There is a spiritual crisis of immense proportion in the pulpits and churches around the world today because the fear of the Lord is absent and has long departed out of the church house door. The fear of the Lord is the essential ingredient for the church to live and move in the power of the holy spirit and manifest the glory of God in their walk before Him. Without the fear of the Lord, Christianity crumbles into a heap of spiritual deadness and hardheartedness and its message loses its impact to the change the hearts of people. How many in the church are on their face before a holy God more than they are watching television? How many are desperately seeking the presence of God more than the presence of the internet? How many are on their knees every night crying out to God in prayer for more than a few minutes. If we fear God we will be desperately seeking Him like a thirsty deer pants for water for no cost is too great when it comes to knowing, praising and worshipping our God. We lack a daily holy desperation for our God and to live and breathe our existence in His presence.
Isaiah 33:5,6 (NIV); The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with 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.
The fear of the Lord is the key to the treasures of wisdom, knowledge and salvation. The fear of the Lord is the sure foundation for our times. Without the fear of the Lord your life is built on sinking sand. Along with the love of God, it composes the very foundation of life. We cannot truly love God until we fear Him nor can you properly fear God until you love Him.
The fear of the Lord is such an in depth response to the magnificence of God it is difficult to give an exact definition. It is to have a deep, heartfelt, holy, reverential awe, respect and reverence for God; it is to have a deep reverence and respect for His holy standards of life; a deep admiration and sense of awe and wonder of His attributes, His power, His love and mercy and His greatness; it is to have an acute awareness of the presence of God in all His glory that produces in me a sense of awe and calls forth from me honor, respect and reverence. It is to be in such a holy union with God that we love what He loves and hate what He hates and dare not even think to disobey Him. It is also a holy respect for the judgment of God and a sense of trembling in awe at all of his glory and greatness. It is a deep understanding that God has entrusted much to us and we are accountable to God for our actions and the use of the divine abilities He has given us. It is to deeply understand and stand in awe of the majesty of our God. It is to be forever committed in heart to His standard of righteousness and His standard of justice and refuse to allow any impurity or contamination from the world into our heart. It is to be humbled completely and awed by His holy presence that brings us to our knees before Him.
When we truly fear the Lord, we will recognize that He is the Creator and we are the creatures. He is the Master and we are the servants. He is the Father and we are the children. This attitude will manifest itself in our having a respect for God, His Word and in our having a desire to do what He tells us to in His Bible. We can relate this kind of fear to that which a child has for his parents. If the right kind of fear is present, the child knows that his parents can hurt him if there is disobedience, but overriding that fear is the knowledge that disobedience hurts the parents and the child loves and respects his parents and does not want to hurt them. To put it simply, the fear of the Lord is a deep seated reverence for God that causes men to want to please Him at all costs.
Genuine fear of the Lord is always seen in obedience to the Word of God, Proverbs. 8:13. People who do not walk in line with God’s Word, do not fear the Lord, regardless of what they profess with their lips. Therefore, when we fear the Lord, there is also such a respect for Him and for His will that nothing else matters but doing that which pleases the Lord.
Oswald Chambers, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
There are hundreds and hundreds of Scriptures on the fear of the Lord and God builds a real depth to the definition of fear of the Lord and its application in our lives when we study the Bible on this amazing topic.
Deuteronomy 5:29: O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever.
Deuteronomy 13:4: Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
To fear God is to keep His commandments always, to obey His voice, to serve Him and cleave to Him with all our heart with nothing held back from our obedience and devotion to Him.
Deuteronomy 14:23b: That thou mayest learn to fear thy God always.
There should not be one moment of our lives when we do not fear God.
I Samuel 12:24 : Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
To fear God is to consider and know intimately everything He has done for us not only in our redemption and the new birth, but in our daily living.
Deuteronomy 10:12,20 (Amplified): And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being,
You shall [reverently] fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and by His name and presence you shall swear.
