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The Fear of the Lord
The fear of the Lord is more than an awe of God as the Creator and Sustainer of Life. The Fear of the Lord honors who he is by doing His holiness. God is Holy, He wants to be seen, understood, known, and loved for who He is. He has Called and Redeemed a People for the grand purpose of hosting His presence, that through their life, He might show the World who He is.
2Chr. 19:7 Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”
The Scripture says the Fear of the Lord is to be upon His people, meaning it is more than something we feel, but also something we do. God puts His presence upon His people so that His holiness can be seen and known; they understand that since no iniquity is in the Lord then they are to rid their lives of all iniquity. The Fear of the Lord is putting on the New Man who is created in the Image of God; we show the World the Lord's beauty by "taking care to do" the Fear of the Lord.
Prov 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
The Fear of the Lord is living in a way that emphasizes the distinction between Good and Evil. It is not an arbitrary distinction, but a distinction determined by who God is, the way He acts, and what He says; God Himself is the Distinction between Good and Evil.
It is as we hate what God hates that we show our love and respect for who He is. We cannot live in the Fear of the Lord and ignore the profound truth that God hates evil; this single truth shapes and forms our values, our perceptions, and our understanding the Nature of God. Also, we cannot forget that Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil who “sinneth from the beginning, 1John 3:8-9.”
As we consider the Serpent's deceptive strategy with Eve, we can see his purpose is to diminish and confuse who God is and the kind of life His people are called to live. A person confused about their calling to hate evil is a person confused about who they are; they have no understanding of what it means to put on the Lord Jesus, and no understanding that without holiness no one will see the Lord, Heb 12:14. Unfortunately, with the rise of a godlessness, we see many, not hating, but defending and even promoting outright wickedness. Make no mistake, without a hatred of evil there is no Fear of the Lord, and no putting on the New Man who is created after God in righteousness and true holiness.
Proverbs 9:10 says the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and knowledge of the Holy is understanding.
Wisdom is turning from the love of sin to the love of God and then allowing the love of God to change who we are. Understanding the Holy is placing value on the Holy by separating oneself from all wickedness. Men with no understanding do not understand that God has called them to reflect His beauty; men with no understanding do not walk in the Fear of the Lord but walk after their fleshly appetites. The understanding person walks in the Light of the Lord; He understands his call to hate evil, and his good behavior is a testimony to the holiness of God.
John 14:23 If a man loves me, he will keep my words…
A fool will explain away the need to obey God, often crying “legalism”. They show their disrespect for God by treating His Word as a Restaurant Menu, choosing what to believe according to their appetite. Jesus said it most clearly, “if you love me you will keep my Word”. This is true and should be written in the heart, the mind, and the behavior of every Christian. We can say whatever we want, and we can be super religious, but the words of Jesus are true, i.e. the proof of our love for God is our obedience to His Word. The wicked always find an excuse for their wickedness while those who love God always finds a way to obey Him!
Eze 33:31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.
It is wisdom to understand that if we commit an offense it should be acknowledged and then stopped. When God warns a man to turn from his wickedness, but he will not turn, he shows no respect for God and no understanding of the eternal consequences of his sin. The Prophet Ezekiel warned Israel about honoring God with their mouth only – saying they love God – but then walking in their own pursuits. The person who hears the Word, but who will not do the Word, shows the same hypocrisy as those to whom Ezekiel spoke. A righteous person shows his love for God by doing what God says; he hears the Word and then he does the Word. Jesus is our example of a man who lived in the Fear of the Lord - he obeyed what God said and he put God's will above his will!
Prov 28:13 He that covers his sins shall not prosper: But whoso confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.
The Christian who says “all my sins” past, present, and future are under the blood so I have no need to repent or change my behavior is like a married man who keeps a mistress and then says “my wife, because of her marriage vows is obligated to love and honor me forever - therefore, I have no reason to apologize, or even end my affair for I am protected by my wife's marriage vows.” We can see this man has no love for his wife, no character, no respect for God who joined them, and no understanding of the institution of Marriage. There are those who use the Work of Christ as an excuse for not turning from their sins; they say the Work of Christ is an eternal redemption and therefore they have no sin. Remarkable!
Willful and ongoing sin is such an offense to God. The man who will not acknowledge and turn from his sin simply feels no need to honor the Lord, his conscience has become insensitive to the Spirit of Holiness. A man who will not acknowledge and turn from his sinfulness is like the adulterous woman of Proverbs 30:20 - she eats, wipes her mouth, and says “I have done no wrong”. The man who will not turn from his sin has the same spirit - he eats, wipes his mouth, and denies any need to repent. Isn't it amazing that a sinful person, by the working of their mind, can wipe away their sin!
Love is the only antidote to ungodly living. We never really walk in victory over sin until we love God more than we love our sin; if I insist on my own way then I will perish in my sins. But if, by the Grace of God, I will live in the Fear of the Lord then the Holy Spirit will shed His love in my heart and my love for God will overcome the love for my own sinful ways.
God bless you,
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