Do we fear God? I would like to thank Pastor Fred Nielsen for asking the question. It feels like this question should be one we must ask for ourselves. Do we fear God? I appears to be a problem in many Churches today; People don’t fear God. If they truly feared God, their lives would be different; showing less sin and greater fruits of the Spirit.
I think most of you would probably agree with me that many Churches are spiritually dead because there is lack of fear of the Lord. This lack of fear has to be contributing to her spiritually dead condition. The Apostle John in Rev. 3:15-17 he says, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
A healthy respect of God (fear) is what our culture, and the church, desperately needs today, like never before. Many pastors today don’t speak of fear of the Lord because they fear man.
Jesus spoke more on the fear of hell than on the glory of heaven. He thought it to be timely and urgent. A.W. Tozer reflected on that thought and he says – “That makes me both love Him and fear Him! I love Him because He is my Savior, and I fear Him because He is my Judge.”
Jesus states this stronger in Matthew 10:28; He said, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell”. And Paul says to work toward complete holiness because we fear God. In 2 Cor. 7:1 he says, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” Wow, we all have things to work on!
So it’s clear from these passages, that fearing God is good because it saves us from caving into our own sinful nature. That’s why hearing someone is God-fearing actually makes us trust that person more. If they fear God, they are more likely to keep their word and treat others with kindness. In fact, Romans 3, a classic chapter on sin, says that our chief sin is that we “have no fear of God at all”. Romans 3:18 says,“There is no fear of God before their eyes”.
THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH PRACTICED FEAR OF GOD. In Acts 9:31 says that the early church walked “in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” Did you catch that: the church was powerful and multiplied because they walked in the fear of God (not man), and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Anointing and fear go hand-in-hand. Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:12 that we should work out (not work for) our own salvation with “fear and trembling.”
According to what I’m feeling today, we should be in a loving way, proclaim the fear of the Lord again in our pulpits if we are as a body of Christ to experience genuine change. Think of this statement and I think you will agree with me. Fear often motivates a person to repent. The fear of the Lord will cause an adulterer to seek forgiveness. It will motivate the prodigal to return. It will cause pastors to spend extended time in prayer for anointed sermons.
When the fear of the Lord is preached the world will repent. Paul the Apostle speaks of falling down in fear. “Falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Corinthians 14:25). When God shows up many of us will fall down on our faces in true fear. A true fear of the Lord saves man from himself. We should take God’s Words and His commands seriously…not legalistically, but reverently.
It is often through reverent fear that we come to Christ and redemption. Mine was fear of God and Judgment and the impending rapture when I will 17 years old. When we come to Christ, the bible says we must serve Him with fear. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
Pleasing the Lord involves reverence and godly fear on our part. When we come to grips with the fact that our God is a consuming fire, we will understand our need for his grace to enable us to do always those things that please Him. We cannot truly love God unless the fear of God is in us and true love for Him is expressed by our walking in obedience to His Word.
There is an everyday challenge for all of us! In Proverbs 1:28-31 it says that The fear of God is to be chosen. Why should we chose Godly fear? Let me answer this. It’s because it is rewarding. Here’s some quick scriptures you might want to scribble down about the rewards. A. The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. Prov 10.27. B.The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10); C.Fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 D.
Also it says, D. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. Ps 19.9 E.The Lord pitieth them that fear Him (Psalm 103:13). Angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that fear Him (Psalm 34:7). G. There is no want to them that fear Him (Psalm 34:9). Satisfaction coming because of proper fear is a good abundant concept, today.
WE CAN LEARN IT FOLKS! David the Shepherd Kings says that the Lord is ready to teach His fear to all who desire it. He says in Psalm 34:11, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord” Also Moses, before he died told Israel’s kings how to walk in obedience.
Moses could see for years into the future. He saw prophetically that the children of Israel were going to choose kings after their own lusts. So he warned them of the time to come. In Deut. 17:18-19 he said, “And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, then he shall write him a copy of this law in a book … and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them”.
Every king was to constantly feed his mind on God’s record of past dealings with Israel. He would learn to fear God by seeing how the Lord blessed the obedient – and how he utterly destroyed and cursed all who disobeyed His Word. When the king did that which was right before the Lord and walked in the fear of God, the Lord was with him, and blessed him and prospered him, and put the dread of Him in all their enemies.
When the king did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the ways of God, and walked according to his own ways, then the Lord departed from him, and there was famine and ruin and destruction that came upon the land. It was very simple: The ones who did what was right, God blessed; and those who did what was evil, God forsook. And we proclaim today for ourselves and may it be our prayer from Deut. 14:23 – “Learn to fear the Lord thy God always”.
Let’s Pray. Heaven Father, we want to choose fear; TEACH IT TO US. We know it will bless you, our church, our families, and ourselves individually. We are to fear you and we know that perfect love casts out fear. Thank you God that the greatest example of fear and perfect love working together is your son Jesus Christ. He warned us at every turn to fear God, not men—and he confirmed that in everything about his life and death. He spoke lovingly but frankly to all and didn’t hide words when people needed to face their sin and repent. He also demonstrated love beyond human understanding when he lived out his words, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13).” With love like that, what is left to fear but God? Continue to bless this day in Jesus Christ name, we pray. Amen.