Thursday, July 1, 2010

Women who Fear the Lord by Jen Smidt (Mars Hill Church)

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov. 31:30).

As I think back to the woman I was in college, this verse painfully yet accurately describes me. Operating on wit and outward appearances, I managed to convince myself and others I had it all together. But I was deceived. I was drowning in my sin with no idea what my lack of fearing the Lord had to do with my desolate heart.

Fear of the Lord is one of those Bible phrases that we throw around with very little grounding in the substance of our daily lives. It is defined as reverent awe or deep respect. Sounds great, but what does that look like day in and day out? If a woman deeply respects God, how does she live her daily life?

•First and foremost, she has a correct understanding of the character of God.
•She has searched the Scriptures for God’s definition of God and believes it.
•She has studied what God has revealed about Himself and relies upon this Truth rather than her experience of God.
•She accepts His holiness and His justice as completely good.
•She trusts in His mercy, grace, and compassion to deal with her sin and redeem her.
•She believes that His kindness is what leads her to repentance and as such, would never presume upon the riches of His grace by taking her sin lightly (Romans 2).
OUCH. There it is–the reason I blatantly and boldly lived a life of self-indulgence and sin despite the fact that I called myself a “Christian.” I pridefully and foolishly took advantage of the cross by saying to God, “thanks for your sacrifice, but I got it from here. Love that forgiveness thing! When I’m done having fun, I’ll be back with my long list of sins that I’ll need you to take care of.” In short, I was not a woman who feared the Lord.

But God has helped me become a woman who fears Him–a repentant woman who is deeply grateful for and moved by the cross of Christ. This does not mean being afraid to go near our Awesome and Mighty God:

•It means being terrified to be far from Him.
•It means resting in the safety and peace of His loving arms and not straying from that place of protection.
•It means running from the temptation to satisfy our needy hearts with someone or something other than Him.
•It means He alone is the influence in our lives, giving us wisdom to navigate each day (Proverbs 3:7, Prov 9:10).
•It means valuing what He values in a woman: a submissive heart, a gentle and quiet spirit, and a posture of worship.

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