If we want the Fear of the Lord to grip this nation and turn to Him, it will take more than prayer. It will take more than trumpeting His cause or decrying the godlessness pervasive in our culture. It will take believers who are willing to give everything they have and are for everything He has and is. It will take hearts that are desperate enough to do whatever it takes to receive the full measure of His Spirit and kingdom realities.
At a time when God’s grace is being heralded as His ultimate expression of love, we need to remember what being a Christian really means. It is death to self and full surrender to Him. We have forgotten what it means to sacrifice – for the right reason and for the right Person. This is the power behind fasting and consecration. It is our willingness to lay aside every distraction, self-effort, good work, and anything else that becomes self-serving instead of God-pleasing. Our prayer altars will only have the needed power when we lay sacrificial offerings on those altars.
When I asked the Lord about this sounding like I’m “working” for His promises, His answer was, “There is a difference between WORKS and SACRIFICE.” Works are driven by the flesh. Sacrifice comes from the heart. It is this heart of absolute surrender that He is looking for and this kind of sacrifice that releases the Fear of the Lord. It states in Isaiah 11:3 that “His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.”(ESV) That word delight is the Hebrew word “ruah” and means “to smell or perceive”. It is the same word used in numerous passages about the pleasing aroma or offering that goes before the Lord in a sacrifice (Genesis 8:21; I Samuel 26:19). In other words, when someone sacrifices something – totally surrenders – to the Lord out of a pure heart, it is a delight to Him. It becomes an aroma of complete surrender which opens the way for Him to come and totally consume the one who gave the offering.
This word came two weeks ago after I encountered the Fear of the Lord in a dream. The Lord appeared as a magnificent Tiger in the midst of our prayer gathering. His size and power were immense and yet He was soft and warm. His presence was overpowering yet He held back. As we lay prostrate on the floor, He prowled around sniffing and looking, even coming up on the backs of individuals as He was smelling each person. He was looking for something. When he eventually came to me, I felt the Fear of the Lord as he put his muzzle right next to my face. I knew He was smelling me, testing me…
Where are the hearts of complete surrender? I can smell those whose offerings are of the heart and are desperate for My ways and My plans. I am drawn to the aroma of sacrifice and complete surrender for it is in those hearts that I can fully manifest my glory and power. Where are those who are willing to do whatever it takes for my manifest Presence to come? What kind of offering will you bring? What will you lay down in order for Me to move in?
Do you not know that I, TOO, am HUNGRY! I am hungry for you – fellowship with you – communion with you. I hunger and thirst for that which only you can give – your heart – your will – your life – your “everything”. Bring an offering and lay it on your prayer altar as a sacrifice unto ME and the aroma will draw all of heaven to your side. I am searching for that scent of surrender for when I find it, I will consume you.