To Fear or Not To Fear

In last week’s Food for Thought, we saw two people who either did not understand God’s expectations for His church, or, they didn’t fear God enough to be concerned with consequences of their behavior.  And in fearing God, it’s not being afraid of Him, but reverencing Him with the utmost awe and respect. Many in the church today might say they love God, but in their speech and behavior, it becomes obvious they do not fear Him.  Or another way to put it is, Jesus is their savior but not their Lord. In John 14:15, Jesus says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” ESV.  Making Jesus Lord of your life means doing things His way, not yours.  It means checking the scriptures for what Jesus said about a matter and doing that no matter how you feel about it.  It means praying about a matter and waiting on God until you receive an answer and a peace.  And, many times, doing what God wants is not always what is apparent or logical.  Fearing God is having a respect that He means what He says.  And we must be willing to face the consequences if we set off on our own course.  After Sapphira’s dead body was dragged out and buried next to her husbands, the Bible says “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things ” Acts 5:11 (NKJV).  According to the concordance, this was literal fear as in terror, as one could image after witnessing such things.  But one would think that this also led to a flurry of self-examination of motives and a knowing that God was serious about the condition of one’s heart. In the beginning of your walk with God, it is possible to love Him without fearing Him because you haven’t yet learned of His immense greatness and faithfulness to His Word.  But as you learn of and even experience His greatness and faithfulness, your love for Him and your fear of Him abounds.  It is this fear of the Lord that keeps you on the right course.

6 Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the LORD, people avoid evil.   Proverbs 16:6 (NLT)

23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. John 14:23 (NLT)