To fear God is to walk in His ways, to Love and serve Him with our entire heart and being and to cling to His presence and everything His name represents.
Psalm 89:6,7: For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him.
You must capture a glimpse of the greatness, wonder and unfathomable glory of the Lord before you can fear Him.
John 1:10,11: He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own received Him not.
God never received the reception and honor He deserved. Even His own children did not give Him honor. They served God in the image they had created, not by His true image, but by their own standards. Rebellion by the children of Israel in the Old Testament caused them to shape the fear of God by their own erroneous image of His glory. We see this in the calf of gold which the people called Yahweh reducing the greatness of the Lord to some personal idol and common terms and finite images they were familiar with. They forgot-“Who can compare to our Lord?”
Romans 1:21-Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful.
The children of Israel did not give God the honor, reverence or glory He deserved. Holy fear gives God the place of glory, honor, reverence, thanksgiving, praise, and preeminence He deserves.
Romans 1:23-and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.
O we must be so careful not to serve God in the image we have made of Him.
If we are giving God the honor and reverence He deserves, we would instantly obey Him no matter what the cost. We cannot filter God’s Word and commands through our own culturally influenced thinking. It is like when God says in His Word-“Don’t do this or I hate this,” we rationalize that “it doesn’t apply to me. There is black and white for others, but it is gray for me…I’m exempt if obeying makes my life uncomfortable.” We are really saying God does not mean or do what He says! Then we wonder why sin runs rampant among us and the fear of God is lost. It is no wonder that sinners sit passively in our pews unconvicted by our preaching. It is no wonder lukewarmness is prevalent in “Bible based churches.”
John Bevere: Often the messages we have preached over the past twenty years via pulpits and airwaves have given God the appearance of the “Sugar Daddy in the sky” whose desire is to give us whatever we want, whenever we want it. This spawns a short-lived obedience for selfish reasons. Parents who raise their children in this manner end up with spoiled children. Spoiled children lack a true respect for authority, especially when they do not get what they want when they want it. Their lack of reverence for authority sets them up to be easily offended with God.
When we fear God we will always place His interests above our own.
The fear of the Lord promotes holy living. The person who truly reverences and respects the Lord as he should will not do anything that brings disgrace, dishonor or pain to the heart of the Lord. People who genuinely fear the Lord will flee from evil. The prospect of causing the Lord pain will be too great to bear!
Genesis 22:12-See what it means to fear God in Abraham and Isaac. The fear of God is obedience which does not hold back even what is most precious, when God demands it, and commits to God even that future which He himself has promised. It is releasing that which is most dear even if doing so will apparently alter our future forever. To fear God is to commit to Him whatever He asks in sacred trust that His purposes are served no matter what the future may portend. It is to ruthlessly trust that God’s promise is as solid as a rock no matter how shaky the ground is under my feet. Are you ready to commit your emotional stability, your hopes, you dreams and your sense of well-being to the altar only on the basis that God asks? Are you ready to let go of all your plans, all that emotional investment in yourself, confident that God will make you what he wishes? Do you really believe that God can take of your future? The fear of God brings true intimacy only found in a relationship of utter devotion. What God wants, what God must know, is this: “Are you devoted to Me?” Is your faith based on principle or is it an expression of intimate devotion? This is what God looks for-“Is there a man who fears me?”
Genesis 20:11- “The fear of God is not in this place.”
