“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”
~ The Apostle Paul| Philippians 2:12 (NIV)
What makes you tremble?
Early this spring, I noticed a doe and her two brand new fawns hanging in a sheltered corner of my yard. From that day forward, throughout the summer, I saw them regularly, each time bigger than before. I felt a bond form, like they were my own kids. So I was super excited to see them rush to my bird feeder the other day. Usually around this time of year, the deer have already gone to lower, warmer climes to keep out of the snow. This was a special treat! Now, nearly full grown, they were sporting thick winter coats. I watched them for a minute, when all of a sudden, they abruptly backed about 10 yards away from the feeder. A huge buck, a full 50% bigger than the doe, came sauntering over. He commanded respect for sure! With his every flinch, the doe and fawns recoiled, trembling. Never saw anything like it. Made me think…
Do I tremble like this when I’m in God’s presence?
Coincidentally I happened to be reading in Daniel…
“While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
“As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. ‘Son of man,’ he said to me, ‘understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.’”
Daniel 8:15-17 (NIV)
Daniel fell prostrate in the presence of the archangel Gabriel. Can you imagine being face to face with the powerful Gabriel? I’d fall prostrate too! In fact, whenever people encounter angels in the Bible, they fall to the ground like this. What then in the presence of God who is infinitely higher, wiser and more powerful than the angels?
Have you forgotten what it means to tremble in the Lord’s presence?
These deer taught me something about fear, reverence, and respect. Our enemy has worked endlessly to diminish our view of God. He knows that if we don’t fear the Lord, we are vulnerable and ineffective. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the demise of society is directly proportionate to the neutering of respect and fear of the Lord. Who fears the Lord anymore? Without fear and respect for the Lord, all respect goes out the window. It seems that no one respects anyone anymore. Children don’t respect parents, or teachers. Parents don’t even respect teachers. People no longer respect law enforcement. Respect seems long lost and the price tag is huge…with present and eternal consequences. Certainly, as a society we have forgotten.
This buck is “king” of his little harem and they tremble in his presence. What security would the little fawns have if attacked by a cayote and their “dad,” the buck, was a wimp? Their actions clearly showed their respect for his power. Believe me, this guy was formidable; he made me tremble! Scale this up infinitely to envision God’s kingdom and power. Jesus is the King and he commands respect. If we don’t choose to respect him now, we will later… You might say, “tremble now, or shudder later when it’s too late.”
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
Imagine Jesus’ kingdom…it’s beyond words. Take a minute and really think about the craziness of creation… of life, it’s complexity, it’s magnitude… of love, it’s mysteriousness, it’s warmth. Where did this all come from? Coincidence? Simply the elapse of time? Think of 300 billion galaxies or more. Think, where does outer space end? Now think of God. This is his kingdom. Not only did he make it, he holds it together. Makes me tremble…Jesus is beyond formidable!
Now is the time to start trembling!
Your enemy, the great deceiver, works to shrink God by creating distance between us and God. Have you ever noticed that when you get closer to something it becomes bigger? I did not see anything written about Daniel moving closer to Gabriel, and I can understand why…such power is scary! But what happens when we move closer to God…while trembling? Another lesson from the deer….
One of the fawns, perhaps a young buck in the making, though clearly trembling, slowly and carefully inched toward the feeding buck. As you can see in the picture, the buck allowed him to come. I think of my relationship with the Lord like this. Though he is so high, so great, so royal, he still allows me to come near…. thanks to Jesus’ death for us on the cross. I’m absolutely sure that though the young fawn was allowed to come close, he was aware his dad’s every move….as we should be with God. Can you imagine the security this fawn felt by hanging close to his dad? How about you when come close to your heavenly father? Trembling, in awe, yet safe in his strength.
The Apostle Paul spells it out for us. We are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling…by moving closer and closer to God. He allows us to come close; he wants this! It’s then that we can experience the power, security and intimacy of his presence. The Lord should make you tremble.
Refreshing a deep and intimate relationship with your king is the centerpiece of our Reach New Peaks Guided Workshop. It will change your life, guaranteed.
Go to www.missioncurve.com to learn more.