Real Joy!

The fear of the Lord … is joy!

Thinking logically about the fear of the Lord leads me to conclude that to have that fear would make me uptight, conscious of not wanting to make a mistake, living actually with the dread of disapproval.

The mindset of the Kingdom of God, however, is just the opposite. The fear of the Lord produces delight, yes joy!

Let me explain:

A few nights ago, our church worship team was rehearsing a Christmas Sunday morning service. While we were practicing a soulful, joyful version of “Hallelujah” from Handels’ Messiah, one of the team members’ daughters was watching from the audience and stood up and began dancing- full out, unselfconsciously, blissfully moving to the upbeat music. She waved her hands and swayed back and forth and even mouthed the words totally oblivious to the fact that some of us were watching her with delight.

That’s the joy I’m talking about that the fear of the Lord produces.

Many times I am way too self-conscious, uptight, afraid of making a mistake. I don’t like that about myself. I mentioned this to Rita and she replied: “You think?!”

So, I thought about times when I am not that way, when I am unselfconscious and filled with joy. It happens a lot when I play music. I get totally absorbed in the sound, in the song, in the music and, like Eric Bannister said in Chariots of Fire about his running, I can say that when I play I feel God’s pleasure.

I think that is why some people get drunk. So that they can have a few moments of freedom from self-consciousness. We can easily forget how much we are loved by God.

So how can we be reminded? By living in the fear of the Lord, the awareness that God is with us and that His Father heart is for us. The fear of the Lord is having a reverence for His Presence and acknowledging that He is the pre-eminent Source of life, love, justice, righteousness, peace and joy. Being filled with His Spirit and Word.

Jesus said, “Except you be converted (transformed) and become as a little child you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” So, like the beautiful, joyful daughter at our Christmas rehearsal we can be aware of the incredible love of God. We are free to dance like nobody’s watching and love like we’ve never been hurt. By the grace of God we can be present in the present in His Presence.