The fear of God has vanished in America. There is no fear of God in our political leaders. There is no fear of God in modern day Christianity. There is no fear of God on television. There is no fear of God in music. There is no fear of God in movies. Our cultural mocks God and laughs at His truths. Our culture reviles God and ridicules the Bible as a fairy tale. Our social, artistic, educational, and entertainment culture in America has become a place where God is not wanted and where He is hated and put to scorn. Do you think God does not see this? Do you think the stench of this culture has not been seen by the Almighty in the throne room of heaven? God says as He did in Isaiah 37:28 “But I know you well—where you stay and when you come and go. I know the way you have raged against me.” We love idols in America, but we hate God! This is a mighty deception that has infiltrated this country like a dark midst and has spread from sea to shining sea. Will God “bless America” if we mock Him to His face, disobey His commands and we hold His Word in contempt? We have to be fools to think that this country will continue to be blessed by God when we have turned our backs to Him and have worshipped the idols of our hands and minds. We could tell the pundits at the Republican and Democratic Conventions that God Almighty still intervenes in the affairs of nations and that the absence of the fear of God is the reason for every social, economic, national, criminal, and political problem that our country faces this election. They won’t listen. They don’t care about God. The fear of God does not run or drive their campaigns. Ego, greed and pride do. They believe talking about God doesn’t get them any votes. God is not going to win them any swing states. God does not have a vital living relationship with these parties. He is relegated to a slogan at the end of political speeches and He is considered an archaic notion of the past that we have outgrown the need for. God says in 2 Samuel 23:3 “He that rules over men must be just: ruling in the fear of God.” Do you know what the greatest enemy of America may be in our times? As shocking as it may seem the greatest enemy to America now is God Almighty if she does not turn from her wicked ways which it sure looks she arrogantly does not want to do. We add to this judgment by not only practicing runaway idolatry, but by insulting God to His face and trampling His words under our feet with the utmost scorn. God will not be mocked and this nation will reap what it sows. This same pattern is going on in countries all over Europe in England, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, to name a few, and it is the clear pattern of history that a country that follows this path is writing its own prescription for destruction.
In the next few years watch the hatred and persecution of Christianity arise. It has already started and your faith will be tested to be a Christian who speaks the truth and stands for God. One television show refers to Christians that believe he Bible and do not compromise their faith as the “American Taliban”
We cannot play games with a holy God. There is no fear of God is modern day Christianity. We are mocking God with our fleshly gospel and preachers who promise God will get you that Mercedes Benz if you only plant that seed money. God is a holy ATM and not a holy God.
The world attempts to deify man in society. They bring God down from His throne and humanize him and lift man up and deify him. It is the philosophy of “if it feels good do it.” Man is the end of all. It is all about whatever I want and then this allows them to minimize sin. This is the three fold sin of society that you read about in newspapers every day and is the prevailing philosophy of the world-1) bring God down humanize Him, degrade Him to an image or get rid of Him altogether; 2) lift man or woman up to God’s size; make God out of a man or woman; 3) Once we become our own gods, then every man or woman does what was right in their own eyes and every man or woman becomes a law unto themselves. This is when society becomes a lawless society when they make little of God and much of man. There are then no more absolutes in that society, whatever a person thinks is right is right and that causes that society to unravel at its seams and that civilization in history has gone to ashes. In this society there is no more right and wrong; no more standards of sin. It is only how you feel about it. You call the shots. You say what you think about it. You are your own God. No more black and white and this also has become the great sin of church today. Society pronounces its new morality instead of calling what God calls it. This is all evidence of a total lack of the fear of God before their eyes
The lack of the fear of God is the central trait of our sin nature as outlined in Romans.
Romans 3:10b-18 (Amplified): We have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), are under sin [held down by and subject to its power and control].10 As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one.11 No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God.12 All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one!13 Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously). The venom of asps is beneath their lips.14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.15 Their feet are swift to shed blood.16 Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways.17 And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize].18 There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes.
This is the hallmark, the stigma, the brand of the sin nature and all those who live under the power of sin “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Sin blinds us to the fear of God and all these destructive characteristics stem from a life where sin dominates and no fear of God lives in the human heart.
