The Fear of the LORD
(MH – March 6th, 2016)
When we come to God in Faith – we are saved by the Grace of God through His Mercy. Faith that is real Faith is accompanies by much suffering in this Life, as the little soul has also found – there seems to be a relentless “flow of suffering” that those who seek God’s will are often “overflowed” by – causing the soul to abandon or desire to abandon any calling from the LORD.
Therefore, we speak of having the “fear of God before our eyes.”
Abba Anthony of Egypt spoke of this:
Abba Anthony said; always have the fear of God before your eyes. Remember him who gives death and life. Hate the world and all that is in it. Hate all peace that comes from the flesh. Renounce this life, so that you may be alive to God. Remember what you have promised God, for it will be required of you on the Day of Judgment. Suffer hunger, thirst, nakedness, be watchful and sorrowful; weep, and groan in your heart; test yourselves, to see if you are worthy of God; despise the flesh, so that you may preserve your souls.’
Dear soul, our enemy is threefold: the world, the flesh and the devil.
We tend to pamper ourselves – we must leave the pampering and go for prayer with fasting, if there is a choice between God’s or man’s will. All too easily we “give up” and leave the will of God for the world, the flesh and the devil’s way of ease – this many times can lead us to despair dear one.
Ease will always tend to lead to despair, because it is always not satisfying, when we are not challenged with hard choices in Life in Christ.
When hardship comes, it is usually because we are on the right Pathway dear soul.
Here is another story from the desert father sayings.
Going into Egypt one day, Abba Poemen saw a woman who was sitting in a tomb and weeping bitterly. He said, ‘If all the delights of the world were to come, they could not drive sorrow away from the soul of this woman. Even so the monk would always have compunction in himself.
When we are faced with sufferings (the sorrows of this Life) – this brings this little soul to compunction – he finds himself admitting to God his own sins (the many sins of the past) and the present weaknesses that are the result of his sins. What is compunction? — scruples, misgivings, qualms, worries, unease, uneasiness, doubts, reluctance, reservations; guilt, regret, contrition, self-reproach – all of these speak f it. It is the sense of our own WEAKNESS
The desert fathers knew about the fear of God – the standing in awe of God’s Holiness – this brings us a real compunction, if we have a heart that is right with God dear souls.
Abba Theodore was one of the holiest men who ever Lived; a brother said to Abba Theodore, ‘Speak a word to me, for I am perishing,’ and sorrowfully he said to him. ‘I am myself in danger, so what can I say to you?’
We are all faced with the reality that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
We are all faced with the wages of sin – death – but we know that the Gift of God is Eternal Life through Christ Jesus, our LORD.
Yet, there is the fear of God within us – this sense of dread.
What shall we do with this “fear”?
Dear one – that answer is Perfect Love.
St, John tells us of this Perfect Love in his little first epistle, chapter 2: 15-17.
“Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.”
Do we see a pattern here?
Perfect Love does not LOVE the world, nor the flesh or the devil who loves this world system he has created contrary to GOD!
I John 4: 18 says in a modern translation: “There is no fear in love: true love has no room for fear, because where fear is, there is pain; and he who is not free from fear is not complete in love.”
There is no FEAR in LOVE – the Fear of God is replaced in Perfect Love dear soul – that is the goal of the Christian’s Life – PERFECT LOVE THAT CASTS OUR FEAR.
May God help us to become this Love in him who is Perfect Love.
Let us then fear lest we not Love Him and one another.
Abba Anthony the repentant sinner