Did you ever realize that every believer is to develop a fear of the Lord? True fear of God includes awe and respect, but it goes much further than that. David tells us, “Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all” (Psalm 36:1).
David is saying, “When I see somebody indulging in evil, my heart tells me that person has no fear of God. He doesn’t acknowledge the truth about sin, or about God’s call to holiness.”
The fact is, Godly fear gives us the power to maintain victory in wicked times. So, how do we obtain this fear? Well, I’m glad you asked. Through Jeremiah, God said: “I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me” (Jeremiah 32:39-40).
Did you catch that? He will put the desire in our hearts to worship Him. It’s not something you need to work up with the right song or atmosphere in your room. You don’t have to have that “one” song to trigger that desire or even burn incense to capture a feeling of interest in things that are Holy.
No, no. This is a wonderful promise from the Lord. It promises us that he will provide us with his holy fear. Now God doesn’t just drop this fear into our hearts in a supernatural flash. No, he puts his fear in us through his Word.
Does that mean God’s fear is planted in our hearts when we merely read the Bible? No, not at all. It comes when we consciously decide that we are going to obey every word we read in God’s Word. Scripture bears this out. It tells us this is how godly fear came upon Ezra: “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it” (Ezra 7:10).
In fact, James warns us that reading the Words of God isn’t enough. He directs us to be “doers of the Word; to obey the message; not to simply listen to it. Because when you do that you’re simply betraying yourself; you’re being deceived by reasoning contrary to the Truth” (James 1:22).
The fear of God isn’t just an Old Testament concept. We see godly fear mentioned in both Testaments. The Old Testament tells us, “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). And, the New Testament declares, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).
So what do we do about that? Well Paul adds, “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.” (II Corinthians 7:1).
So let’s pray about that . .
Heavenly Father we come to You in Jesus Christ’s Holy Name. We surrender ourselves to You. In Jeremiah 33:3, Your Word says to call upon You and You will show me great and mighty things that I can not understand. Lord God we come to You and cry out, we ask You to show us great and mighty things, of the unfathomable riches of Your glory and splendor, all that You are, help us to plumb the depth of Your Being and know You, we worship You, we praise Your Holy Name, Blessed be Your Holy Name. The Psalmist also wrote, “Show me the path where I should go, O LORD; point out the right road for me to walk. Lead me; teach me; for you are the GOD who gives me salvation.” So today I also ask that you would continue Your work in me.
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