Monday, September 12, 2011

20/20 Vision

Ex 20:20 ""Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." (NKJV)

I have thought about what it would be like to have 20/20 vision again. It is something that I kind of took for granted when I had it, but unfortunately as I got older I lost it. Now, I am very near sighted. I can read the smallest print around. But when it comes to seeing stuff in the distance, I desperately need my glasses. Oh, to be able to see things clearly again.

God was giving the children of Israel the ability to see things clearly in this chapter. Exodus 20 is known for laying out the 10 commandments. These were basic laws that God expected His people to keep. This was 20/20 vision from God's perspective. And it was all based in His character. Worship Him alone. Why? He alone is God. He alone is worthy. Don't take His name in vain. Why? His name is holy. Don't murder. Why? God is life. Don't steal and don't lie. Why? Because God is truth. Don't commit adultery. Why? Because God is pure. Don't covet. Why? Because God is all we need and He is the ultimate provider. Honor your Mom and Dad. Why? Because God is the ultimate authority. Every commandment that is laid out is centered in what God is like. This is basic stuff. This is 20/20 vision.

And look at what Moses said in 20:20 "Do not fear…but fear, so that you may not sin." Don't be afraid, but be afraid. Don't be terrified, but be terrified. How does this work? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The respect of the Lord? Yes…but also the terror of the Lord. I am afraid that we have forgotten what it means to be afraid. We have watered down what it means to fear the Lord. It actually means to be afraid. If I am afraid then I will respond a certain way. If I am afraid, I will be careful. If I am afraid, I will choose to make the right decision and do the right thing. If I am afraid, I will not sin. And If I don't sin, I don't have to be afraid. Fear but don't fear.

Beyond that, love…because love drives out fear. If I genuinely love, I will not sin because I do not want to disappoint God, and if I don't sin I don't have to be afraid of punishment. John put it this way: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (NKJV) I John 4:18

So spiritual 20/20 vision is this: Fear God and don't sin. If you don't sin you don't have to fear God. And if you genuinely love God you won't know what fear is. No more looking over my shoulder. No more waiting for the shoe to drop. No more wondering what the consequences will be. Just a life of obedience and no fear, just love.


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