Thursday, June 14, 2012

the fear of the Lord (notes from John Bevere meeting)

Last night (Wednesday, June 13), John Bevere ministered at Pastor Mac Hammond's church, Living Word Christian Center, and I was blessed to be there. Here are notes from the meeting. (John and his wife, Lisa, will be at Living Word the rest of this week. Visit lwcc.org for details and to watch online if you can't be there in person!)

The foundation verse for this week of meetings with the Beveres is Proverbs 4:7-8 TEV. 
"Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight. Love wisdom, and she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will bring you honor." 

God wants you to be great in His sight. That's different than being great in the sight of man. Wisdom will make you honorable. 

Wisdom: deep understanding of people, things, events, or situations empowering the ability to choose or act to consistently produce optimum amount of time and energy spent.

Daniel: example of wisdom. Daniel 6:3 NASB
Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.
 
Daniel distinguished himself. God didn’t do it. Daniel did it. 

Daniel loved wisdom. 

Daniel 1:20 NLT 
Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.
 
Daniel was ten times better in wisdom in everything, not just spiritual things.

Where does the wisdom of God come from? 

Isaiah 33:5-6 NIV
The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
   he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
   a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
   the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

The fear of the Lord is key to this treasure. 

Proverbs and Psalms both say that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 NKJV)

What is the fear of the Lord? 

It is not to be scared of God. God yearns for our intimate fellowship. Moses took Israel to the wilderness to worship first, and then to the Promised Land. He knew if he brought them to the Promised Land first, they would become idolaters.

Moses never said he wanted to go back to Egypt. He had an experience with God (burning bush). The Israelites never had that experience and they wanted to go back.They actually ran from Sinai, when God wanted to encounter them.

Exodus 20:20 NKJV
And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” 

Scared vs. fear of the Lord.
Scared: have something to hide
Fear of the Lord: have nothing to hide; terrified, to be away from him.

To fear God is to venerate Him. To honor, respect, esteem, value, reverence, and stand in awe of Him more than anything else. It's to firmly embrace God’s heart. Love what he loves. Hate what he hates. 

Pr. 8:13 NLT
All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
    Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
    corruption and perverse speech.

Years ago, John Bevere asked God why he didn’t have a strong anointing on his life. "Because you have to hate sin like I hate sin, not only in your life, but also in the lives of others." (Note: not hate the sinner, just the sin)

Hebrews 1:9 NKJV starts, “You have loved righteousness....” Every Christian loves righteousness, but the verse doesn’t stop there.

“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

God told John Bevere, “Learn to hate sin like I hate sin and the anointing of God will increase.”

Isaiah 11:2-3
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

“It’s one thing to pray; it’s another thing to be heard.” (a sidenote comment he made)

John told the story of his experience of God’s presence falling during a service in the Middle East. He experienced an awe-inspiring presence of God. The fear of the Lord was in that room. (I can’t do justice to the story to retell it. You'll have to watch it online or reach it in his book!)

John and some others from the meeting just told each other afterwards, “I feel clean.” He was later led to Psalm 19:9. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” 

Lucifier led all of heaven in worship,  yet he and one-third of the angels didn’t endure in heaven because they didn’t fear God. Adam and Eve didn’t endure in the garden because they didn’t fear God.

Psalm 89:7 - “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”

You will never find God in an atmosphere when He is not held in utmost respect.

Manifestation of the fear of the Lord
1. Obey God instantly
2. Obey even if it doesn’t make sense
3. Obey even if it hurts
4. Obey even if you don’t see benefits (Most Christians get stuck here. People even preach benefits first, but benefits should never be our motive.)
5. Obey to completion (Saul obeyed 99.9% when he didn’t kill all the Amalekites like he was supposed to; the Lord said he rebelled.)

Think of Esther: when Mordecai asked her to go in front of the king, she had everything to lose and nothing to gain. She obeyed anyway.

Psalm 25:14 NKJV
“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”

Secrets are shared with intimate, close friends - not acquaintances.

Psalm 25:14 NLT
“The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.”
Not everyone in the church is God’s friend.

Think about Abraham: he was noted as a friend of God. Why? Because when God asked him to kill his son, he didn’t hesitate. It says he woke up early the next morning and left (Gen. 22:3 NIV). He had a three day journey, so God gave him plenty of time to think it over. It’s a lot harder following God three days after you’ve heard from God - but you’ve heard nothing in the meantime.

When he was ready to kill him - had the knife in the air - this is what happened.

