Victory through the Fear of God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The Bible makes it clear that there is a fear of the Lord that every believer is to cultivate. True fear of God includes awe and respect, but it goes much further than that.

David tells us, “An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes” (Psalm 36:1, NKJV). David is saying, “When I see somebody indulging in evil, my heart tells me that such a person has no fear of God. He doesn’t acknowledge the truth about sin or about God’s call to holiness.”

Some may try to say that the fear of God is just an Old Testament concept, but we see godly fear mentioned throughout scripture. Paul quotes the Old Testament in his letters to the early church, “’There is no fear of God before their eyes’” (Romans 3:18) and adds, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

The fact is that godly fear gives us power to maintain victory in wicked times, so how do we obtain this fear? Jeremiah answers with this prophecy from God’s Word: “I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me” (Jeremiah 32:39-40).

This is a wonderful promise from the Lord. It assures us that he will provide us with his holy fear. God doesn’t just drop this fear into our hearts in a supernatural flash, though. No, he puts his fear in us through his Word.

Does that mean God’s fear is planted in our hearts when we merely read the Bible? No, not at all. Scripture tells us how godly fear came upon the priest Ezra: “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).

True fear of the Lord comes when we consciously decide that we are going to obey every word we read in God’s Word.


A Light Not Meant to Be Hidden

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14, NKJV). His statement here is about much more than just doing ministry. It extends beyond teaching, preaching or passing out tracts. Christ tells us very plainly, “You are the light.” He’s saying, “You are not just a reflection. You’re not a mere conduit. You are a light, and the intensity of your light depends upon the intensity of your walk with me.”

Do you see what the Lord is implying here? The world recognizes those who walk closely with him. Your neighbors or coworkers may not know about your daily communion with Christ, your faith in him, your utter dependence upon him. They do, however, see the light that shines from you because of the life you have with him.

So who exactly are these lights set on a hill? Where do we see them?

They are people not usually found in the limelight. They aren’t among the self-centered, self-promoting people who live for recognition in this world. They are not among those self-important church cliques who pretend to be holy but gossip, murmur and complain.

Through the years, I’ve seen many believers who appear godly but in truth are spiritually lazy. They tell others about their failings and weaknesses, thinking this makes them humble, yet they are quick to judge others. They don’t possess the true, loving, servant-like spirit of Christ. On the contrary, the “light” they have is actually darkness. Jesus says, “If your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23). Where there is no true transformation from Christ, there can be no light for others. As long as you allow nothing to hinder your life in Christ, though, your light will continue to shine in the darkness.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). Jesus is saying, “I have put you on display to the world. People are looking at you because I’ve made you a spectacle. You’re a light that is not meant to be hidden.”

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The reason that we are to let our light shine forth to the world is that God may receive glory.

Growing in Discernment and Strength

Gary Wilkerson

You will never be satisfied or passionate for Jesus if you live with this kind of mixture: “I want to hear things from other voices. The voice of the world, the voice of the flesh, carnality, myself and then a little bit of the voice of God too.”

In the book of 1 Samuel, we see this willingness to live with mixture in the life of the priest Eli, so much so that his eyes had begun to grow dim (see 1 Samuel 2:22-36). He could not see what God was doing any longer.

Christ tells his disciples, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed” (John 5:19-20, ESV, emphasis added). He had a vision of the Father’s work. Eli had lost that.

If we look at Eli’s life, we see prayerlessness first, then self-indulgence and an undiscerning heart.

The effects of this become evident in his interaction with Hannah earlier in 1 Samuel. “Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, ‘How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.’” (1 Samuel 1:13-14).

If you remember the story, Hannah couldnt bear a child, and she would come with her husband to worship the Lord, to hear the Word of the Lord and to be in the presence of the Lord. While all of that’s happening, Hannah would find a little place to get alone and pour out her heart to God and grieve in front of the Holy Spirit. This is a woman who lives and works outside of the church, but she makes great efforts to present herself to God. Eli, who is constantly ‘in the presence of God,’ sees this, doesn’t understand it and rebukes her because he has no discernment. God keep us from becoming believers like that, who can’t sense what God is doing anymore!

Discernment and strength in our faith comes from being in the presence of God, hearing a word from God. Being devout, being steadfast, being immoveable. It’s saying to God, “This is what your word says, and thats what were going to do. No compromise at all.” Let’s do that today!

The Duality of Our Emotions

Claude Houde

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV).

A healthy Christian family is where each member is free and encouraged to fully experience their emotions. Indeed, our responsibility as Christian parents goes far beyond feeding and clothing our children before going to school or church. We need to teach them to manage all their emotions in a healthy and biblical way.

It starts with our own learning as the adults. Managing your emotions means being able to recognize them, understand them, identify them, name them and express them in order to channel them appropriately. We must continually learn not to suppress or deny our emotions, but also to not let them dominate or define us.

What we are unable to express or what we repress will imprint on us and eventually depress us. Managing emotions is a huge challenge for everyone. Indeed, our human nature is rich in a panoply of emotions and feelings that intermingle every day and throughout the seasons of our lives. The Bible does not deny the ugliness, intensity, beauty or duality of our emotions.

If you have never prayed this way for yourself, your spouse or your family, I invite you to do it simply and sincerely: “Lord, I recognize all the harmful feelings and emotions that are in me. I don't deny them. Help me identify them. I give them to you. Come and extend your thoughts, your fruit into my heart by the Holy Spirit. Come revive this gift in me. Help me live with a measure of love, peace, patience, kindness, joy, self-control and gentleness that will spread an atmosphere of healing in my heart and within my family. In the name of Jesus. Amen!”

This week, don’t forget that the most intense, beautiful life emotionally and spiritually in your relationships is living as a child of God who fully experiences all the emotions that God has created.

Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.

The Life Behind the Light

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’” (John 8:12, NKJV).

Jesus was and still is the light of the world. John says this light was produced by the life that was in Christ: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Simply put, the life that Christ possessed was his source of light to the world, and all who believe “shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). What is the “life behind the light” that scripture speaks of?

Most of us think of this life as the eternal existence that’s embodied in Christ. We see it as his power to bestow eternal existence on all who believe, but John is talking about even more here. When he uses the word “life,” he is speaking of the whole biography of Jesus’ existence.

Jesus tells us that we are to live as he did. For us to be as Christ was in the world, his life has to be something we can know and experience for ourselves. It has to relate to our own lives.

I want to tell you how I relate to the life that is in Christ. I rejoice in the kind, little things that Jesus did and spoke. I believe his everyday deeds, words and walk with the Father are meant to define the meaning of the Christ-life to us.

I think of Jesus’ friendship with Lazarus. I think of him as he retreated from the multitudes after a long period of ministry. I think of him as he relaxed in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. I think of Jesus taking the little children into his arms and blessing them. I think of his obedience to his mother even as a grown man when he turned water into wine at the wedding feast. I think of Jesus’ love and care for the scorned, the unlovely, the poor. I think of his compassion for the woman caught in adultery or his honoring the widow who had only two mites to give.

In these passages, we find the ways we are to relate our lives to Christ’s. This is how we are to live a life that is in the light.