Proverbs 8:13 (NIV): To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
This is a great barometer as to whether we fear God is how much we hate evil, pride, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of the knowledge of God, the starting point for an intimate relationship with God. We cannot even begin to know God on intimate terms until we fear Him. Psalm 25:14-The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him. God reveals the magnificent treasures and secret truths of His Word to those who fear Him. Only two people in the entire Bible were called friends of God. Abraham and Moses and both feared God. God reveals Himself to those who fear Him. The fear of the Lord is to know God’s ways. God shares the motives and intentions of His heart with His friends. He discusses His plans with them and even confides in them. Genesis 18:17-“Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked. God did not hide this plan from Abraham, but shared what He planned to do and confided in Abraham because He feared God.
We must have a burning, holy fear of God in the midst of this crooked perverse world. Everything in the world and the culture of this age is designed to get your heart not to fear God. The pull of the world can never be stronger for us than the fear of God. We are to remember Lot’s wife who had been so influenced by the world that its pull was stronger than the ear of the Lord and she chose to look back on the cities she loved more than God. We cannot be a friend of the world and a friend of God at the same time. We must come out of the world system and be separate if God is to be manifested in our lives. True holiness or purity of heart is perfected or made mature in the fear of God.
When we do not fear God and honor Him as Lord, we withhold a portion of the control of our lives. We can relinquish complete ownership and control of our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ or retain it and remain trapped under the dominion of a lost and dying world. We may confess Jesus as Lord, but our irreverence is made clear by the fruit of our lives, If we fear God, we will yield completely to His authority. We become His bondservants who freely give our lives in service for Him. Nothing is held back. He has unconditional ownership of our lives. Our love of God combined with our holy fear of Him is the true requirements for Him to exercise lordship in our lives.
A religious spirit is not the fear of the Lord. A religious spirit one who uses God’s Word to execute His own will. It is to work our desires into what God has said. The fear of the Lord keeps us from compromising God’s truth for our own personal gain. In God’s eyes partial or selective obedience is the same as rebellion to His authority. It is evidence of a lack of the fear of God.
Psalm 55:19: Because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God.
Repentance is at the heart of fearing God. Also true transformation into the image of Christ and our lives bearing much fruit for God is proof that we fear God. If there is no change in our Christian life and we live the same way we did before we were born again, this indicates no fear of God lives in the heart.
Proverbs 19:23 (NIV): The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
This is a wonderful promise for those who fear God: It leads to life, contentment and a life untouched by any evil or trouble.
Proverbs 16:6 (ESV): By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
Genesis 42:18– And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; [for] I fear God:
Joseph feared God and never complained even in the most difficult and crushing circumstances. Complaining is a killer. It will short-circuit the life of God in you faster than almost any thing. Complaining is nothing more than a manifestation of insubordination of God’s authority. “I don’t like what you are doing in my life, Lord!” It is extremely irreverent! God hates it! God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure and we do all things without murmurings and disputings. This attitude of complaining indicates a complete lack of the fear of God in our hearts.
Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining against God and questioning and doubting among yourselves. Philippians 2:14. The fear of God stops this in its tracks. When we fear God, our hearts are unveiled and we behold His glory and we are transformed into the image we behold. We will shine as brilliant lights in a dark world.
Psalm 25:12: Who then is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
God promises to instruct us in the way God has chosen for us if we fear Him. How exciting is this that God will be our instructor and our teacher and show us the paths to walk on!
John Bevere: There are people who are quick to acknowledge Jesus as Savior, Healer and Deliver…yet reduce His glory to the level of corruptible men by their actions and heart attitudes.
Exodus 20:20-His fear may be before you so that you may not sin; (the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning).
The fear of the Lord keeps us from habitual sin and is the great remedy against sin reigning over us.
