But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
We continue our series on igniting the fire in our spirits. Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. I am using this series in my next book: Escaping Boredom in Christianity. I am also using some of your comments in my book. I ask a couple questions at the end of each post. Feel free to answer whatever the Lord puts on your heart. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
Last week I talked about guarding our hearts against sin. I believe one reason many Christians don’t guard their hearts against sin is because they don’t fear the Lord. I heard a preacher recently say that God loves us and He is our friend, but we can’t forget that He’s also God. We will all stand before God and give an account of our lives (Romans 14:12). That’s not something we should take lightly.
One time, while reading the Bible, I came across several verses that said to fear the Lord. At the time, I hadn’t heard anything about the fear of the Lord, so it intrigued me to look up all the verses I could find that talked about it. I was amazed how many verses I found that instructed us to fear God, and even more amazed at all the blessings that followed.
As I learned the importance of fearing the Lord, I was eager to find out how to fear Him.
God showed me through Proverbs 2:1-5:
- VERSE 1: “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,”
To accept God’s Words we need to believe EVERYTHING in the Bible is TRUE. I believe the reason I’ve had a fire in my spirit for the Lord, from the moment I started following Him, is because I have never read a verse and doubted it was true. Even when I am struggling with doubt in a situation, I never doubt God’s Word and His faithfulness. My doubt is always about my ability to receive God’s Truths and knowing how to apply them to my life.
When we read God’s Word, and accept it as Truth, we store up His commands in our hearts. Then, when a temptation or trial comes, the Holy Spirit brings to remembrance the Truth we have stored in our hearts, and we are equipped to overcome it (John 14:26).
- VERSE 2: “turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,”
We need to listen and take heed to the training and instruction of the Lord. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” The Bible warns us not to merely listen to the Word, and so deceive ourselves. We are to DO what it says (James 1:22). God can do a wonderful work in us when He has our full undivided attention.
- VERSE 3: “and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,”
Do you have trouble understanding the Bible and applying it to your life?
God says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Proverbs 1:6-7 says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. And it is the only way to understanding the proverbs and parables and the sayings of the wise. God is the only One Who can reveal His Word to us and give us understanding.
I am not book smart. I don’t have any degrees. I am not a Bible scholar. The things I learn in His Word don’t come from my own wisdom. Even as I write these blogs, I am amazed how God gives me His wisdom to share His Word.
- VERSE 4: “and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,”
I read a wonderful message recently by Lori Hatcher, author of the blog: “Be Not Weary.” She shared how at one time she wasn’t sure she really loved God. As she searched her heart, she discovered she was grateful to God. She feared and respected God. And she even desired to please and serve God. But she said, “I thought about the people I love and the warm, affectionate, and sometimes almost painful intensity of emotion that I feel toward them, and I had to admit that I did not feel that level of intense emotion toward God.”
She thought back to her dating years and what made her fall in love with her husband. She decided to apply some of those principles to God and seek out His love.
She expressed, “I started spending time with Him in prayer (speaking and listening). I became a student of Him in order to learn all about Him. I began reading the Bible, often called God’s Love Letter to the world, looking for aspects of His character. I started a list in the front of my Bible of every adjective I found that described God.
I read about what made Him laugh and what made Him cry. I started spending time with His family–the church, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I saw His family traits demonstrated through them. I learned what motivates Him, which ultimately boils down to one word:
and I fell madly in love with Him.”
She hungered to love God. She looked for His love as for silver and searched for it as for hidden treasure. And she found what she was looking for. She fell madly in love with God.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
- VERSE 5: “THEN you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (emphasis mine).
When we accept God’s Words as Truth, and store up His commands in our hearts, and listen to His instructions, and when we cry out for insight and understanding of His Word and His will, and we seek Him and search for Him with all our hearts, we will find Him and understand what it truly means to fear the Lord.
Fearing God isn’t about walking on pins and needles before Him, feeling like we have to do everything right. The verses following those in Proverbs 2 explain how the wisdom of God, found only through the fear of the Lord, protects us, preserves us, and keeps us from following the wrong path.
Verses 9-10 say, “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”
When we revere God, He gives us His wisdom and understanding. Then, we begin to see life through His eyes. We begin to see the reasons behind God’s instructions. We begin to see why God tells us to do and not to do certain things. We begin to see that all God’s instructions are for our own benefit.
I once heard a preacher say, “The law was given for two reasons: 1) to fear God’s punishment so we don’t let Satan get an inroad in our lives 2) to show us we can never follow it and save ourselves.”
God wants us to fear Him because He loves us and wants to protect us. How great is our God that He wants us to fear Him for our own good! His love is more amazing than we can even imagine. How much our lives would change if we would learn to truly fear the Lord and walk in His wisdom.
The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers. O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
We praise You for loving us more than we can imagine. Teach us to always walk in reverence to You. Unite our hearts with Yours so we can truly fear You. Give us wisdom and knowledge of Your Word and Your will for our lives. Help us to walk humbly before You so our spirits are continually on fire for You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Questions for my book:
Do you think many Christians today don’t fear God?
If so, what do you believe hinders them from fearing God?
Is there anything you would like to share about the fear of the Lord that I didn’t address?
*I appreciate your responses. I will not use any personal information in my book (name, email, website, etc.). Remember to come back next week as the series continues.
*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!
*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.
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