Fear of the Lord
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This phrase is actually in a lot of places in the Bible. Through several conversations in the past week, I have come to understand what true fear of the Lord actually is, and I am going to attempt to increase your understanding. It is even my prayer that your fear of the Lord will increase. So, here we go…
Do you think that fear means just that…fear? The answer is yes! We should be afraid of the Lord and what He has the power to do to us. He is The Almighty God! If He chose to do so, He could squash us in the same way that we squash an ant. We should absolutely respect God’s capabilities, because if He chose to do so, He could absolutely destroy us…thank God He chooses not to. Check out Matthew 26: 52-53, when Peter was thinking Jesus should fight and kill, Jesus made it very clear that he COULD…but chose not to. Today, He still chooses to love us and not reject us. For years, I totally took that love and USED it to continue in my own sinful and fleshly desires. I had no real fear of the Lord. I see the majority of “Christians” do the same thing today. I’m going to give you just a few examples and you can determine if you fear God, or people. In fact, answer the question before you read on, who do you fear more…God? Or people?
I know a young man that loves God. I know he has been saved. I also know that he is addicted to drugs. He wants to quit, but once the withdrawals kick in, he goes back just to feel “normal.” I do not doubt his salvation. I do however know that He does not have the proper fear of the Lord. He will often use the fact that God has already forgiven him for using the drugs that he is about to take. He is totally taking advantage of God’s love, grace, and mercy. Now, his parents do NOT know the severity of the situation. They think he drinks a little and “boys will be boys” and it’s not so bad. Now, think about that, he will tell GOD exactly what he is doing and ask for forgiveness and even help. However, he will NOT confess EVERYTHING to his parents, and ask them for forgiveness and help. He certainly won’t take those drugs in front of his parents, but will take them in front of God…Why? He trembles at the thought of his parents knowing. He fears man more than he fears God. Plus, he is only hurting himself by ignoring the very people God placed in his life that could actually help him in his current situation.
The most frequent sin that teenagers tell me about is having sex outside of marriage. Almost all of them feel guilty, and know that it directly affects their relationship with God. Many times they tell me that they have asked God to forgive them, but they keep going back. The reason that they keep going back is that they don’t have the proper fear of the Lord. How do I know? Think about it…let’s say a boy is having sex with his girlfriend. 99 times out of 100, neither one of their parents know about their sexual activity. So, instead of “confessing” to God, how about the next time it happens, go immediately to your girlfriend’s parents and tell them everything you did to their daughter, ask their forgiveness, but tell them you are going to do it again. Then, go home and tell YOUR parents everything you told her parents. Every person I tell this to says the same thing…”I can’t do that!” Do you think they fear God?
So, the question is…do you properly fear God? What are the sins in your life? If you really want to stop, make this resolution…the next time you commit that sin, do NOT confess it to God, confess it to the people that your sin hurt the most. Do you steal? The next time you steal, go tell the store manager, or your boss, or whoever you stole from exactly what you did. Don’t tell God, tell them. The next time you look at pornography, don’t ask God to forgive you, tell your wife that pictures on the internet are more exciting than her and then ask for her forgiveness, and make sure you tell her that you are going to look at them again and ask her to forgive you for those times as well. The Bible says “confess your sins one to another” (James 5:16) Now, do you understand why? God forgave you at Calvary when you asked Him to save you…there is only repentance with God, a change of mind and heart along with a change of action…not repeated cycles of sin in which you ask for forgiveness. Confession should first take place with the people that you hurt through your sin.
I remember getting ill with Caroline about a month ago. I was tired and aggravated, and when she did whatever it was that she did (I honestly don’t remember), I went off on her. She took it, but before I went to sleep she asked me if I loved her…I was crushed. My behavior made my little girl doubt my love for her. So what did I do? Ask God to forgive me? NO! I took Caroline and put her right in front of me and knelt down to her level so I could see her eyes. I said, “do you remember when daddy got mad at you“…she said “yes.” I said “Daddy was wrong for that…will you forgive me?” She said “yes,” and gave me a big hug. I prayed and repented of my sin right there with her arms around me and asked God to make me very aware of my actions like that…He has!
I know this is hardcore, but this is the way you have to look at it. Look at our society, we have ZERO fear of the Lord. Las Vegas flat out call itself “sin city.” They say crap like “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!” I’m sorry, but what happens in Vegas, and anywhere else is in full view of the Lord, and you better fear Him…one day, you will stand before Him!
Who shall ascend into the Hill of the Lord?
Who shall stand in His holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart;
Who hath not lifted his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face. — Psalm 24: 3-6