This time alone taught me many things. It was the first time I had fully trusted in the Lord’s plan for my life. I had nothing left to lose and nothing but so much to gain through His wisdom. Wisdom: that which began with that healthy fear that I was speaking of.
So what did I now begin to see within that new definition of fear? His majesty!!
But that took a while. A long, long while.
I believe it is safe to say that we all have a natural tendency to desire control. We can look all the way back to Genesis, observe the desire that Lucifer had and see the very same prideful desire for control within ourselves. As you can see from my religious plight in part one of my testimony, I continuously used God as good reason, or leverage, to control. My justifications for that controlling period of my life was a direct result of my religious experience. Believing that my work was the way to knowing God was the very thing that ruined my relationship with Him and all of those around me. It was not until I realized that it is His work in me that gave me the capability to move away from my natural, sin-stricken desire for control. This realization was ‘that thing’ that I was searching for in the emptiness of religion, as well as within my past unbelief. That thing: the missing link, was the voice of God within. It was and is His Holy Spirit. All of us have an inner desire to know God and His voice, but many, within their pride, reject Holy Spirit by never accepting the call of Christ. Pride is a powerful force that stands between us and the heart of Christ, and it is plain to see just how powerful it can be within both the believer and non-believer.
Silencing myself so I could hear the Lord speak, simply put, is how I began to understand the fear of the Lord. It was a process of removing all of these beliefs found within an unhealthy environment called a ‘house of God.’ It was the progressive loss of all of those around me. It was the time of being completely reliant upon the Lord to get me through the agonizing pain of being alone. It took being completely confused by the learned behaviors spread by the misguided teachers I had been manipulated by within the institutions we so freely call ‘churches’. All of these things, once I had silenced my pride, were the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of the very peaceful fear that I would soon begin to experience within Him.
When I had nothing but His Word and Holy Spirit to guide me, something truly miraculous began to unfold. I began to see the truth of who He is. I truly saw his majestic nature. I truly knew exactly how fear of the Lord is defined through Him.
A few key observations began to reveal the Creator. These few truths led me to the understanding of His wisdom, and ultimately to my current place of peace.
1. The realization of being completely powerless apart from His providence.
A no-brainer for me. Nothing I had ever done had resulted in or had led me to a lasting and effective place of refuge. On the contrary, every effort to reach a place of contentment only led to a fleeting position. A transitory peace, found within something outside of the truth. Truth, being the true nature of Christ. I never found any of that kind of peace within the work I had put forth within religion.
2. The realization of knowing that my self-proclaimed wisdom is mere foolishness.
My small mind: one of wisdom?
Oh, no, no no! Hardly!
A quick view from my backyard into the clear night sky was a pivotal moment. Could I create the infinite vastness? Could I even begin to fathom it? Could I even begin to know this Creator without measure or boundary? An omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Creator, beyond and outside of space and time as we know it? Could I even begin to compare to the awe, no matter how much I have known, knew or will ever know about Him through His Word or His gift of Holy Spirit? These questions, with the resounding answer of ‘no’ to all of them were as clear as that evening sky. My thoughts of His magnitude, questions of His magnificence and the realization of NEVER being able to comprehend the Lord to His entirety left me with a very humbling bewilderment. It didn’t take long for me to just accept God for what He truly is: flawless. Perfect. In all of creation, I was less than a speck of measure within the infinite splendor of His universe. Nothing and no one could ever compare to His irrefutable wisdom of knowing all that He placed within the inconceivable space and time. How foolish I had been to ever think my mind could explain Him.
3. Understanding that my reasoning is so incredibly flawed by sin.
As I grew in the understanding of His Word, the true nature of the Lord began to illuminate. Above all, my reason here is to serve others above all other things. It is my place within this life to always provide for my neighbor. To have a heart devoted to the love of God and to emit the Spirit-led and Spirit-fed nature to all. That’s what I am called to do. With that being said, I also realized that my flesh is at constant battle with the Spirit of God. I don’t always love. I don’t always serve. I don’t always give as He desires. I don’t display a fine example of Christ within this life all of the time. In fact, I am constantly a failure. If I had a list of all of the sins I had committed within the eyes of our Lord, just today, I would be so done for.