whc weekly word – 2/25/21

Numbers 20:6

6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them,

If the glory of the Lord appeared to me, I can assure you, I too would fall on my face.  But does God have to show his glory for me to have this kind of reverence?  He shouldn’t.

This past Sunday, part of my message was taking us back to the reverence of the meaning and value of the Last Supper.  What took place on that night was a Holy meeting with Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus was giving the disciples a tool to remember him for all of their days.  This same instruction was handed down for generations all the way to us, to do likewise.

I know that we are still reverent to Christ when we have our communion.  But if you look at the condition of the world or even some churches today.  Reverence may be the last thing you think about when you look a little closer. 

Last week, David shared a few stories about fallen pastors who chose self over God.  Outwardly, they probably all appeared to live “Godly lives”.  But God was far from the front of their minds when they made the choices they did.

How do we as Christians let God get so far away from us?  How do we go from being on our faces to looking for the distractions in life and leaving God behind?  Speaking for myself, especially when I was a new Christian, it was me not keeping God in the center of my life.  I was easily distracted.  Today, by doing my best to stay focused.  I keep Him as close to the core of my heart.  This way, no matter which way I turn or look.  He’s right there, in the middle and not further to the left or to the right making it easy for me to increase the gap.

I don’t want to focus on how negative that can turn.  I want us to focus on the restoration of peace, joy and harmony that comes with being connected with God and remaining worshipful to him holding in the highest regard, where he belongs.

God deserves all the honor and respect that is deep within each of us and outwardly demonstrate it to him.  He deserves awesome majesty as we humble ourselves to our Lord God Almighty.

The idea of reverence for God started with God. In the Old Testament, God taught the Israelites how to show proper reverence by giving them hundreds of laws for purity, holiness, and worship.  Sinful man does not know how to worship a holy God with reverence and awe, so He created laws to live by.  God dwelt with Israel in the Ark of the Covenant, and they were not to touch it as a matter of reverence.

The Holy of Holies inside the tabernacle also required the highest level of reverence. If someone disobeyed God’s command and entered the Holy of Holies, they died instantly.  That seems like a drastic command.  If that is how God chose to establish his ground rules for the people, then the proper way to respond was to comply, not question.  The reason for these strict rules was to define His holiness and impress upon mankind the necessity for reverence in the presence of the Lord.

How do we do this today?  Today, reverence for God is shown by our willingness to voluntarily die to self and obey His commands.  Jesus taught us to begin our prayers with “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name” Hallowed means “set apart as holy.”  We should treat God’s name with reverence.

Unfortunately this reverence has diminished through time.  Today we even hear Christians use God’s name as an exclamation. “OMG” is said as though it was no more significant than saying, “Crazy!”  We may not mean to be disrespectful, but when we use His name in such a casual way, that is exactly what we are doing.

We can demonstrate reverence for God by how we live.  Remaining reverent is to want to say, “no” to ungodliness.  It is expressed by our intentional living of self-control and resisting what the world has for us.

God is looking to us as Christians to seek Him, “in spirit and in truth”.  Following Jesus is not just limited to worship in Christian music.  Although that can help keep our minds in the right place.  We cannot measure our condition through emotion or feelings.  We should have a lifestyle that emulates Jesus and reflects God’s nature.  We worship God from our heart.  We live with a willingness to put ourselves aside and obey what God has for us written in scripture, His word. The more time we spend with God in prayer and in His word, the more we understand God’s nature and what he has for us. 

We were created to worship God, so reverence is the natural reaction of a heart that has been changed by the Holy Spirit. The more we grow in knowledge and understanding, the more reverence we have toward Him.  

The more we desire to keep him in our hearts in the highest esteem.  The more we have the joy that God has for us.  Then, we remain reverent and do not deteriorate into the condition of the world.  How great is our God!

Psalm 119

33 Teach me, Lord, the meaning of your statutes, and I will always keep them.  34 Help me understand your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.  35 Help me stay on the path of your commands, for I take pleasure in it.

Pastor Michael