Walking in 2009…

“Then the churches had rest throughout all Judea & Galilee & Samaria, & were edified; & walking in the fear of the Lord, & in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, multiplied.”
Acts 9:31

These words have been echoing in my spirit for some weeks now… “Walking in the fear of the Lord & in the comfort of the Holy Spirit”.

How differently we walk, when we do so knowing the fear of the Lord! I have observed in my own life & in the lives of others, that there is a very different way of walking after experiencing the terrifying, sobering reality we call the ‘fear of the Lord.’ Those who have encountered this aspect of the presence of the Lord are never the same again. For it is indeed a terrifying thing, the fire of God (Hebrews 12:28-29). From this moment on, there is a very deep knowing that comes when God will not tolerate our flesh anymore for it reeks of the world, & in His great love, shakes us & delivers us. This is the awesome raw power of our God. A terrifying thing. Only dead men, see God’s face. God warned Moses of this. “No one can see My face & live.” (Ex 33:20) People who are prepared to be ‘broken & contrite of heart’ (Psalm 51) when God shakes the heavens & the earth, see Him. It takes death to really see Him. They know & taste of His holiness, His sacredness. He restores our respect & awe of Him. This is a treasured thing. There are never any regrets the other side of experiencing the fear of God.

At some point in the journey, in the pursuit of the presence of God, we will encounter His holiness… & therefore, our unholiness. If we do not, it is not His presence!

Yet it is those who have encountered the fear of God, that also know the incredible undeserved comfort of the Holy Spirit. The sweet, amazingly gentle but honest comfort of the Holy Spirit. With the raw power & uncompromising holiness comes a tenderness, a comfort. Such apparent opposites existing together. When God comes, He messes with our heads & definitions of what is acceptable; what is understandable. Ask Mary! When the Holy Spirit came, she got pregnant. It got messy for Mary. How people talked & what a headache for Joseph! Who would believe that a young girl, engaged to be married was made pregnant by God!!! Yet in the midst of all the mess, was the comfort of the Holy Spirit. To both Mary & Joseph, this came through angels. Keep an eye out for feathers! Since May 2008, we have been experiencing feathers appearing in our house, our clothes, all kinds of places. In Bethel Church USA, feathers have been falling from the steel basketball stadium roof where the Church meets, for over 13 years now! God messes with what’s understandable. Opposites exist together. Fear & comfort.

The followers of Jesus walked in the fear of the Lord & the comfort of the Holy Spirit & they were edified & found rest. There is such amazing rest, walking in the fear of the Lord & the comfort of the Holy Spirit! How will you walk in 2009?