Fear of God
by James M
Tonight’s message is based on 3 words - "Fear of God." When I first heard of it, I didn’t get it. I thought it meant to be afraid of him and I’m thinking why does God want us to be afraid of him, when he’s all about love? Also, what do you do when you are afraid of someone? You avoid them.
So I still didn’t get it. But as I grew up and heard more about it I learned what it meant.
The term "fear of God" is often used in the Bible. What does it mean? I would say it has the following meaning: A man who fears God is a man who takes God seriously; who takes his words and commandments seriously; who listens to what he has to say with seriousness and respect.
He is a man who believes God's commandments are supposed to be kept and that breaking them is dangerous. He is a man who is afraid to go against God, afraid to disobey him, afraid to disregard any of his commandments or take them lightly. He is a man who is afraid of God in this sense.
It is all like a young boy who has a righteous, good father for whom he has the greatest respect. The father demands obedience and the boy is afraid to disobey. The boy knows that his father expects to be taken seriously. And he is afraid not to do so. Thus he fears his father in this sense.
However, although he fears his father, he also loves him. He knows that his father is righteous, just, and good and that what his father says is true and for his own benefit. He knows that although his father requires respect and obedience his father loves him; and, indeed, it is just because his father does love him so much that he requires this respect and obedience.
Thus we see that fear does not prevent love. Because we fear God, that doesn't mean we can't love him. In fact, the respect for God and reverence for his commandments that constitutes our fear of him are the very basis for our love. Respect must come before love. We love him for his goodness, for what he is, we love him because we can respect him. We love him because we love Goodness and Righteousness.
To fear God makes you want to know about him. That motivation gives you wisdom; therefore you become captivated by his love. You still fear him for what he can do but love him even more for what he is doing. You see when you fear God, You gain understanding and much more.
1. Fear of God Drives You (Neh.5:15)
a) To do God’s purpose.
We are here for a reason. As the light of the world, we serve God’s will because we love God and he loves us so much that he is working in our lives to help us live righteously and set an example for the people in this world.
b) To spread the Word
Ezekiel 3:18 – When I say to a wicked man, “You will surely die,” and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin and I will hold you accountable for his blood
That verse hit me like a bombshell! We are here to spread the word and show everyone who God is. We have God driving us, we need to talk to people like there’s no tomorrow because there may not be a tomorrow, anything can happen!
c) To do things in God’s Law
So you don’t face the consequences, we are to live a pure life for God so he can continue to establish a relationship. Let me ask you, if you walk into a room full of darkness and there’s one spot of light, what’s the first thing you will notice, the light.
Just as people will notice your purity and relationship with God. Trust me, if you do the things in your life with this motivation, God will reward it, no doubt!
2. Fear of God Restricts You (2Cor.7:1)
a) To live in boundaries set by God
Have you ever tried to do something that your parent’s forbade you to do, sort of push your boundaries? As Christians there will be times when you receive thoughts on crossing the line God has told you not to go over. They are missiles being shot by the enemy. That is the time we need to control ourselves before we do something we regret.
b) From falling into temptation
Again, God has put the line in the sand for us not to annoy us but to stop us from falling into temptation. And God will bless us if we don’t fall into temptation but live righteously. God has set us up to live a life of purity, if we stand by him. He will continue his good work in us as we grow in his presence.
c) To not do your will but God’s will for your life.
God knows what’s best for us and he has personally given us his will for us. If we obey, God will bless us and our relationship will grow and you will have more love for God.
You may think, but I don’t wanna be restricted! I want to be free – But if you live by God’s word, your life will be free and also fulfilling, because the other option is living for the devil.
3. Fear of God Disciplines you (Ecc.12:13)
a) Shows you what is accepted and unaccepted
God will do things in your life that you don’t appreciate if you are not listening to him or pushing him away because he really wants your attention. And the best part is when you do listen and obey, all things work towards the better as he will bless you for obedience.
b) When in wrong
I remember, when I was 9 yrs old, my dad had this silver money tin. So one day we were going shopping so I decided to steal some money and spend it. But he caught me in the act. Obviously I wasn’t very good at it!
My dad made me sit down and asked me if I stole his money. I was sweating like crazy, and he asked me again and I bawled my eyes out and screamed ‘Yes I did! I’m sorry!’ I will always remember the lecture he gave me because he put the Fear of God in me! And I haven’t done it since.
4. Fear of God gives you Understanding (Pro.9:10)
a) Of his ways
As I mentioned that you gain wisdom when you learn about him. God has left the future unclear to our minds. There will be times when you struggle to understand what God is trying to do in your life, or even times when you feel that he has left you. God has reasons for doing this, it is mostly to teach you life lessons, or equip you for something to come. God is mysterious but he has the knack to make everything work towards the better!
b) Of his plan
Again, as I said the future is unclear but God has given us a promise that we all have heard
We may have heard this so many times but we need to develop the conviction that God will deliver on his promise and His Word is solid! We have nothing to worry about, yet why do we doubt?
Every time something seems to go wrong, we tend to sort of go our own way to find security, whereas the first thing we need to do is go to God and ask for reassurance, I just know that your personal relationship with God will strengthen.
c) Of his word
The bible is very fascinating! It has 66 different books, written by forty different people over 20 different countries and yet it has still come together! Many people have tried to destroy it but it still lives to this day, why? That’s the way God intended it to be!
We can learn about history, prophecy, God’s commandments and so much more. When you are struggling for an answer on living, the bible has it! That’s why it is unique in its own way. God did not intend the bible to be a rule book, but a life manual as it teaches you God’s way of living. We need to start taking advantage of that and learn from him as you read
There’s a father who lets his son roam wild and when he’s up to trouble, the father just turns a blind eye, thinking that his son will grow up and realise what he is doing. Where do you think his son will end up if he continues this behaviour?
There’s another father who loves his son, nurtures and teaches him. When he get up to trouble, the father explains why it is wrong, helping his son know better in the future. Where will he end up?
God is basically our Father, our mentor. I just want to use this as an example on why God does what he does, he teaches and nurtures us. He also sets us boundaries so we don’t easily step into the sinful life. God had set up these boundaries so we can keep our paths straight.
I just hope that you will continue to gain understanding from God and grow in God as you walk with him in your life. Love God as he loves you.