How often have I been flippant before God? How often have I approached God with overconfidence, demanding what He so freely offers yet I don’t deserve? How come I’m ok with coming before God with a junked up conscience so unaware or uncaring that my hands are covered in sin? How did I let my heart become so hard before Him and so dull to the sound of His voice? When did I think it was ok to trample into His house without respect or consideration of who’s house I am entering?
Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Even Moses standing before a burning bush was reminded by God almighty that he need not approach in haste or to consider the ground where God had chosen to meet with Moses as ordinary. Moses was cautioned to keep his distance and to remove his sandals. God declared who He was and Moses hides his face from God because Moses is afraid.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
How often have I trampled into God’s house, hasty to utter foolish words before God in haste to speak my mind to Him who already knows everything? How often have I forgotten to listen because I thought I already understood and did not need to take heed to the Word? God sits enthroned in Heaven. In all His splendor. He has existed eternally. He is utterly holy. What could I possibly say?
Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen.
(Deut 10:12, 20–21)
Notice that God states that we are required to fear Him. In order to walk in His ways, to love him and to serve Him we must first fear Him. You cannot understand God without fear for Him. (see Prov. 1:7) You cannot follow God without fear for Him. You cannot rightly love God without having a deep fear for Him in your heart. You will not be able to serve Him if you do not first fear Him. You see, fear is the basis of any relationship we can have with God. We are not equipped to have a right, correct, godly, gracious relationship with our Maker without first fearing Him. How can we embrace Him as Savior if we do not first understand His rightful place as our holy and righteous judge before whom we accurately stand accused? (see Luke 12:5)
How often though have I seen young and old alike abrasive to God’s voice in their life? When confronted with His word, I have seen them. They make excuses. They explain how they are an exception. They nod and smile in kind agreement on the outside but I see in their eyes their thoughts are elsewhere. They are unwilling to yield to Him who is their Maker. My heart is heavy because this tendency is in my heart as well. I am rebellious and am not even one step away-so easily enticed to thumb my nose to my Creator and to demand my own way over His. I weep because I do not fear God as I should, my heart is heavy because often I am more flippant than fearful.