This morning I listened to the podcast The Hindrance of Revival, about what keeps us from experiencing the manifestation of the Lord in our daily lives. If you’ve never studied the book of Malachi, you should. It’s written as a complaint from the Lord to His people — to His people who were in church. “‘From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘But you say, ‘How shall we return?'” (Mal 3:7)

As you continue to study this book, you will see that the Lord isn’t happy with the leftovers His people give. He wants and deserves first place. Anything else shows the living Sovereign God that we don’t truly value Him as we should, and that profanes His name. And from that place we dare to ask for blessings, even when we don’t give Him proper respect. Instead of humbling ourselves before Him and seeking Him first, we are prideful for what we want.

The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with His justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” (Is 33:5-6) The Hebrew word for “fear” used here is also the word for “respect”. In order for Him to be our sure foundation who is ready to generously give us salvation, wisdom and knowledge out of His abundance, we must properly worship Him. We do that by giving Him the respect He is due and by respecting His name and who He is — the one true God.

What will the Lord do for those who fear Him? Several verses after He says “Return to Me, and I will return to you”, He shows us what He means. Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. ‘They will be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” (Mal 3:16-17)

Dear Lord, thank You for the reminder this morning that if I am not experiencing You in my daily life, it’s most likely because I am not giving You the proper respect and fear that You deserve, You are the King of kings, the Lord of lords. You created me from dust and breathed Your Spirit into my lungs to give me life. You have provided or allowed all that I see, feel and taste for Your purposes and the glory of Your kingdom. Lord, You know the plans You have for me for hope and a future if I seek You and Your will with all my heart. You say if I do, You will hear me. Lord, I don’t deserve all that You want to give me, but I thank You that You love even me. Lord, please guide me to keep me humble, and to seek Your will first. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.