Are People in Fear of the Lord, or Just Afraid of What Their Religious Leader May Think of Them?

From a biblical viewpoint, “fear of the Lord” doesn’t mean that we are afraid of him, rather that we worship him. But when we do that, are we doing it because we want to, or because we are afraid of what someone else may think if we don’t?

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Have you ever seen those old movies, where the priest challenges someone to come to church that Sunday, or they will read their name in the Mass? It always seems cute and somewhat comical, but it isn’t cute, or comical- it is wrong!

I am Jewish and I believe Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah God promised to send. Because I am still living a Jewish lifestyle and worshipping as a Jewish man, many Christians have accused me of being “under the Law” (and these people have absolutely NO idea of what they are saying) and, as such, not really saved.

On the other side, Jews I know tell me that because I “Believe in Jesus” (another term thrown around too loosely, with most people having no idea what it means) I must be a Christian and am not a Jew anymore.

It is always both amazing, and sad, to see how much ignorance there is in the world, especially among people who profess to worship God and know their Bible.

God knows the heart, and even though I have recently been told that this is just an excuse for people to do as they want to (which has an element of truth to it), God does know who we are praying to, and whether or not we really repent when we ask forgiveness.

The question you must ask yourself is when you do as you think you should, with regard to worship and how you treat others, are you doing it to please God, or to please your Rabbi, Priest, Minister, or whatever? This is not an answer you should just throw out there- you really need to think about it.

There are forms of worship, such a whole week without leavened products (my wife, Donna, often has to remind me not to eat something that I, simply by habit, will start to put into my mouth) that I find difficult to do, and I will confess that sometimes I do something just because I know I should. And that isn’t a good reason for doing anything because it is like legalism- doing something just to do it, going through the motions. God has been clear to us, through the prophets, that a sacrifice means nothing to him if done just to do it, without a sincere and broken heart.

Oops- there’s that “knowing the heart” thing, again.

So, the next time you go to services, or fast, or pray, or celebrate a Holy Day (meaning God ordained, found in Lev. 23), or a holiday (meaning a man-made celebration), please consider WHY you are doing it, and if it isn’t fully because you want to please God, but rather because you are afraid of what someone might think, then I would say don’t do it- something done as a lie is worse than something not done, honestly.

And if you find yourself not doing things you used to do to be “religious”, then rethink your relationship with God because if you do not observe God’s commandments, which are found ONLY in the Torah (remember- those are the things Yeshua did and taught others to do), then your heart and mind are not in the right place.

It would be a good idea to square those things away as soon as possible because the way the world is going, well… it doesn’t look like there is going to be such a long wait for that Day of Judgement.

Thank you, again, for being here: that’s it for this week so L’hitraot and (an early) Shabbat Shalom!