“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.”
In this devotional, we will continue to look at the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2), which is described in this passage as the “seven Spirits of God”. For our devotion this morning, we will be looking at “The Spirit of knowledge” and “The Spirit of the fear of the Lord”.
What do we learn about the ministries of the Holy Spirit from these titles? These two ministries of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people go hand in hand. As we learn more about the Lord, we are moved to reverence, and fear Him in greater ways. Truly. with knowledge comes a greater respect for the Lord, a recognition of our frailty, an admittance of our continuing sinfulness and our great need of the Lord’s mercy.
It is very important that we understand the meaning of the word “fear” for this lesson. The word fear is the Hebrew word “yare” it is translated in the Bible as “afraid”, “fearful”, “dreadful”, “exceedingly”, and “fearfulness”. It always carries with it the idea of fear or anxiety, or distress, and many times is linked to the idea of greatness, veneration or astonishment.
The idea is this whenever “yare” is present in the life of a person:
- it shows itself as “fear” which comes from anxiety based upon…
- the realization of the greatness or overwhelming ability of the thing feared.
To put it simply, when Christians come to a greater knowledge of the Word they also come to an understanding of The Lord’s greatness, His overwhelming power, His authority and His holiness. This in turn reminds us of our frailty, sinfulness, and inability to please Him of our own ability.
These truths (about God and ourselves) cause us to reverence His person and to fear His chastening hand in our lives. It is much like a child who, not only reverences their Father, but fears His hand of discipline. This type of fear, in no way, minimizes the work of Christ, nor the assurance of salvation that the Christian possesses. It is simply a recognition of our continued failings in life and His love for us in as a heavenly Father, disciplining us to renew a heart of obedience to Him. (Hebs 12:4-17)
There are some that mistakenly believe a Christian is only to reverence the Lord and not to fear Him. However, if we correctly understand the scriptures we know that a Christian is to have a healthy fear of the chastening hand of God in our lives which is one motivation, among many to live Godly lives for Him. Although we do not fear losing our salvation, nor Him sending His eternal wrath upon us, we are to fear what He may do in our lives when we fall into known, unrepentant sin.
This principle is clearly brought out in Isa 11:2 as a ministry of the Spirit in our lives, this is why He is called “the Spirit of the fear of the Lord”. We can also see the same principle in many verses including…
Psalms 2:11 KJV – “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
Psalms 89:7 KJV – “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”
Psalms 119:120-122 KJV – “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors. Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. “
Isaiah 66:2 KJV – “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Hebrews 12:28-29 KJV – “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
May we ask the Lord to develop within us a Godly reverence and fear in our lives through the intervention of His Spirit and increased knowledge of His Word.
May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation: