THE 'FEAR OF THE LORD'
an end time battle
 
VISION:  Recently, I went through a significant trial and  amazing encounter with Jesus exposing “trust” issues with Him I thought I did not have.  Shortly after this trial, upon awakening I had a vision.  The vision was of a very large muscular man in a long colorful robe with an outstretched arm and finger pointing at me.  The terrain was a rocky mountain top, the sun was just rising, like the dawn of the day ( end of the 4th watch).  I was on the rocky ground looking up at him in utter shock and fear.  He was terrifying.  I thought at first it was what I would picture Zeus looking like as He was very large and strong.  Fire in His eyes.  Best described as determined, almost angry, but not quite.  I was immediately the frozen chosen on the ground.  Fearful and deeply respectful.  I did not want to fight him.  But then I realized, on His head was a crown of thorns.  Though the vision flashed, I realized it was Jesus as the Lord of Hosts.  In pondering this, more significance has unfolded.  And this word began to work through me to share as relevant for the times we are now facing. 
 
WORD:  From the vision there were some significant messages.  First of all, Jesus was out of the throne room and had come to some very hard places.  The fire in His eyes was powerful with a redeeming jealous love in them.  You would not want to resist this jealous love as it has declared war on the hard places.  The fear of the Lord was all over the vision and the message.  I thought at first the hard places were the obvious places of war these days, in our governments, terrorism, poverty, all the places we would naturally think of.   However, as time has progressed, and considering the trial, I realized there was a deeper message…the war on our stony hearts.  James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”  It is vital to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that we can accurately discern the war, see what He sees and do what He says as times become more intense and troublesome.  We can focus on the trouble, but we may be missing a deeper message.  In order to see that, God has to remove some obstacles out of His way to bring the message to us.  At the foundation of this time is an underlying return to the "Fear of the Lord" in our hearts.  What does that mean?  There is a biblical example and practical realities we can review for our own personal lives.     
 
BIBLICAL EXAMPLE (2 Kings 17:24-19:36):  These scriptures encompass a story of the decision on how the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah) handled the “Fear of The Lord,” and the difference it made in the history of the nation.  Briefly, when Assyria took over Samaria (Northern Kingdom), Assyrians and Israelites together did not fear the Lord.  The Lord sent lions among them and killed some of them.  The jews spoke to the Assyrians saying they did not know the rituals of God (2 Kings 17:26) and therefore the attacks.   The Assyrians agreed to allow priests to come down to teach at Bethel (2 Kings 17:28).  But inspite of the teaching and securing the Israelites hearts, “However, every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt,”  (2 Kings 17:28).  Thus, the Assyrians overtook the Samaria and the land never recovered (2 Kings 17:41).  The Southern Kingdom handled it differently.  Hezekiah chose to remove the high places, break down the sacred pillars and held fast to the Lord.  When the Assyrians came to taunt the Jews, Hezekiah and Isaiah, turned to the Lord with fasting, weeping,  covered themselves with sackcloth and cried out to heaven (2 Kings 19:2; 2 Chron 32:20).  As a result of their cries, the Lord sent a heavenly army and wiped out Assyria (2 Chron 32:21).  From watchtower to fortified city, the enemy was defeated (2 Kings 18:8) and Judah went on to recieve God's blessings with transformative power and fulfillment of a redemptive plan (2 Chron 32:23).
 
