Happy New Year!!! Yes, I know, it’s almost March! I’ve been slow getting back to posting what’s on my heart. For the past several months, I have had this important spiritual topic on my mind. I’ve spent much time in my Bible looking at what God has to say about this topic. When I hear about those who say they have given their heart to Jesus and been born again, but are struggling to come out of homosexuality… or just don’t want to come out and be changed, I believe a major reason they are not motivated to do so is because they do not “fear God”. I’m talking about the person who is a Christian, but still lives in bondage to habitual sin, like homosexuality. (But it could be any habitual sin!)
Is an understanding of fearing God really that important? There are more than 120 direct references to “fearing God” in the Old and New Testaments. Now any Bible study student knows that a topic that is frequently addressed in God’s Word is important! It’s definitely something our Father wants us to know and understand and apply to our lives. Also, throughout the Scriptures, we can evaluate Biblical characters by their “fear of God”. When they are walking in obedience, you can assume that the fear of the Lord is present. When they fail in their walk, the fear of God is absent. How can I be so sure? Because of those 120+ verses that you, too, can check out as a good Berean!
What is a good biblical definition of the fear of the Lord? A word study shows it is the sort of reverence and respect of God that results in obedience to His Word (Psalm 111:10). By contrast, the sinner or wicked have no fear of God (Psalm 36:1). Fearing God enriches our lives and keeps us from sin. One of the best examples in the Bible of a man who feared God is Job. He was blameless, upright, feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1). Notice the connection between fearing God and turning from evil.
Fear of God is important in the life of a believer… it is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10) needed to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. I believe our motivation to change and be who God wants us to be is a two-sided coin. God’s love is the first side (and we talk about this quite a bit) and fearing God is the flip side. Why then don’t we often talk about fearing God? Why don’t we hear more teaching on fearing God? Why aren’t more books written on the topic of fearing God? Or maybe I’m just missing all these talks, messages and books!
If you or someone you know is a Christian but continues to struggle with habitual sin, like homosexuality, the question must to be asked, do you fear God? Take some time to study what the Bible has to say about “fearing God”. Allow the Holy Spirit an opportunity to teach you concerning the importance of “fearing God”. In a few weeks, we can get back together when I post Part 2. You can start your study with the verse below. This is a topic God wants us to understand and apply to our lives and be able to help others understand so they can apply it to their lives! Ok, time to enjoy this important search through the Scriptures!
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:7 (Proverbs 8:13; 16:16)