We are only at the beginning of 2021, and the pandemic has hit most people on a spiritual level. This has triggered enormous fear in a lot of us, especially people who do not have lay their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, the bible does remind us to be fearful of the Lord.
Proverbs 9:10-11 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
If we implement a healthy dose of fear in our daily walk with God and manifest His words in all aspects of our life, things will fall in the right place for us regardless of how crazy the world is.
Exodus 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
Based on this text, we need to clearly distinguish the kind of fear we impose. For example, being paranoid and depressed due to worldly reasons is a sin, or going through sleepless nights because of financial or social problems is a sin. In order to calm down and subside this unhealthy fear, we need to channel all our focus towards our Heavenly Father, and fear Him instead. By doing so, it will help us to behave and do what is pleasing in His sight to acquire peacefulness and joy. This good and positive fear will eventually quash the fleshly fear.
Exodus 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.
Be amazingly fearful of what our Heavenly Father can do! His omnipotence has done so many miracles in our lives, think about the number of times He brought us out of our misery and answered our prayers. We should be so grateful towards His providence, yet the gratefulness should be followed by fearfulness so that we do not become ungrateful like the children of Israel in the wilderness. Otherwise, our Father would simply withdraw His blessings like how He cast out the Hebrews and gave them up to Babylon.
Proverbs 29:25 cf Amos 3:8. We are safe in God’s hand. Trust that He has our best interest at heart and His calling for us to fulfill. Hence we should just fulfill the calling with confidence and trust in the Lord, if we are always hesitant to spread the gospel, to share His words to people around us, then it means we fail to glorify Him and to speak by His name.
Shouldn’t we take it as an honor to be His vessels? It should be a privilege to preach the truth uncompromisingly to the world. As per the title of this sermon, we should fear Him more than we fear men.
What is the worst men can do us, compared to what God can do?
Whether it’s the Israelites in the Old Testament who were directly protected by God; or Christ-followers who are protected by the blood of the Lamb and sealed with the Holy Ghost, it reminds us that our submission to God will provide us with blessed assurance.
Whosoever we submit ourselves to, we do so unto the Lord, not for the person him/herself. Do not challenge who God has put in authority. For example, a wife’s submission towards her husband, church members’ submission towards the pastor etc.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
When we fall into temptation or sin with or without intent, do we develop a sense of guilt?
Most people fall back because of the fear of losing the taste of sin versus the fear of God.
Before we decide to commit a sin again, ask ourselves what is it costing us – joy of the flesh or joy of His blessings.
As Bible believers, we should be making a conscious choice to walk with Christ in the most sanctified way and to avoid sin as much as possible.
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
True wisdom blessed by God will help us to make smart and righteous decisions. In contrast, we observe that people who commit sin or young people who make reckless choices are usually the ones who do not think deeply and smartly. Nonetheless, this is not applicable to everyone.
True wisdom is and should be obtained from the scriptures as it is the Word of God. Through reading and preaching His words, it will help us to develop the right kind of fear to guide us in making the right decision, and become a great testimony.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
One great teaching from the Bible is that there no point for us to be envious of others’ worldly possessions. Firstly, we are not in their shoes, we do not know the cost of having to always be worried about the possessions they own. Secondly, if we were to follow God’s words obediently and have fear for Him. That itself alone is already a great treasure! This is clearly mentioned in Isaiah 33:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. We know exactly what we should do and how to prioritize our actions to earn ourselves the true rewards.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
One great way to fill our Holy Spirit with great power is to fear the Lord. Look at Isaiah 11:2, the fear should come with compliance and fervency. Only by then, God can anoint us greatly with spirit power. Most people have misunderstood the fear as mentioned in the Bible, they also underestimate the positive association of this fear can do unto us. It is so important as it brings humility unto our character, to help us get our prayers answered, and to produce the fruits of the spirit.
Jonah 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
‘Action speaks louder than words’ for those of us who claim that we fear the Lord. Having self-discipline is mandatory, not in a way that we guarantee we will not sin at all! Rather we make a vow by His grace that we will make an attempt and dedicate ourselves to live with as little sin as possible. Even though we know our flesh is weak and at times we will fall, but let’s remember that God judges us for our hearts and conscience as well, He is omniscient.