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March 7, 2018, 8:11 AM

The Fear of God

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Who among you fears the Lord? (Isaiah 50:10a)

Perhaps no Christian discipline is as forgotten as the idea of living in “fear of the Lord.” We are living in what has become a “no fear culture.” A couple of generations have basically grown up without any moral absolutes. The rampant relativism that has resulted feeds the “no fear” mind-set. This bankrupt ideology even launched an apparel brand that was simply called: No Fear. Tragically, even the church can be a place of no fear. Instead of the church influencing culture, all too often the culture slips into the church. And now we find ourselves living in a “no fear culture” where the thought of living in the fear of God is forgotten. Thus, Isaiah’s question is as relevant today as it was more than twenty-five-hundred years ago: “Who among you fears the Lord?” (Isaiah 50:10a).

Without having God on the throne, without having a priority to honor and glorify Him, without living in a spiritually healthy fear of Him, we are allowing the New Testament gospel to be pushed aside by the New Trendy gospel. The New Testament gospel emphasizes self-denial, but the New Trendy gospel emphasizes self-fulfillment. The New Testament gospel is focused on Christ and His life, death, resurrection, and plan for man’s redemption, but the New Trendy gospel is focused on man and his desire for comfort. The question of Isaiah will never be asked among those with a trendy mind-set.

However, a thread woven throughout the fabric of the Bible is this: every man and woman used of God walked in the fear of the Lord. Noah was “moved with godly fear” as he built the ark (Heb. 11:7). The Proverbs 31 woman “fears the Lord” (v. 30). The same is true in the gospels. The young virgin Mary praised God, whose “mercy is on those who fear Him” (Luke 1:50). In Acts, the fear of the Lord is mentioned on practically every page. We read that the community birthed at Pentecost, for instance, “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…. Then fear came upon every soul” (Acts 2:42-43). The epistles are filled with the same theme. Paul said we are to submit to one another “in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21). And, finally, in Revelation, John told of a loud voice coming from the throne, saying, “Praise God, all you His servants and those who fear Him!” (Rev. 19:5).

So, what does it mean to live in the fear of God? Does fearing the Lord mean living in a constant state of fright or concern that if we say something or do something wrong, God will zap us with some big bolt of retribution? Nothing could be further from the biblical truth. The most common biblical word for fear means to stand in awe before God with such reverence and respect that this holy awe becomes the controlling motivation of our lives. Fearing God is to live with the conscious awareness of His presence and wanting to do nothing that might cause God to remove His hand of blessing and anointing from us. Living with that awareness makes an incredible difference in what we do, what we say, where we go, and how we live. Therefore, I ask again, “Who among you fears the Lord?”

Let us join in prayer: Almighty God, we pray that our hearts would learn how to rightfully fear you. We bow before you. We surrender our hearts to you. We put you first, Lord. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens

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