Jesus Christ delighted in the fear of the Lord and the fear of the Lord proceeds from the spirit of God that dwells within us. Isaiah 11:1,3a (NASB): Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
If we are to have the same mind and thoughts that Jesus Christ had according to Philippians 2:5, and walk like he walked according to I John, and follow his example according to I Peter, then our delight must be in the fear of the Lord also. From the Hebrew this means the fear of the Lord is to be our delight, our joy, what we seek and desire, our satisfaction, our fulfillment and our pleasure above all else. The longing of our heart and what we should set our heart upon is the fear of the Lord. Jesus Christ exhibited the fear of God in His earthly walk and ministry with maybe the clearest indication in Gethsemane when he prayed in agony “Not my will by thine be done.” He was sold out completely to the will of God. The fear of God positions our hearts to receive answers in prayer: Hebrews 5:7–Who, in the days of His flesh, When He(Jesus) offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.
Jeremiah 32:38-40They shall be My people, and I will be their God; 39 then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
The fear of the Lord is the remedy to keep our hearts from turning or departing from God. The fear of the Lord enables God to fulfill His covenant in our lives. The fear of the Lord is the open door for God’s goodness to pour into manifestation in our lives.
Leviticus 10:3: By those who come near Me, I must be regarded as holy: and before all the people I must be glorified.
John Bevere: Do you think the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is going to come into a place where He is not given due honor and reverence? Do you think the Master of all creation is going to speak when His Word is not respected enough to be listened to attentively. You’re deceived if you do…The Lord never comes where He is not reverenced.
Psalm 5:7-In fear of you I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Where the Lord is reverenced, His presence manifests-and where His presence manifests, needs are met.
Proverbs 1:28-31 (ESV): Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
God does not answer the prayers of those who do not fear Him and despise His counsel.
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 (ESV): “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.
The King of Israel was to write for himself a copy of God’s Word that he was to carry with Him at all times and read it so that he might learn to fear God. The Scriptures teach us how to fear God.
Proverbs 14:16-A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.
Do we shun evil or are we a hotheaded fool and reckless with our lives? Guess which one fears the Lord?
Psalm 36:1,2: An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.
When we cannot even detect our own sin but embrace and love it, we lack the fear of the Lord.
Proverbs 28:14 (NIV): Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
The opposite of fearing the Lord is hardheartedness.
I Peter 1:14=21 (Phillips): Live as obedient children before God. Don’t let your character be molded by the desires of your ignorant days, but be holy in every department of your lives, for the one who has called you is himself holy. The scripture says: ‘Be holy, for I am holy’. If you pray to a Father who judges men by their actions without the slightest favoritism, then you should spend the time of your stay here on earth with reverent fear. For you must realize all the time that you have been “ransomed” from the futile way of living passed on to you by your fathers’ traditions, not with some money payment of transient value, but by the costly shedding of blood. The price was in fact the life-blood of Christ, the unblemished and unstained lamb of sacrifice.
Our time lived on earth must be lived in reverent awe of God; obedient to God; not molded by world or the lusts of our flesh and living holy in every area of lives remembering the price that Christ paid for us. This is living in the fear of God.
Job 28:28 (ESV): And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”
The fear of the Lord is wisdom.
II Chronicles 19:4-10 (NIV): Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 5 He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. 6 He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. 7 Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”8 In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the Lord and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. 9 He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.
In order to serve God faithfully and wholeheartedly we must do so in the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is not just in the Old Testament but the church began to walk in the fear of the Lord on the day of Pentecost and continued thereafter throughout the book of Acts.
Acts 2:42,43: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Acts 9:31: “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
Acts 19:17-20: And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
The fear of the Lord causes the heart to repent and give up all for God. The word of God cannot grow mightily and prevail in the hearts of men and women without the fear of God.
Hebrews 11:7 (ESV): By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord because He lived His life in reverent awe and fear of God and obeyed God in the midst of the ridicule of the world.
Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him: He will also hear their cry and save them.
Jeremiah 52:40: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
How valuable is the fear of the Lord if God Himself puts it in our hearts. The fear of the Lord allows God to fulfill His everlasting covenant in our lives and is the preventive medicine to the heart that keeps it from departing from God. Those who forsake God do not fear Him.