Genesis 22:11-12 NIV
But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Then...

verses 13-14 NIV
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

God revealed a facet of His personality - that He will provide - to Abraham that day. No one else knew that up until that point. Abraham was God’s friend. He feared him, and he obeyed immediately, and that’s how God responded.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is another example. I can’t give it justice like John Bevere reenacted it during service, but essentially, God chats with Abraham, his friend, about what to do about these cities. Abraham knew Lot was in there, so he kept bringing up "What if there are ___ righteous people in there?" He “bargained” with Him (or whatever the right word is there!). What a relationship!

In the meantime, life was well in Sodom and Gomorrah. Everything was going fine. They had no idea that they were 24 hours away from complete destruction. Even Lot, Abraham's relative. The Bible calls him righteous (2 Peter 2:7). He had no idea his city was going to be destroyed. It took two messengers of mercy to come get him in order for him to be rescued; that was thanks to Abraham’s prayers.

So look at these two men. In today’s terms, Lot was “saved” or “born again.” So was Abraham. Lot didn’t fear God, and he was as clueless as the world to the destruction of his city. Abraham feared God and he essentially helped God decide what was going to happen to the city.

This same difference can be seen with Moses (the other person the Bible identifies specifically as God’s friend) and Israel. (Side note: a lot of other people in the Bible were friends with God, but Abraham and Moses are the two that are specifically listed as such.) Moses feared God; Israel did not. That’s why we read in Psalm 103:7
“He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.”

Moses feared God and knew God’s ways and God’s secrets. Israel didn’t fear God and they only knew God by his acts and how He answered their prayers.

Jesus is speaking to the eleven disciples in John 15:15 (Judas had already left) and says:
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

If he no longer calls them servants, that means at one point they were servants. This is to protect us so we don’t become like Anaias and Sapphira (see Acts chapter 5). Galatians 4:1 says:
“Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all....”

John shared an example of when he started his own ministry, he decided to be best buddies with all of his employees. Well, after he became best buddies with his first employee and then had to correct him a year or so after he was hired, he found out that wasn’t the right thing to do because his employee lost sight of the position of authority John was in. After the employee was fired and then rehired (after the Lord helped him work through stuff), he knew the position John was in and didn’t sway from that. As a result, John knew he could share secrets of his heart with him and it would be safe... because the employee knew what the relationship was supposed to be.

“When we are very established as to who He is in our life and who we are in Him, then we can be heirs, and no longer servants.”

Look at John 15:14. “You are my friends if....” If is a condition that must be met before the rest of the statement can be true. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

We determine the level of our relationship with God. That’s why He says, Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you (James 4:8). We draw near first.

Not everyone at church is intimate, close friends with God, but God desires that you would be!

You benefit from the fear of the Lord.

Daniel 2:28 NKJV
But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these:

1 Corinthians 2:6-7 TEV
Yet I do proclaim a message of wisdom to those who are spiritually mature. But it is not the wisdom that belongs to this world or to the powers that rule this world—powers that are losing their power. The wisdom I proclaim is God's secret wisdom, which is hidden from human beings, but which he had already chosen for our glory even before the world was made.

God’s secret wisdom will:
-make you great (in the realm you are called to) Pr. 4:8
-bring you honor Pr. 4:8
-bring you wealth and riches Pr 3:16
-protect you and keep you safe Pr 4:6
-add years to your life Pr 9:11
The list continues!

The one and only key to God’s secret wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Final note during altar call: When you sin, your relationship with God stays. It’s the fellowship that breaks, not the relationship. Example: when John is being a bit of a jerk to his wife, Lisa, the relationship is still there, even if he doesn’t apologize. But after he apologizes, fellowship is restored. That helped me to hear it explained like that!

John preached this message from his book "The Fear of the Lord." It took him 300+ hours to write it, so this is obviously just a small part of the revelation he received on this. If you want to read the book, listen to the messages via CD or DVD, or get the workbook, go to messengerinternational.com, click on "store," and then type in "Fear of the Lord." You'll see the resources there!

Oh and last night's message will also be online at lwcc.org a little bit later this week.

Blessings!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! I absolutely loved this message. It was so powerful and having the notes here gives a good summary. I'm putting most of these notes in a letter to my marine while he's deployed overseas lol. He'll appreciate it a lot. Thanks from both of us ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much! I absolutely loved this message. It was so powerful and having the notes here gives a good summary. I'm putting most of these notes in a letter to my marine while he's deployed overseas lol. He'll appreciate it a lot. Thanks from both of us ❤️

    ReplyDelete