The tenth anniversary of the worst attack in history on American soil is this Sunday. The actions of 9/11 shocked us and left us deeply shaken with fear. Although we all experience things that shake us and leave us fearful, 9/11 magnified our private shakings to a national level. Unfortunately, that is the nature of our world.
But there is a kingdom coming that cannot be shaken, either on a personal level or a national one. Because we currently are citizens of that kingdom, we’re asked to embrace fear—the fear of the One who is a consuming fire.
That is scary—serving a God who is a consuming fire. We are called to be people who embrace the fear of a fire far greater than the fire that consumed the Twin Towers and planes full of people. And—get this—we’re to embrace this consuming fire of a God and still experience the security of his unshakable kingdom.
So how do we do that? How do we serve God in an acceptable way with the reverence and godly fear that is a hallmark of his kingdom people? How do we stand out from the crowd as people of God walking in the reality of a kingdom that cannot be shaken?
I don’t know about you, but I find that an impossible assignment. I seem to fear many things, and most of the time the fear of God is not at the top of my list.
It isn’t surprising that the #1 ingredient for serving God with the right kind of fear is grace. I just can’t get the fear thing right apart from the supernatural power of grace. Without grace, I act and react much the same as those outside the kingdom of God.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
The truth and grace that flows from Jesus Christ (John 1:17) is the secret to living in a kingdom that cannot be shaken by terrorists, personal failures, economic woes, fractured relationships, or health problems.
Grace is required to embrace the God of consuming fire without being destroyed. (You can find tips on how to tap into this grace in my post “The Secret to Being a Supernatural Follower of Jesus.”)
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is Sunday. Are you tapping into God’s grace in such a way that those around you see a person calmly serving a God whose fire is more powerful, consuming, and totally different than that of 9/11? How do you know?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis
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I recently watched Francis Chan’s Fear God by Flannel. I recommend it in addition to your excellent.