Isaiah 66:1,2:Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
The fear of the LORD is not a minor truth, for we read in the Old Testament “Live in the fear of the Lord always” (Proverbs 23:17)
Psalm 34:9, 11 (KJV): O fear the Lord, ye his saints: there is no want to them that fear Him. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 31:19: Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind.
God promises to teach us the fear of the Lord. He also promises there is no want and abundant goodness stored up for those who fear Him.
Scripture repeatedly says that we are to
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (Pr 3:7b)
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. (Pr 8:13a),
by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil (Pr 16:6b).
Ray Stedman adds that…
To put it in the words of the street today, “man couldn’t care less about what God thinks about him” — and this is the root of all of the problems in human life. There is no concern for God’s opinion in man’s life.” When men no longer fear God, there is no restraint upon their lusts. The NLT conveys the idea nicely –“They have no fear of God to restrain them”
Calvin sums it up writing…
“In short, as (the fear of God) is a bridle to restrain our wickedness, so when it is wanting, we feel at liberty to indulge every kind of licentiousness.”
It is astonishing that men, while they acknowledge that there is a God, should act without any fear of His displeasure. Yet this is their character. They fear a worm of the dust like themselves, but disregard the Most–High, Isaiah 51:12, 18. They are more afraid of man than of God—of his anger, his contempt, or ridicule. The fear of man (Pr 29:25) prevents them from doing many things from which they are not restrained by the fear of God. That God will put His fear in the hearts of His people, is one of the distinguishing promises of the new covenant, (Haldane, R. An Exposition of Romans)
Tozer wrote that…
No one can know the true grace of God who has not first known the fear of God.
Characteristics of the God-fearers: Display integrity (Nehemiah 7:2, Job 2:3); blameless, upright and shun evil (Job 1:1, 8-9, Proverbs 2:7, 16:6); they hope in God’s unfailing love (Psalm 33:18; 147:11); delight in God’s commandments (Psalm 112:1); walk in His ways (Deuteronomy 10:12, Psalm 128:1); hate evil, pride and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13); humble (Proverbs 22:4);
Scroll of remembrance in the book of Malachi contained the names of “those who feared the Lord and honored His name”
Ecclesiastes 7:18b (NIV): The man who fears God avoids all extremes.
In Psalm 19:9a the Word of God is called the fear of the Lord and it is pure, enduring forever.
Psalm 112:1b (NIV): Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commandments.
Proverbs 10:27a (NIV): The fear of the Lord adds length to life.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.
Psalm 25:12,14 (NIV): Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
Jeremiah 31:39: And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.
If we keep flirting with sin, living in sin, carousing in sin, it is living proof that we do not fear God. We do not respect Him enough to obey Him and keep His word. Sure we can ask for forgiveness, but we don’t fear God if we continual to live in the same sinful thinking, action and words because the motive of our heart is out in left field far from God’s holy heart. We bow more in reverence to the lusts of the flesh than to the will of God. If we respect God, we care about the way we live, the way we love, the way we speak, the way we act. Paul continually beseeched us to live in a manner worthy of our calling as a sons and daughters of God.
Fear the Lord and you will depart from evil. Love is obedience. Walk according to His Word is to love Him; to walk in the light and not darkness. We cannot walk in holiness unless the fear of God is in our heart. We are spiritually lazy when we are not walking in the fear of God; we are lovers of sin more than lovers of God. Service of sin and service to God cannot coexist in the heart.
We must fully embrace the word and will of God. We are to spend our entire life on earth according to I Peter in the fear of God. No fear of God in the church and that is why we take the horrendous liberties we do. We have lost our sense of the holiness of God. There is no fear of God left in the land. Do you hate evil or love it? He did not wash us from sin so we can bathe in sin every day. Without fear of God we cannot come into God’s beautiful freedom. Remember God is not mocked. Look at the majesty of God. Our view of God is reflected in how we live. We cannot cut corners with God. The church of God needs a new revelation of the majesty of God. We are to live in constant sense and focus of eternity. False prophets had biggest crowds in Jeremiah’s day. False prophets told people what they wanted to hear. When they prophesied the true word of the Lord the people would say “Can you shut this guy up?” If no fear of God we have to invent a gospel of convenience. The grace of God that does not include a reverential fear of God is a false grace.
