19 September, 2013
God's Holy Wrath!
Early this morning the Holy Spirit made it clear to me what my subject for today and tomorrow would be. I will spare you the details of the experience, but God has a way of changing our plans and He never ceases to amaze me when He does that. Even when I told Him that I did not want to talk about tomorrow’s subject because it is part of my next book, His answer was tomorrow is not today, then He moved on about the order of the day.
He reminded me that I was not always living a balance life with His wrath and love and there was a time I was truly afraid of Him. That is true. Even without Him saying it, I know some Christians might misunderstand my view on God’s wrath from yesterday’s post. For instance, I know Christians who have never reached a point in their relationship with God where they learned to fear God’s wrath. They simply feel and think that God’s love for each of us and mainly Christians, automatically cancel out His wrath. I also met someone who has the audacity to believe the wrath of God is related to the Old Testament and there is no longer anything to fear. This idea came from such a long time and eloquent Christian.
When we have an incorrect view of God’s wrath, we do not grow spiritually in the Lord. Furthermore, these incorrect views of God’s wrath are not Biblical. If His wrath is a thing of the past how can you learn to fear Him? How can you learn to give Him the reverence that is due to Him? If you do not have a healthy dose of reverence for Him, then everything is permissible. If the Salvation you have received did not teach you or led you there, then you can assume you have a defective salvation, or some kind of man made one.
Another thing that is true as well is that if you live your whole life in fear of God’s wrath, you will never know Him and your life will be like the servant who received one talent in the parable of the talent in Matthew 25:14-30. True Salvation from God takes you to a progression where there is an awareness of His wrath and you do not quite know what to make of it. You fear Him because of what you read of His wrath, and in your mind it is a negative attribute. Even when you keep telling yourself that it cannot be a negative attribute because in God there is no blemish, but your attitude toward God will reveal that your heart cannot buy into it. Then as you grow in grace, you will stop being scared because you find that He is a gentle and loving father who cares for you deeply and want only what is best for you.
As you continue a steadfast walk, you grow in your intimacy with Him; you will find you have left behind the stage where you were scared of Him. This is a normal progression of our walk with Him and it shows us we have actually worked toward a real relationship with Him. Then you find that, the more you live and walk in the spirit and remain at His feet through a life of surrender and abiding, there is no fear in you at all in regards to His wrath. But this lack of fear comes from living a life of oneness with Him. You have acquired a balance because you know Him intimately and the wrath you used to fear so much is just one of His Holy attributes.
I still remember when I discovered the harmony that exists between God’s love, wrath and holiness it was a time where I felt I was being wasted in a never ending holding pattern. But even though I felt this way and I could not explain God’s purpose for this stage of my life ---- after the wilderness time----I decided not to take matters into my own hands to make things happen with my own understanding. I felt, the safer investment was to trust Him through it all. I kept praying for the strength to remain steadfast and persevere. So when He showed me the beauty of having acquired the understanding of these attributes of His, and how they merged within me as if the knowledge had become part of who I am in Him, I remember saying “WOW! I uttered, “How did I get there?”
I uttered those words simply because I still remembered vividly, the day when God gave me the choice to either move forward in an intimate relationship with Him personally or remain in a life of second hand Christianity. I still remember how afraid I was. Like the Israelites in Exodus 20 who did not want to deal with God directly, I felt if I move forward in a close relationship with Him I would die. In my mind, all I kept thinking was that His wrath was going to cause my death. What compelled me to go forward and choose Him, was that my heart could not take the idea that I was no better than the Israelites.
I kept thinking, not choosing to go forward with God directly has not been a good thing for the Israelites at all. I also remembered how they rejected dealing with Him directly in first Samuel from chapter 8 to 10. When I read those chapters, I recalled how God was hurt by their rejection and my heart melted. In my fear, even though I did not have much bible knowledge, I said to myself, “but God’s word said in one place in the Old Testament and another place in the New Testament that their story has been recorded so that we can avoid making the same mistake, I think I need to apply it here.” This was me, thinking in the span of a few minutes but as it was happening to me it felt like a lifetime. I then said okay God, even though you are going to kill me by the time I get to you, but here I come.
It turned out He did not want to kill me, He simply wanted an up close and personal relationship with me and He used His word to test my obedience. Years later I understood much more. Going to God the Father for a personal relationship in intimacy, is the goal of Salvation. In 1 Peter we are told that Christ died He might bring us to God. Bringing us to God is much more than saying the sinner prayer and activities. Going to God has to start with us truly going to Him “in the spirit”
God’s wrath is a response to our disobedience and since He loves us with a passionate and jealous love and since His holiness cannot tolerate sin, then His wrath is perfect and always justified.