Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Blessings of Fearing God

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Everything in life boils down to this one simple truth, fearing God! So the all important question is what does it mean to fear God? Fearing God includes, but it is not limited to, respecting and reverencing Him. Holy fear gives God the place of glory, honor, reverence, thanksgiving, praise and preeminence He deserves. But simply put, fearing God is to respect His holiness by hating what He hates and loving what He loves, with a wholesome dread of displeasing Him.

What Does God Promise to those who Fear Him?
Let’s stay in the book of Proverbs for now. The term “fear of the Lord” appears 14 times in Proverbs. Here are a few of them and the results of fear the Lord.
• Proverbs 3:7-8 Health and strength
• Proverbs 9:10 Beginning of Wisdom (Wisdom is seeing things through
the eyes of God, Responding the way God would respond)
• Proverbs 10:27 Prolongs life (Eph. 6:1-3)
• Proverbs 14:26 Promotes confidence and provides protection
• Proverbs 15:16 Contentment (1 Tim. 6:6)
• Proverbs 16:6 Strength to turn away from evil
• Proverbs 19:23 Complete satisfaction in life

How do we learn to Fear God?
I would suggest the simple truths:

1. Dig In: Prov. 2:1-5 (The Word of God is likening to buried treasure so we need to dig in. Notice here in these verses there are 8 ways we dig into God’s Word.)
• Receive: means to snatch or cease. Ask the Lord to reveal one truth each time you open the Word of God. One truth that you can snatch up and live by!
• Treasure up: Has the idea of hiding them. (Ps. 119:111) Hold them dear, value them.
• Incline your ear: means to lean toward. Mt. 6:6 (close the door to remove all distraction. Get alone with the Lord!
• Apply your heart: Give it all you have
• Cry out: Shows dependency, like a little baby who will die if they don’t cry out for help!
• Lift your voice: There is an urgent need!
• Seek: Hunting it out!
• Search: Is not to stop!

2. Despise Sin: Prov. 8:13 (How do we look at sin? Often we are concern more about the consequences of sin that commit the sin itself.)
• Luke 3:7 God likens sin to venomous snakes.
• Rom. 3:13 God likens sin to the stench of a sepulchral (a place where human flesh has rotted).
• 2 Peter 2:22 God likens sin to the vomit of dogs.
• 2 Tim. 2:17 God likens sin to leprosy (cancer)

These are all things that we naturally run away from. We naturally try to stay away from things. We don’t try to get as close as we can, we run from them! Is this how we treat sin? God hates sin so much and must deal with it and has dealt with it at Calvary! He sent the Lord Jesus to die to pay the penalty of sin, which is death. So why would we run back to that which we have been set free from and has cost Him so much?

3. Desire Him: Prov. 14:2 (Phil. 3:7-10).
• We can not walk with God and walk with sin (1 Jn. 1:5-10).
• We can not walk with God and walk with pride (Prov. 22:4, Jm. 4:6-10).
• We can not walk with God and walk with the world (Prov. 23:17, Jm. 4:3-4).

Read what John said about this in 1 Jn. 2:15-17. In Psalm 73 we have recorded for us a man was doing just what John warns us about. He looked at the world with envy. He thought he was missing out. He saw them seeming to get away with so much and it almost cost him his faith. He almost compromised himself with the world he envied. It would seem that he might have even tried to get as close to it as he could without crossing that line! But what was the antidote for Asaph? What is the antidote for us? Ps. 73:17 tells us that Asaph went into the presence of the Lord. This helps us clean lenses of our spiritual eyes.

I would suggest that Asaph began to fear the Lord! Getting into the presence of the Lord helps us realign or thinking be in tune with God’s thoughts. We begin to see things from His point of view! When we begin to fear the Lord, hate what he hates and love what He loves, we realize what Asaph realized in Ps. 73:25-28, that He is enough the heart and mind to fill! But it all begins with whether or not I fear the Lord!

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