On the fear of God and the sea

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” ‘Do you not fear Me?’ says the LORD. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.’… Behold, a people comes from the north country, and a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth. They will lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy; their voice roars like the sea; and they ride on horses, as men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.” (Jeremiah 5:22, 6:22-23)

I’ve been reading through Jeremiah. Whoa! Or I should say Woe! Woe is me, for I am a woman who has feared man not God. The heartcry of the true and Living God in Jeremiah is:

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a a salt land which is not inhabited.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yeilding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

It is not some great wall I’ve built to keep the waves of sin and the enemy from overtaking me that keep them out… it is simply the Word of God. Just as it is not a mighty wall that man built which keeps the oceans from over taking the land, but simply the Word of God.

Think about that. Think about the beach. It’s sand there. Flat, smooth, sand. There is nothing keeping the oceans back. There is nothing to keep the roaring waves from engulfing the coast except the word of the Unseen God who says to the oceans, “Stop there, at the pitiful little grains of sand. Stop there.” He is also the God who says, “Flood! Rush in! Overtake! Drown the coast!”

In my life I must not make flesh my strength. If I do, God may say, “Flood!” just to remind me that it is not my strength which keeps back the terror of the enemy and the destruction of sin in my life, but it is simply His word.

This is why I must obey His word. It’s His word that is holding back the enemy and sin from dominating me. It is not self-righteousness to obey God’s word to me, it’s fearing Him. It’s trusting Him. It’s believing He keeps the oceans back by His word.

The enemy is cruel and shows no mercy. His voice roars like the sea out there while God’s word holds him back. I can hear his roars and I must rest in God’s word which commands him to stay where he is. I can hear his roars and I must not depart from the LORD and begin to think because I’m doing some thing I think is good or strong or honorable in the eyes of men that I am keeping the ocean of sin and the cruel enemy. I must also not think just because I see nothing seperating me (the sand) from the enemy (the ocean) that I can do whatever I want. God’s word is holding destruction back from me and so I must walk in the Word. His grace and mercy has covered my sins and drowned them in the sea. I died with Him (the Word made flesh) on the cross. It’s not my flesh holding the enemy back… my flesh died with Christ. I can’t just do what I want… I’m dead in Christ. The only life, the only strength I have is in His life.

Oh let me walk in such fear in my stay here. There is a sea of sin and an ocean of cruel enemies ready and willing to overtake me if the God who holds them back says, “Okay.” He is a patient God. He is a merciful God. He is the God who laid down His life for me. So let me not test Him. Let me not trample His grace underfoot. Let me say, “You are good and You are all that is keeping destruction from me, therefore I will trust in You and in Your instructions to me. Let the enemy roar. Let him threaten, for You who died for me have held him back.”

Isaiah 51:3

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