The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord by Jamie Rohrbaugh

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The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
Series: The Sevenfold Holy Spirit
Jamie Rohrbaugh
Isaiah 11:1-5

One time, and one time only, I saw what I can only describe as the ''terror of the Lord'' ... and I thought it was going to kill me.

It was several years ago, during a powerful worship service at a church. At that church, during a powerful time of worship, I caught a glimpse of a side of the Lord that I had never encountered before: His terrible-ness. I don't know if it was something about the music, or something about the theme of the service. Whatever it was, somehow, as we were singing to Jesus, deep in my mind's eye I caught just a glimpse of how powerful He is, and how awesome, and how totally other He is.

And I realized: God is not like me.

I know we are made in His image, but it's still true that God is not like us. He is not human. He is wholly OTHER ... and seeing that side of Him first-hand inspired fear in my heart.

It wasn't an evil fear. It was a holy fear; a reverence; an awe, and even a dread of His greatness, majesty, and power. But, even though it was a godly fear, it was fear nonetheless-not just respect. I truly felt afraid.

And in the moment of that encounter, seeing that glimpse of Jesus, His majesty, and His power, deep in my mind's eye, I prayed the only thing I could think of to pray: ''Please don't kill me.''

Because, suddenly, I realized that He could, if He had wanted to.

It was a wrecking, gut-wrenching experience. Just to have that sudden awareness of who Jesus really is. And other than praying ''Please don't kill me,'' I was mostly speechless. I simply had this prayer going over and over in my head:

''Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness. According to Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions (from Psalm 51) ... and please don't kill me.''

I had heard about how terrible He is, and read about it in the Bible, but I had never encountered this side of Him.

It was awesome. And it was terrible.

I think I might have felt something like the Isaiah, when he saw the Lord in Isaiah chapter 6: ''Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.''

What was special that day? I met the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, and that encounter with the Holy Spirit messed me up.

It was the first time I have seen this side of God. I literally felt like I could have died, on the spot, before His awesomeness. I prayed and prayed for this Perfect, Holy One to cleanse me. And eventually, the Holy Spirit moved me into a place of feeling just His love, and not His terror.

But it was an encounter I needed. Too often, I trivialize God. Don't you? We obey if we feel like it. We worship when we feel like it, or when we have time.< ...

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