the glory that is rightfully His.
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 ESV
The only way we can give Him what’s rightfully His is with reverence, by surrendering all to Him! Reverence is really the only thing that we can offer Him. He doesn’t need money, He doesn’t need gold… He needs nothing because He has everything. So the only thing we can offer Him is ourselves… it’s what He wants. God doesn’t just want some parts of our lives, He wants us to submit all of it to Him without holding any part back. Reverence is learning to give everything you have to Him, to do everything He asks of you in obedience, to follow His word no matter what the consequences may be.
“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5 ESV
Reverence is a deeper love for God, a deeper longing. Reverence is wanting to please God in all that you do… not just the big things but the little things too.
“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
Reverence is understanding everything you have comes from Him and wanting to praise and thank Him more and more as you realize just how much He has blessed you with.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV
Reverence is wanting to worship deeper, to have yourself surrounded by His Word, His Ways.
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 ESV
Reverence is wanting to understand more and more about who He is.
Reverence is wanting to obey Him completely.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 ESV
Reverencee is putting yourself, your wants aside and allowing Him to lead you down the path He has for you.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-39
I thought I had reverence for the Lord. I have awe, I have respect and I have great love.
Obviously, I don’t have enough reverence or God wouldn’t have put it in my heart.
Reverence is to fear the Lord.
I don’t have a great fear. I’ve been forgetting God’s righteous anger. I have been forgetting His punishments. I have not been fearing God in a way that I should. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’ve seen the blessings God bestows more than I’ve seen His wrath, so the goodness stays in my mind more so. Yet, God has, in recent months led me in a new direction… I’m seeing His wrath, His anger. Yet, I was not equating that with me.
Reverence is an awareness that you are in presence of a holy, just, and almighty God.
I have a confession to make…sometimes I forget just who God is. Do you? I forget who I’m speaking to… treating the Almighty as a friend rather than who He is… the Most Holy, the Creator of all things. I forget to look around me, to stand in awe of everything He has made, He has allowed… everything is His.
I haven’t shown reverence for God because, in some ways, I’m still trying to control my own life. I still am selfish and want things my way. How can I have reverence for God, when I’m trying to control everything? I can’t! So reverence has a decision to make with it, a serious decision, who am I going to live for…all the way… no half-ways … God or me?
As a Christian, God has called me (all Christians) to learn reverence for Him. Learning reverence for God Him requires a relationship with Him, to come to know His Greatness, His Holiness, His Ways. God wants to teach us reverence for Him, so we learn to seek Him deeper and to remain in His presence everyday, every moment.
Reverence for God is the deep desire to live within His righteous standards, not the standards I set for myself. My standards have no bearing anymore, it must be all His will, not mine.
Reverence for God is to honor Him in all that I do. Not just the big things but the little things as too. Everything I do must bring glory for Him. From witnessing for Him to cleaning the toilet… everything is done in honor of God.
My heart cries out as David’s did:
“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth; unit my heart to fear thy name.” Psalm 86:11 ESV
I wanted my word for 2014 to be “believe” for 2014. I really did! There were so many pretty images to use, I could picture my Facebook timeline having “believe”, it would look so pretty and inviting.
No, God had another word for me “REVERENCE”.
Rev·er·ence n. 1. A feeling of profound awe and respect and often love; veneration. 2. An act showing respect, especially a bow or curtsy. 3. The state of being revered. 4. Reverence Used as a form of address for certain members of the Christian clergy: Your Reverence.
More Words Related to Reverence: Verb: Admire, Adore, Apotheosized, Appreciate, Be In Awe Of, Cherish, Defer to, Deify, Enjoy, Esteem, Exalt, Hold In Awe, Honor, Look Up To, Love, Magnify, Pay Homage, Prize, Put on Pedestal, Regard, Respect, Think Highly of, Treasure, Value, Venerate, Worship. Noun: Account, Adoration, Affection, Applause, appreciation, Approbation, Approval, Deference, Delight, Esteem, Estimation, Favor, Fondness, Glorification, Homage, Honor, Idolatry, Idolization, Liking, Love, Marveling, Obeisance, Pleasure, Praise, Prizing, Recognition, Regard, Valuing, Veneration, Wonder, Wonderment, Worship. Noun ~ Intense Love: Admiration, Amore, Ardor, Attachment, Crush, Devotion, Esteem, Estimation, Exaltation, Glorification, Hankering, Honor, Idolization, Infatuation, Pash, Passion, Puppy Love, Shine, Yen. Adore ~ verb to Love Intensely: Admire, Be Crazy About, Be Gone On, Be Mad For, Be Nuts About, Be Serious About, Be Smitten With, Be Stuck On, Be Sweet On, Be Wild About, Cherish, Delight In, Dig, Dote On, Esteem, Exalt, Fall For, Flip Over, Glorify, Go For, Honor, Idolize, Prize, Revere, Treasure. (from http://thesaurus.com/browse/reverence)
There are 100 Bible Verses on Reverence. The verse that kept coming up over and over was: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28.
So, as you know, I obey… this, my friends, is my word for 2014!