Can We Be Honest With God?

In Genesis 15:1, Abraham has a vision. The text says,

“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”” (Ge 15:1)

In his vision, God appears to Abraham. Of course, Abraham’s first reaction is fear — fear of judgment. Knowing Abraham’s thoughts, God says to him,

“Fear not, Abram, I am your shield.” (Gen. 15:1a)

In other words, God is telling Him that He is for him, He is his refuge and protection. As such, Abraham shouldn’t fear God’s judgment.

That’s true for us as well.

Those who are God’s need not fear His judgment

That is an awesome promise because it means those of us who are God’s know where we stand with Him. We are not left to wonder or worry. We don’t have to hope that we have done enough good works to escape God’s judgment. Those who are His know where they stand.

Those who are God’s Can Expose Their Life to Him

Knowing where we stand with God allows us to expose our life to Him without fear that He will use that against us, or change His mind and judge us. As well as it allows us to be honest with God, to truly share our feelings with Him. We don’t have to hold back. We can reveal sin in our lives, repenting of it, and asking Him for the strength to fight it. We can share with God what we are thinking. We can ask Him questions.

Abraham’s Example

That is exactly what Abraham does. After God tells Abraham that He need not fear Him and that His reward shall be very great, Abraham is honest with God when he says,

““O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?””” (Ge 15:2)

You see, 10 years ago God promised Abraham that He would give him a son and that He would make him into a great nation. God hasn’t delivered on that promise yet. Since God hasn’t delivered, Abraham questions God. Essentially he is saying in verses 2 and 3,

“You have been promising me a reward for a while. I still don’t have the heir you told me I was going to have. The only one I have is Eliezer, who is my servant. Is he supposed to be my heir? Because, if I remember correctly God, You told me You were going to give me my own son?”

Calling God’s promise into question takes some guts. But, again, knowing that we don’t have to fear His judgment if we are His allows us to be honest with God.

Proof We Can Be Honest With God

God proves that we can be honest with Him, when He doesn’t respond in judgment. Instead, in verses 4 and 5, He responds lovingly, assuring Abraham that he will have a son of his own and he will become a great nation. So this will sink in, God takes him outside, tells him to look up at the uncountable stars in the night sky, and as he does, God tells him again that He will give him an heir and that the nation that will come forth from him will be greater than the stars in the sky that night.

Question for Reflection

  1. When is the last time you have been honest with God about how you feel, the sin you are struggling with, or the questions you have?

Resources

Post adapted from my sermon What are the three foundational truths upon which the Christian life must be built? You can listen here.

Image

What are the Benefits of Those Who Fear the Lord?

We are told in Proverbs 1:7 that:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; 
fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Fearing the Lord means that we have a certain awe and respect for God, which arises from recognizing our place in the universe. No matter what psychology says, we are not the center that everything and everyone should revolve around. God is at the center because He is the Creator and subsequent owner of all creation. We are His.

When we recognize God’s power, glory, and creative genius, we should be driven to wonder, amazement, and a deep respect for God. Instead of worshipping self or creation, we should worship the Lord. Instead of trying to do things on our own, thinking we know best, we should seek the Lord and His Word because we know He knows best, and when we live according to His design things go well.

The Benefits of those who Fear the Lord

The Psalmist, building on the idea from Proverbs, enumerates the benefits of those who fear the Lord in Psalm 25.

(1) His guilt is pardoned, and he no longer has to fear the Lord’s wrath (11).

(2) He receives the Lord’s instruction, telling him how he should live (12).

(3) His soul is at ease. Worry, stress, and, at times, even the hardship of life are not present (13a).

(4) His children will inherit the land promised by the Lord because the father’s actions don’t result in discipline. By the hand of the Lord, He dwells securely in the land and his children are able to inherit that same land (13b).

(5) He will receive the counsel of a friend from the Lord (14a).

(6) God’s covenant faithfulness is made known to him (14b).

(7) He will be rescued from his enemies by the strong hand of the Lord (15).

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you fear the Lord?
  2. Do you recognize the benefits of fearing Him?

Resource

Image

Who Do You Trust and Fear?

As Christianity is marginalized more and more, there will be stands we have to make. Whether we stand for the Lord or man will determine who we trust and fear.

A Contemporary Issue

The sanctity of marriage is a hot button issue in our country right now. Those not on the bandwagon of gay marriage are quickly labeled as bigots and haters; their participation in the public arena is limited; and they are pressured by their friends, family, employers, and the media to embrace and celebrate the sexual revolution.

As the pressure mounts, those desiring to please others and continue to have public influence will eventually evolve on the issue. Those who evolve on the issue show who they fear, man not God. They fear what man thinks of them, what man can take from them, and what man can do to them.

However, those who can’t or won’t acquiesce their beliefs show who they fear, that is the Lord. Those who rightly fear God will find themselves being marginalized. While the marginalization of Christians may limit the jobs we can hold, the businesses we can run, and the public influence we have, we need not fear because the Lord will care for us.

The Truth

Knowing the marginalization of Christianity is coming, and is indeed already here, we need to decide right now who we are going to fear and who we are going to trust.

If we cave to societal pressures, by fearing and placing our trust in man, we may find ourselves exalted and praised. We may experience all the benefits this world can offer. However, at some point you can bet things will not work out like we thought. Man always lets us down. They never stick to their word.

However, if we continue to fear and trust the Lord, we can be confident we will never be let down, and we will experience eternal life because the Lord always sticks to His Word. He doesn’t sway and shift with the cultural breeze. He doesn’t bend his knee to Caesar. He is unmovable, unshakeable, unbendable. He is who He is today and tomorrow. The Lord doesn’t change, which means the Lord can be trusted.

Who will you trust and fear? God or man?

Questions for Reflection

  1. Have you felt pressure lately to go along with society instead of God? If so, how did you deal with it?
  2. Do you believe Christians are being marginalized in our country?

Resource

Image