There is this feeling inside me about my upcoming trip to USA. The best way I can describe it is to use a somewhat enigmatic but I believe powerful phrase from the Bible – “the Fear of the Lord.”
I gave a talk on this not too long ago, so will spare you the sermon here. But this phrase intrigues me. As it is used in scripture, it carries much more meaning that fear as we use it in modern english (essentially terror). Rather, it conveys a sense of awe, expectancy, uncertainty, trepidation, anticipation… For me, it’s the feeling of going on a roller coaster – I think I will like it, I am not sure exactly what will happen, and I am just a tiny bit scared – but excited.
The fear of the Lord, for me, says “I know God is good, and unpredictable, and I am not sure exactly what will happen, but I am expectant and looking, so let’s see…”
The disciples of Jesus are described in the Book of Acts as living this way – everything was new, life was uncertain, they were figuring it out as they went, God was showing up in amazing ways – the fear of the lord.
In Proverbs 1, we are told “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Being afraid of God doesn’t lead to wisdom! Rather, acknowledging our need, letting go of control, looking for God’s leading, staying on our toes – that “fear of the Lord” positions us to hear God and know what to do – and that’s true wisdom. Wisdom isn’t knowing how to make a perfect plan. Wisdom is knowing anything can happen today and we’ll take it as it comes with God in response.
Someone praying for me today reminded me of James 1:5 – If you need wisdom, if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him and he will gladly tell you. In the moment, as you go, when it is needed – coming from living in the fear of the Lord.
This is what my trip to USA is about:
God has said to go.
I am going.
God has said to connect with people.
I am connecting with people.
I don’t know all the whys or what’s of this trip yet.
Every day is not arranged but I’m at peace with what is organized and what may open up as I go.
I believe God will show me when the time is right (which may not even be in the moment!)
This is somewhat exciting to me, and somewhat terrifying.
I think God is wanting to show me some things, tell me some things, remind me of some things, and birth some new things.
It is stretching my faith.
It’s how I want to live – asking God and responding.
I commit myself to living this trip in the fear of the Lord.