Wednesday, January 7, 2015

On the Fear of the Lord and Ming Vases

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, recently released a book on prayer.  In the book he outlays a perfect illustration of how to approach God with fear, particularly in your prayer life.

Imagine yourself holding a priceless Ming vase (you know...vase like "vaahs" instead of vase like base).  You might tremble in its presence.  You will be fearful.  But it won't be because the vase will suddenly reach out and strike you.  It won't recall all your previous failed attempts at holding vases.

You will be fearful, scared, even trembling because of the value of the vase.  You will be fearful, scared, even trembling because you're scared you'd hurt it.  Drop it and your klutziness gets you on CNN!

So it is with the fear of the Lord.  We, as Christians, don't have to be scared that He will hurt us.  Jesus has taken away the reason He would be angry (our sin) and has purchased for us His favor through His own righteousness.

In an important way, we can't hurt God.  Every illustration breaks down somewhere.  But we can "hurt" God by our actions, attitudes toward others, unforgiveness, etc.  And when we pray we are in the presence of the Value of values.  So the fear of not being and doing what is appropriate in the presence of Someone like that prompts us toward obedience.

For me, that's a really helpful picture of the Fear of the Lord.  Hope it spurs your prayers today.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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