Fear God --- and nothing else
Heard a preacher say recently, “Fear God. For if you fear God, you won’t fear anything else.” That caught my attention.
People face so many fears these days and the frequency keeps dialing up. Exalting the Lord onto his ruling throne in our hearts is the right thing to do toward him and for ourselves.
The command to “fear God” runs throughout the Bible. This was Paul’s recurring message to the church. A book could be written on the topic, but I’ll keep these comments brief.
First, what does it mean to “fear God”? It doesn’t mean to feel afraid, but rather to properly reverence him. To take God more seriously than anything else and acknowledge his right to govern our lives. Recognizing him as the all-knowing, all-powerful God that he is. Allowing him his rightful place on the throne in our hearts, and never allowing him to get pushed aside.
Fear of God is the central theme that winds through Proverbs. We learn that godly fear turns us away from evil, and instead leads to good things, such as humility, hard work, abundant life and honor.
Two specific proverbs especially reveal fear of God as an antidote to earthly fear:
Proverbs 14:26 says that fear of the Lord is “strong confidence”. It makes us fearless. Remembering that Almighty God holds our lives in his hands drives out the fear of adverse circumstances and of what other people might do against us.
Proverbs 19:23 says that fear of the Lord leads to “fullness of life”. When fear of God moves in, fear of people and circumstances move out. They cannot live together in the same heart. This puts life in proper order, and leads to satisfying sleep and productivity.
What’s the alternative? According to the Bible, the one who refuses to fear the Lord is a “fool”.
--- Beverly Nickles