Knowing Fear

Today, we discuss how we are called by God to own the message. (Malachi 2:4-5) By the time Malachi prophesies the exile has already happened. And even though it is after the exile has finished and the people were rehabilitated, they still struggled. When we think of the exile, I want us to think in terms of rehabilitation. God gave His people a sentence that was supposed to reeducate and rehabilitate them. However, the people will again turn to corrupt practices. Why? Well, our flesh will always desire to rise up, unless we are walking closely with God. Even then our flesh fights to live. 

In Romans 7, Paul has a discussion with himself telling us that even he, the great Apostle Paul, author of half of the New Testament, struggled. 2 Corinthians 11:23- 24~Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers…bandits, my fellow Jews..false believers. (ESV) 

Paul how did you survive all of this and not just go absolutely insane?   2 Corinthians 10:5~We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (NLT) We live in a world that is constantly bombarding us with messages. Digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. We need to be reminded that a lot of the war we are engaged in takes place between our ears. That means we need our minds to be right.

So, listen to the message of God and own it. Malachi 2:4-5~So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared (יָרֵא yārē’) me. He stood in awe of my name. (ESV) Do you have reverential awe for the name of God? Does it make you stand up when you hear it abused? The Lord’s name is holy (Exodus 20:7)

Those who studied with us Wednesday may remember that there are two types of fear. One is based on the complete submission, reverence, and awe of who God is, as Malachi has shared. This is a good kind of fear, and then there is a bad kind of fear. Think of fear like cholesterol, where there is a good and bad type. Bad fear is when the Evil One plants thoughts of fear that paralyze us and keeps us from doing God’s will. While good fear is what causes us to live in the way God commands.

Do you walk in the way of God or are you in God’s way? We are to be bearing His message to the world, demonstrating with our lives His calling, as we answering that call with integrity. So how are you doing with your life? Remember we are not to be comparing ourselves with each other, but rather with Jesus. Today, ask the Lord what is in your life that needs to be massaged to truly live the message. Keep in mind that change begins with a step, just as every journey begins with a step. Let today be the first of many steps to living the life Christ has for you.

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