Fear of God – Spiritual Principles From YWAM’s Early Days
Published on: August 11, 2020
In January we started the series Spiritual Principles from YWAM’s Early Days based on input from YWAM Leader Lynn Green and prayed about Seeking God (Loren Cunningham); Holy Living (Lynn Green), followed in February; and Lordship of Christ (Darlene Cunningham), in March. And then just days after praying about Lordship of Christ, YWAM leaders began sending students home due to the coronavirus pandemic and thus, we interrupted this series to pray for coronavirus related topics through July.
Join YWAMers around the globe in praying and hearing from God. He is inviting you!
We are happy to invite you this month to pray into the final topic in our Spiritual Principles from YWAM’s Early Days series: Fear of God. Our video features Ramona Musch (YWAM Atlanta) discussing fear of the Lord with Miranda Heathcote (YWAM Spain). Ramona was associated with the first YWAM school in Switzerland over 50 years ago and says that she started to understand fear of the Lord by seeing how YWAM’s founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham were willing to follow God even if it meant being misunderstood by man. Ramona sums up fear of the Lord as being more concerned with what God thinks of you than what others think Please watch the 21:24 minute video here: https://youtu.be/2iP2AZ0hH8o. For a written summary of this video, please see below.
Please join us this month during The Invitation prayer day on Thursday, August 13 as we pray. If you only have a few moments, please pray that the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of YWAMers as we pray and that we will better understand the Holy One and His will.
Thank you for being part of The Invitation. We would love to receive stories from you regarding how you prayed. You can email us at [email protected].
Additionally, we will soon be celebrating YWAM’s 60th anniversary. Drop us a note to let us know how you plan to celebrate that milestone or to tell us your favorite YWAM story.
Prepare to Pray:
Begin with a quick read of Daniel 1:1-20.
Read and discuss:
- Daniel 1:1-2
- What emotions do you think the people of Israel had after these events took place?
- Daniel 1:3-5
- What were the people of Israel to be taught?
- How does this relate to the world today?
- Why do you think they were to stand before the king at the end of three years?
- Daniel 1:6-8
- Who was included in this group that were to be taught?
- What did Daniel resolve? What ‘right’ did Daniel give up?
- What might you resolve today? What ‘right’ might you give up?
- Daniel 1:9-14
- How did God respond to Daniel taking this stand?
- What do you think Daniel’s relationship with God was like?
- What was the concern of the chief of the eunuchs?
- Who did the chief of the eunuch’s fear?
- What do you think the chief’s relationship with God was like?
- What was Daniel’s response to that concern?
- In whom and/or what do you think Daniel had confidence in making this statement?
- How did the chief of the eunuchs respond?
- Daniel 1:15-16
- What was the result?
- Do you have any similar personal stories?
- Daniel 1:17
- What did God provide for these youth?
- What does God provide for us today?
- Daniel 1:18-20
- They were now standing before the king as he had commanded 3 years ago:
- What did the king see?
- Do you think anyone was surprised by this? Who?
- What might you take from this story of Daniel and his friends?
- How does this story relate to our topic Fear of God?
- Can you think of any other stories in the Bible that reflect a healthy fear of God?
- If so, what ones?
Daniel chapter three provides another story of Daniel’s friends that represents fear of God. Read it if you have time and discuss.
Resolve to be like Daniel and others who fear God, not man.
I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.
Pray for YWAM:
- As you pray, be aware of His presence. Ask Him to keep you in the state of being aware of His presence even after you finish this time of prayer. (Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” ESV)
- Think of five characteristics of God. Write those down and thank Him. Ask Him to reveal other characteristics to you.
- Praise God for the ways He has used YWAM leaders because they feared the Lord. Praise Him for how He has directed you in this area.
- Ask the Lord to convict you of where you are more concerned with how others view you than how the Lord views you. Ask Him to take away the fear of man and replace it with proper fear of Him.
- Thank God for the grace He has given you and for the love He has for you, in spite of Him knowing everything you do and think.
- Ask God to teach you His ways. (Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11 ESV)
- Ask God to show you how to fear Him.
- Think about a particular aspect of His creation. Ask God to show you how big He is. (For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[a]in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:20 ESV)
- Pray to be in alignment with God’s Word.
- Pray for mentors who have more of a fear of God than you do.
- Ask God to show you the value of fearing of God.
- Thank God for His Son with whom you have a personal relationship. Thank Jesus, that you can trust Him with your life.
- Train yourself to daily, even minute by minute, focus on His presence. Focus on what is going on in the spiritual world, blocking out noise from the physical world.
- Read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
- Think of one “right” in your life that you want to give up and take steps to make it happen.
- Put yourself in different settings: away from everyone in the woods, with very young children, large YWAM meeting, walking down the street, at a park, etc. Stop and look around you. Ask Him to show you how big He is. What characteristics do you see by observing His creation in different settings? Make a list and ponder it for several days.
- Find a mentor that displays fear of God. Be a mentor to someone else.
- Read None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) and In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character, both by Jen Wilkin.
- Share on facebook.com/youthwithamission, post a picture and add a comment about how you prayed.
