Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When God speaks, He says a mouthful.

As God has been speaking the last few days in my life, He's been saying a LOT, but I've been having some trouble bring order to it. Maybe as I write, He'll help focus the big picture and share something with you as well.

I've been working on memorizing Isaiah 33:6 (yes, for those that know me...it's an Isaiah passage and I LOVE it!) The verse says, "In that day He will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the Lord will be your treasure." The verse has become dear to me for several reasons. To begin with I love that God is described as my sure foundation. He certainly is. I can't build anything without Him being the basis, and I'm so glad I can be SURE of Him!

Then I love what He so richly provides: salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. I'm intrigued about the order of those words. I always feel that God is VERY intentional about His Word, so I'm wondering what significance I should see here. Salvation makes sense to be listed first- where would we be without salvation? It's the very first thing He does for us when we seek to build a relationship with Him. But I've always thought that knowledge would come before wisdom, since I've often defined wisdom as the application of knowledge. Any ideas? Regardless, I'm glad that He provides a rich store of wisdom. Oh, how I need it and pray for it daily!

The verse concludes with "The fear of the Lord will be your treasure." That's the phrase that has been hitting me most. I know that the fear here is better thought of as reverence. This is SO critical in my relationship with God. I need to revere God- to place him in his rightful place- to see him as Most High. I know this is important since the verse calls it my treasure. Why my treasure? I think it must be a key in living a life with God. If I revere God, I see him as He should be. That means I'll also see issues and problems in comparison to the mightiness of God. If I revere God I will make better choices because I'll want honor Him and won't make gods of other things. If I revere God I won't take Him for granted or make light of Him. If I revere Him worshipping Him comes naturally. It makes sense then that fearing God is a treasure.

The idea of fearing the Lord has also appeared in my study of He Speaks To Me. This study examines I Samuel 3 as a key to being prepared to hear from God. Samuel was a boy when he heard from God and had childlike simplicity. He apparently had a proper fear or reverence for the Lord. The link was then made that we show our reverence for God by obeying him.

Which brings me to the next topic that God's been speaking to me about. Obedience. Our Pastor said something that struck me on Sunday. He said, "Knowledge brings with it the responsibility to obey." He pointed to James 4:17, which reads, "Remember it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not to do it." Ouch! When I know something, I need to be sure to live in a way that carries out what I know. When I know I should speak a word of encouragement, I need to speak. When I know I should do something to build a relationship, I should do it. When I know I should serve and carry out an action with humility, I need to do it. And, didn't that verse in Isaiah say that He would give me a rich store of knowledge. oh, boy! And why am I supposed to obey? Because I revere God. It's not because I'm trying to earn something or look good, but because He is in the place of authority and I respect Him.

So, what has God been talking to you about? Any thoughts about fearing God, wisdom, knowledge, or obedience? I pray that you are learning and growing in God's grace! Keep serving!

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