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Have you ever really thought deeply about what it means to fear God?
You can find the word, fear, over 300 times throughout the Old and New Testament.
Yet . . .
Is the fear of God just as relevant today as it was back when Jesus walked on this earth?
We need the fear of God more than ever today, yet, most people live as if there are no consequences for their actions!
What the Fear of God IS NOT
There are three character traits that prevent you from cultivating the fear of God in your heart.
- A proud heart
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
- An arrogant attitude
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
- Self-sufficiency that says, “I did it my way!”
The Fear of God is Forgotten
Manasseh is one of the kings who reigned over Jerusalem. He started off doing everything evil in God’s sight but had a revival in his heart and humbled himself greatly (2 Chronicles 33:12) and his heart was turned to the Lord.
Manasseh’s son, Amon, totally turned from God and he did evil in God’s sight. He forgot that his father was afflicted and sought the Lord. He forgot that his father humbled himself greatly.
Amon forgot to fear God and never humbled himself before the Lord. He was 22 when he became king and only reigned two years and was murdered by his own servants! (2 Chronicles 33:21-25)
When you lose your fear of God, it grows out of control like a raging fire!
Small Ways You Might Be Losing the Fear of God
It is easy to rationalize why something small is alright.
When I bought an ice cream sandwich, I rationalized the calories because I was entitled (I had folded all that laundry!) and because I deserved it (after all I had been through!)
Ask yourself these questions but without listening to the voice inside your head that rationalizes why it is okay.
- Are you always respectful to your husband?
- Are you sometimes ‘sharp’ with your children?
- Did you allow your thoughts to wander to the ‘negative’ today?
- Did you watch something on TV, Facebook, or YouTube that you couldn’t have watched with Jesus?
I have failed in more than one of these areas! I fall so short and need God to teach me to fear Him!
I need God to show me how deeply sinful I am and how fearful God really is!
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Proverbs 28:14
- You are blessed if you fear the Lord!
- If you harden your heart you will fall into calamity!
Just knowing that a hardened heart will cause you to fall into calamity should be enough to give you the fear of the Lord!
What the Fear of God IS
This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2
When we look at Jesus, we see our pride and arrogant spirit.
“Fear is corresponding with humility and lowliness and sensitivity of heart. The sheer majesty of God as well as the holiness, and justice and power, and wrath of God, cannot be approached in a cavalier spirit.” John Piper
We cannot approach the Creator of the universe with a proud and arrogant spirit.
You experience the fear of God in the right way when you are worshiping (Romans 11:19-20) Him in reverence and awe.
Stand Fast in Fear of Your God and Savior
The natural response to fear is the desire to run away and hide!
God intended that you would stand fast in your fear and that your relationship with Him would be strengthened.
You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Romans 11:19
The Jewish people were rejected by God and they were the branches that were broken off.
Jews were rejected so that I, a Gentile, could be grafted into the Abrahamic covenant. (Romans 11:20) How awesome that you and I could become God’s children!
But . . .
Although that is true, they were broken off because of their unbelief and we need to remember that if we are like Amon (the son of Manasseh) and do not believe and do wickedly in God’s sight, we will also be broken off!
But . . .
If you stand fast in your faith . . . you will have discovered WHAT the FEAR of God really IS!
The fear of God is what causes us to worship and adore the God who has grafted us into His family as a daughter of the King!
It helps us to walk IN the humility and lowliness of Jesus with a sensitive heart to those in need of Christ.
“There is terror when outside of Christ and a different kind of trembling when in Christ.” John Piper
Living fearlessly is the kind of living where the fear of God is part of the very fabric that makes up your heart.
I want a softened heart that is perceptive of God’s leading in my life. Fearing God is the beginning of learning to live fearlessly for Jesus!
Have you been sloppy with living in the fear of God? How do you desire to stretch and grow more in humility, lowliness, and sensitivity while Living Fearlessly for Jesus?