The Bible often speaks about God’s honour and glory, because He is very jealous for it. God seeks His own glory because that is how His creation is blessed. It is the only way it is blessed, as anything less comes from the enemy and is very destructive!
The ‘fear of God’ also is very real where God is honoured. This fear is not as we would normally think of fear, its simply a great awe of God and consequently, worship rises to Him. There is another aspect to this fear, we fear to displease God, but even that is barely the truth of the situation because we delight so much to please God, that displeasing Him hardly comes into the equation!
David, the Shepherd Psalmist of Israel, often spoke of his desire to glorify God and loved to be in the Tabernacle to sing praises to Him. Jehovah was very real to David. How real is God to us today? Some would readily answers – very real – but the paucity of their testimony militates against that. Now we really need to be honest, who knows much of the glory of God today? We noted in the last paper that Christianity has never been in such great disrepute as it is today, so it is obvious that God’s honour is certainly at stake today.
With churches and individual Christians being prosecuted in the highest courts of Europe, it is obvious that the salt has lost its saltiness and has been thrown out with the trash and trampled all over, Matt 5;13ff. Why has this happened? Because the ‘light’ of testimony went out a long time ago! Jesus also said, “You are the light of the world.” Matt 5;14, but for the majority of churches the light went out a long time ago.
Some time back, I shocked myself with a bit of a reality check! Trimsaran, where I live, is a village of 3,000 people. 3 chapels, I Anglican, 1 Gospel Hall. The Gospel Hall is the only place where a Biblical gospel has been preached for at least 40 years. I counted how many people would be affected if the Gospel Hall closed down now and I could count less than 10 people, even in a small way; that’s not even a half of 1%! That must be classed as barrenness! I am humbled, I am ashamed.
However, I am not going to whinge about the world not wanting the gospel anymore, because I know that isn’t true! The world doesn’t want ‘our gospel’ because they can see that is does not work. What do I mean? Our gospel doesn’t work, for while we preach the good news, it doesn’t do us any good! We are afflicted with the same doubts and problems as anyone else, we just can’t rise above our problems! Worse, we are afflicted by many things that we should not be afflicted by; for we see many in our churches who are severely compromised by neurotic and psychotic disorders. Oh yes, the lights have gone out and the salt is tasteless! And God’s Name has been dragged down into the dust by the paucity of our testimony!
From my little experience, there are many people who do want the gospel, they love to hear God’s word when it is presented properly, by people who benefit from it. Dozens of schools in south west Wales have Bible Explorer sessions and the children are given Bibles and they read them! Headmasters say – this is wonderful! Our secular society is empty and hurting and certainly will respond, big time, to the real gospel!
So, what has to happen to our churches to end the barrenness? Let’s come back to the truth of the ‘fear of God’ – truth, for here lies the answer! When the fear of God is our churches, then it will soon be in our communities, because the church allows God to work, and when God works it is very obvious! When God works in your church, you will certainly know it and so will your community, very quickly!
Why is it that so many Christians have such low expectations of God? Well, its nothing new, Israel were just the same for 1,500 years and they suffered the consequences of not fearing God. Satan attacks our church leaders first and then total church failure follows quickly. We also see that in the Old Testament!
We readily admit that we are not the ‘Christians’ we should be, but what do we do about it? Come on, we have been given everything we need to be the people God wants us to be, so why not? It’s because we don’t fear God; if we did, we would obey His Word and then we would be the people He wants us to be and God’s honour would be upheld!
When God’s honour is at stake as it is today, we must trust God and His word can be totally relied on, scripture is wholly dependable!
In 1959 a young man in the Isle of Lewis, Scotland was concerned for God’s honour and prayed – Lord, your honour is at stake! You promised to pour water on the thirsty ground and I am thirsty for a sight of the Man at Your right hand. Honour Your Word Lord, we are waiting. The moment he stopped praying the little stone cottage they were in, shook and the church officer said – I think that was an earth tremor.
Duncan Campbell, who was leading the meetings agreed and closed the prayer meeting. They went out side, it was mid night, but all the villagers were making their way to the church and they had a meeting there and then. That was the start of the Lewis Revival that lasted for 2 years! All because one young man was concerned for God’s honour!
That was the last real revival in the UK, but we need one again, desperately! It is the only answer to all the ills of our society, so when are we going to seek God’s honour again? Judgment starts in the house of God and when revival comes to many churches, awakening is correspondingly great in society.
Let’s get praying!