Why so many believers are defeated by the lust of eyes, flesh and the pride of life is there is no fear of God in their hearts. We must seek first kingdom of God and His righteousness. God has not given us the gift of holy spirit so we can live in an unholy manner. This gift gives us he power to live and walk in holiness. It gives us the ability to bear the fruit of the spirit not the fruit of the flesh.
II Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, we need to cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit and live a holy life in the fear of God.
This is an amazing verse in the church epistles that teaches us how to life a holy life in the fear of God. The promises of God should motivate us to cleanse our bodies and minds from all filth of the world and live a life in holiness and reverential awe of God.
Malachi 1:6-8 (ESV): “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.
God says “You call me Lord; you call me Father, but where is my honor and reverence? Where is my respect?” They were giving God second rate devotion. He was given second best while the people retained the best for themselves. We dishonor God with our finances, our time, our schedules, our activities and our daily lives when we give Him our leftovers and when we give Him second best. This shows we do not fear God. On the altar of our heart, only God deserves a living, holy and complete sacrifice of everything we are to Him. There is no half “in” in true Christianity. We must be all in or we are just playing games with God. We so often push God aside and say “I am busy, I don’t have time for you right now!” And we think the putrid sacrifice of a 20 second prayer uttered from the deadness of our hearts will appease Him. God is a jealous God and wants all of you. Nothing else is acceptable. Are you willing to give Him this honor? God is not our personal bell hop. He is infinitely bigger than this. So many cry out if God serves me then I will serve Him. We give our all to serve Him without any strings attached. We cannot draw a line with God that limits our obedience.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV): Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
The whole duty of the entire human race is to fear God and keep His commandments. True revival is when God is known as God. We need a Revival of God’s Character.
Carter Conlan: I believe I could line the altar, indeed I’ve seen the altar lined with hundreds, night after night in mass meetings, and yet I believe, at the end of the day, God could say to me, “Thou gavest Me no kiss.” Why? Because I was so busy serving Him, I forgot to worship Him. The priority that God wants in our life is that we worship Him in spirit. Friend I’ve been round the world a few times, it doesn’t give me any standing with God. I happen to write a best seller or two, it doesn’t give me any prestige with God. God seeks those who worship Him. And I say again, I like what Wesley said, “Let me kiss Thy bleeding feet and bath and wash them with my tears. ”When did you last seize Him by His feet and say, “Master, I can’t go another inch without meeting You this morning.” Dr. Tozer told me as a mature man in his sixties that there were times when he lay on the rug for an hour, two hours, three hours, four hours and never uttered a word of prayer, and never uttered a word of praise. He said, “I’m lost in adoration, I see Him in His glory, in His majesty, in His beauty. I can hear those holy beings crying, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.’” And he said, “I’m silent in adoration before Him. I had no language, it is beggered.” And he had a vocabulary as good as any man I know.
Hebrews 12:28 (NLT): Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.
To put it very simply, walking in the fear of the Lord is going to have to be your individual decision. No one can make you do it, no one can do it for you. The decision to live a life that is ordered around a holy, reverential respect for God is a decision that you must make for yourself. If you fear Him, then you will want to honor him in everything. He will come first and His will be paramount in your life. It is easy to see those who walk in the fear of the Lord. His House is a priority, prayer and the Scriptures are priorities, everything God says in His Word take priority and precedent over one’s personal will and desires. The Lord’s way becomes the only way. I pray there is a holy revival in Christianity of the fear of the Lord and a holy desperation to seek His face and to live in His presence all the days of our lives. Nothing less is acceptable for the Christian church.