Holiness is the end product of obedience. When we are holy people we are obedient people. The one cannot work without the other. If we look at The Book of Job 28:28 (NKJV) The Bible says, "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding." The fear of God means to respect God.
My wife Jill and I have just returned from the Kruger National Park where we had a beautiful break together and God spoke to us much through His creation, especially the wild animals.
We had the privilege of seeing two male lions and two female lions. These lions are in captivity, but were placed in a large enclosure. The young game ranger that manages them has looked after them since they were cubs. He patted them through the bonox fence and he said to me, "Oom Angus I want to show you something." These lions clearly loved him and were purring as they were rubbing up against the fence next to him. He then proceeded to lie down on the ground and as he laid down all of a sudden, these lions changed their attitude in an instant from being passive, quiet, loving lions to becoming very intense and saw him as prey. They probably would have killed him if there wasn't a fence between them.
CS Lewis who wrote the book, 'The Lion (representing Jesus), the Witch (representing the devil) and the Wardrobe' said of the Lion: "He is not a tame lion... But a good One."
The Bible tells us that our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and in Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV) the Lord says, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." We really need to start respecting our God much more in the church today. It concerns me deeply when I see the lack of reverence for our Almighty God. He is not; 'my China,' 'my buddy,' 'cool dude,' 'a big boss or the man upstairs.' He is Almighty God and John 1:1 says that He created Heaven and Earth with one Word. He is a good God, but not a God to become familiar with. The way you and I can prove to God that we respect Him is by obeying His commandments. We cannot tell God we love Him, but we are doing our own thing. Maybe you are reading this article and you are saying, "But Angus it's my life, I can do what I like with it!" That is a big mistake that you have made, because once you gave your life to Jesus Christ and you are born again, you become a new creation, "old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have no more rights because you have surrendered your rights to Jesus Christ. Therefore, you and I have got to adhere to His requests without objection.
I thank the Lord that He is a "good One." Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that He is familiar with our hardships, temptations and the challenges we face here on earth because when He walked on this earth Jesus Himself was subjected to every one of them. So, He understands our situation and expects us to communicate with Him. He is very compassionate and He will walk through the fire with us. However, we must do it His way and not our way.
Many times, I would sit across the table counselling people who are angry with God and they would thump the table. They say that God is going to have to give them some answers when they get to Heaven, because of their situation. They would ask me, "How can God allow this to happen to me?" Quite clearly, they have no concept of who God is because when you and I stand before Almighty God we will be lying down on our faces until Jesus picks us up and gives us the courage to face the Creator of heaven and earth.
Many of these people that I counsel have brought their hardships upon themselves because they do not respect God and do not obey His commands. If The Bible says we are not to be unevenly yoked and we disregard His counsel, we will get involved in an ugly situation. It might be for example a marriage situation or a business situation with an unbeliever. However, if we call upon the Name of the Lord He will always and in every case give us a way out, but we need to do it His way.
Remember He is not a "tame Lion... but a good One." Let us learn to obey His commands and to love Him dearly as He loves us. John 15:13 (NKJV) "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and He will protect us to the end.