THE WAR For our HEARTS (Let’s get honest):  We are in similar times.  As I began to ponder the meaning of the vision, the Lord of hosts is ready to move on the obvious hard places in front of us, in governments, media, terrorism, poverty etc., but He is looking for us to set up the standard, to declare war on the stony places of our hearts so that we don’t subtly worship gods, like the Northern Kingdom did, preventing the full measure of His love, nature and purpose to manifest in our lives.  In the face of hard places, Godly men like Hezekiah and Isaiah humbled themselves.  They weren't afraid to ask God to remove the stumbling blocks out of the way so that the nation might be saved.  
     What do these subtle stumbling blocks, stony places of our hearts, look like, sound like, if they are there?  Try a few of these and the thought patterns that result from them and see if any strike a bell.  This is not written out of condemnation, but rather conviction, a call to encourage all in our journey towards greater intimacy and insight in the Lord.  Here are a few thoughts, simple, yet if we are transparent can be pretty profound:
  1. The god of self righteousness
    1. I can’t work with that person as they have been so blinded to my gift and call and have actually opposed me, side-lined me countless times, defiled my name and ministry
    2. My sacrifice is more than yours
  2. The god of the fear of man
    1. Allowing people to control our thoughts in what we say so we can be received
    2. Compromising our values with popular opinions and compassion
    3. Listening to man's opinion rather than seeking the Lord
    4. Allowing popular belief, or the opinions of men to rule our judgment rather than the truth of God’s Word
  3. The god of pride
    1. My opinion is more important than yours or the Word of God
    2. My sacrifice is more than yours
    3. My knowledge and education is greater than yours and therefore you aren’t really qualified.
    4. I really don’t have to listen to you and your calling and gift is not stronger than mine.
    5. My gift and calling is stronger than yours, therefore, I should lead, not you.
  4. The god of false judgment
    1. My opinion is right and I have a right to be heard,
    2.  I am right and you are wrong
    3. “Shut up and listen to me.”  (This may not be spoken, but it is certainly felt in the spirit).
  5. The god of offense
    1. I can’t work with that person because of what they have said to me and about me
    2. I hate that attitude in that person and consequently have a really hard time with them.
    3. Feeding on and believing curses spoken to you rather than the promises of God
  6. The god of jealousy
    1. I frequently get jealous of those in authority or those who are promoted and validated by men
    2. I don’t like to get around people who are more gifted and whose calling is stronger than mine.
    3. I have a hard time validating others around me
 
BIBLICAL ANSWERS THROUGH SCRIPTURES:  How do we know there is a stony place in our hearts?  When confronted with these rocks, one can feel the resistance.  How do we fight the good fight?  Try these scriptures for the above gods that can hide in a stony heart (these are just a few):
  1. Self righteousness vs. God’s righteousness:
    1. “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Romans 14:17
    2. "But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.  The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all."
  2. Fear of man, vs. Fear of the Lord: 
    1. “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!”  Ps 34:7
    2. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”  Prov 9:10
    3. “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”  Proverbs 29:25
  3. Pride vs. Humility: 
    1. “And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8
    2. By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.”  Proverbs 22:4
  4. False Judgment vs. Truth and justice: 
    1. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”  Deut 32:4
    2. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.  Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!  They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.  In Your name they rejoice all day long.”  Psalm 89:14
    3. “His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.”  Isaiah 11:3
  5. Offense vs. Choosing blessing over the curse
    1. “Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness”  Psalm 37:3
    2. “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to be offended.”  Psalm 119:165
    3. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”  1 Peter 3:15
    4. “Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you.”  Mt. 5:11 
  6. Reviling jealousy
    1. “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.”  Prov 23:17
    2. “But if you have bitter envy and self- seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self- seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  James 3:14-18
    3. "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.​"  TItus 3:1-2
 
Interesting that for each of these stumbling blocks, God's answer in His Word contains the "Fear of the Lord."  The understanding of this healthy "fear" is a foundation stone in overcoming every rocky, stony place in our hearts that would separate us from God and His love for us.  Understanding its foundational function, holding the character of Christ within us in place, throughout the course of our years is vital to a productive, fulfilling life in Christ.  As we face tougher and tougher battles, may we find ourselves fighting the good fight. 
     A good list to check our hearts for any stony place is 2 Corinthians 13.  The greatest gift is always love.  Feeling a bit short?  Check out the stones and remove the stumbling blocks.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  Our God will come with an all consuming fire.  We will be set free to see clearly and build ramparts that are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds and see the Kingdom prevail in the midst of ever increasing darkness. 
 
We are in a time when God is raising up the "Watchtowers to the fortified cities" like in the days of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:8.  When such is done, we will see His victory....YES.  But more importantly, across the earth, these watchtowers are being prepared for the rule and reign of Jesus as He comes for a prepared, alert and ready bride.  
 
INVITE:  We invite your participation to join this growing family of watchmen and call for "An Upper Room Awakening:"  building the watchtowers from fortified city to fortified city.  

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The USA Watch does not interfere with corporate or ministry calls but rather honors and works to strengthen all participants and ministry callings.  
 
On the Wall but on my face,
Sue Rowe
The USA and Global Watch
Transform World Celebration Challenge facilitators, “Trumpet Call to Nations” 
Co-founders The Living Wall
 
 
 
 
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