- Go to twitter.com; search for #praywithywam and tweet about your prayer time/post a picture. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
- Send an email to [email protected] letting us know how you prayed and what God revealed to you.
How We Prayed
July 2020 – Seeking God During Coronavirus
- YWAM Bangkok, Thailand – A YWAMer from Bangkok who was visiting relatives in Boston when the pandemic shut down borders shared that she is waiting to return and has heard much from the Lord. Psalm 12 and the word “crucible” was significant. She saw a vision while being still. It was the big Thai letter that means base or pedestal. She heard “Strengthen the bases you have.”
- A Korean YWAMer also heard several messages including “the blind spots of this society are visible to Christians so we can share the pain and suffering together.”
- Another woman asked for reconciliation and forgiveness during this time.
- A husband prayed that he, his wife and his family would stay focused in seeking the Lord during the pandemic.
- Another YWAMer prayed that the cross of Christ would be the center of YWAM.
- September 10: YWAM’s 60th
- October 8: Creation Care
- November 12: Haiti
Don’t Miss The Invitation:
- Sign up for prayer updates. Go to ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
- Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
- Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the Facebook page on the second Thursday at facebook.com/youthwithamission or on Twitter @ywam, hashtag #praywithywam. You can also post a photo on Instagram and use the same hashtag, #praywithywam.
- You can now listen to The Invitation as a podcast. To sign up or listen to past episodes, go to: ywampodcast.net/prayer.
- If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us: [email protected].
Summary of Ramona Musch’s Video:
Miranda Heathcote, who works with YWAM in Spain, began by introducing Ramona Musch, who is located in Atlanta, USA. Ramona was part of the first YWAM school in Switzerland more than 50 years ago and has been involved in YWAM ever since. Miranda asked Ramona to explain how she understands the fear of the Lord and how she has seen this principle guiding YWAM, and why that matters.
Ramona said, when she thinks of the fear of the Lord she thinks of continual awareness of the presence of God, how majestic He is. All our thoughts, words and actions lay open before Him.
She said that it was really Loren and Darlene Cunningham who taught her about the fear of the Lord. She came from the same denomination as they did. In that denomination the fear of the Lord was sometimes legalistic. You were afraid you would be condemned for going to a movie or using makeup. In YWAM she heard Loren and Darlene tell how they went to their denominational heads and told them they would like YWAM to be part of their denomination, but they wanted to work with other missionaries and other denominations. They were not given this permission.
Ramona said this taught her what the fear of the Lord meant, because she saw Loren and Darlene willing to follow God even if it meant being misunderstood or giving up their standing with their denomination. Loren and his father were quite high up in the denomination. “They were giving up their rights to their reputation and they were saying, ‘This is more important: What does God say?’”
Later, Joy Dawson introduced YWAM to a lot of the teaching on the fear of the Lord.
Miranda clarified that what Ramona said makes a distinction between a feeling of having to live by rules and a heart response to God that says, “His opinion of us and His directing of us is more important than anything else.”
Ramona told the story of the first YWAM ship, the Maori, and the repentance that took place about the pride of not following God about the timing. She had been involved in recruiting and fund raising for the vessel. She participated in the long prayer meetings that happened after Loren decided to give up the ship.
Ramona emphasized the importance of earnest, lengthy prayer meetings like this. Part of the fear of God, Ramona said, is to allow God to convict us of sin. “That takes time,” she said. “If you’re not listening, you’re not going to really know what God is thinking.”
She said the balance in the fear of God is to understand that God is a loving God but we are to be in awe of Him because He does see everything we do and what we think. He takes note, but “he has a lot of grace and a lot of love.”
Miranda said this gives us a bigger view of God. In our culture today we are often very concerned about how we look. She asked Ramona how she would ask us to pray about a renewal of fear of God today.
Ramona gave several suggestions:
Psalm 88:11: Ask God to teach us His ways.
Romans 1:20: Ask God, show me how to fear you. Take time to look at creation. “God, show me how big you are.”
Pray to be in alignment with God’s Word. “Please get into the Word. Know what the Bible says. That’s the best way to get into the fear of the Lord.” Ramona recalled that Joy Dawson prayed with so many adjectives about God. She would pray, “God you are so…” and she would list all those characteristics of God. As an 18-year old, Ramona would hear this prayer and she thought she didn’t have these adjectives because she didn’t really know God like Joy did.
Read the laws of God. What does the Bible say? Meditate on these things.
Pray for mentors who have more of a fear of God than we do. For Ramona, being around Joy Dawson and Loren and Darlene motivates her. She wants to be like them.
Ask God to show us the value of the fear of God. YWAMers might see the fear of the Lord as something they have to give up, their pride or relationships. They don’t understand that the fear of the Lord is that personal relationship with Jesus. “We can trust Him with our lives.” That motivates us even more. It’s something that makes us want to get to know Jesus better.
“And he takes away the fear of man. That’s what’s so exciting about the fear of the Lord. We don’t have to be concerned about what other people think of us, what our peers think of us. We are just more concerned with what does God think of us. It puts everything else in a blur and makes us focus on the Lord.”