Lecture Hall Archives
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”
What is the fear of the Lord? I remember back in June 1976, when I first became a Christian, wondering what it meant to fear God back then, after all I was saved by responding to the Gospel, where Jesus forgave all my sins and I was made aware of His love for me. But every time that I read in the Bible about fearing God I felt that I was missing something, then I heard somebody teach that to fear God meant to respect God, and I thought
that made more sense, but still I felt that perhaps something was missing.
Thirty seven years later and I feel that I have a better understanding of what the fear of the Lord is, but I know still that there is so much more that I need to learn about God if I ever want to get close to have a deeper understanding of the true meaning of that phrase, why is that?
God reveals Himself to humans in different levels and at different times, and the more that we experience the revelation of God and at different levels, the greater that our understanding will be of what the fear of the Lord is to us personally.
Take a young person that goes to war, and while there in the front lines experiences the death of soldiers around him, and in some way he is convinced that he will not come out alive, but yet somehow he survives, that young person will have an extremely different understanding of what fear is, when compared let’s say to a person that has never come that close to the reality of death.
So that there are different levels of fear that are based on the different experiences of fear that we’ve encountered throughout our lives that will limit our understanding of what the fear of the Lord truly is.
Let us see if we can analyze the fears that we might not have personally faced in our own past, through the experiences of others in Scripture.
Hebrews 12:21 “And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.’”
I find that in the deepest level of our souls, where the fear that resides deep within us is, we have also the capacity to experience the highest level of human elation possible, so that both fear and elation are there together.
I believe that what brings the greatest level of fear upon a human is to be exposed to the glory of God, and it is that same glory that brings about the greatest elation into the very core of that born again believer.
When I experienced the rapture in a vision back in 1989, my body was so afraid when I saw Jesus in the fullness of His glory, that it trembled so much that the cells in my body felt like they were becoming unglued, for my body was gripped with such an incredible fear, yet at the same time my spirit was shouting at the top of his voice, Hallelujah, He kept His promised.
I wrote the entire vision in the introduction page in my book Man’s Final Destiny, in the books section of the houseoffaithministries.org
So that at the same instant that I was experiencing the greatest fear that I had ever felt, I’ve also experienced the greatest elation possible.
So that for those of us who believe, fear and elation kind of go together, for with the fear-experience comes the opportunity to receive a higher level of rev-elation.
Remember that it was after experiencing the terrifying fear that caused him to trembled, that Moses received the ten commandments along with the rest of the law.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Do you see Proverbs 9:10 through a different light now? I know I do!
Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
I believe that the next level of fear that trouble many of us has to do with God’s judgments over the works of our hands, since many of us have very different definitions of what the right thing to do is.
How do we deal with the fear that our actions or lack of actions bring to our hearts when we view them through the prism of facing the judgment of God someday?
Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
The source of the fear of the judgment of our works or deeds, emanates from all those secret things that we have done and believe are hidden and out of sight, and when we are reminded that one day they will all be exposed, it gives us a great deal of consternation to say the least.
How do we deal with this fear over the judgment of our works?
We need to expose the motive for our actions to the light of the Word of God. Remember that our righteousness are like filthy rags to God, and our deeds do not merit any better, for as it is written:
Romans 3:12 “They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”
So that if our righteousness before God can only stand on the foundation of His grace, so do our works as well.
So that everything that I do that is right, can only come as the result of His grace working through me, Scripturally speaking, and everything else I must bring to the cross as well, and ask the Lord to forgive them.
So that in everything Jesus gets the glory; He gets the glory when I do what is right, for I can only do what is right through the power of His grace working in me, and when I confess all my faults, misdeeds, and all my failures before Him, He gets the glory as well, for only He is faithful and just to forgive me of all my trespasses when I confess them before Him, that is what frees me from the fear of judgment.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
In a perfect love relationship there are no secrets; if we know that Jesus truly loves us and that He is willing to forgive us of any and all sins that we confess before Him, so that we can start fresh every morning, then we know that there is not going to be any surprises on judgment day.
So that next time that the devil tries to condemn you by bringing to your memory some past sins that you have already confessed to the Lord, and you feel that spirit of fear rising up within you, recall to your mind this next Scripture and have hope:
Lamentations 3:20-23 “My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
The next level of fear that we are dealing with in this lesson is respect.
Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age (mature), that is, those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Respect has to do with assuming responsibilities for our actions, if we just think, well if I do wrong I’ll just repent and go on my merry way.
An unruly child is disciplined by the rod, a child that listens however, though still a child, can receive discipline through words.
The most grievous parts of our sins to God is when we injure others by them, thereby causing damage to God’s goods, that is when God will time-out those who refuse discipline, and at the root of refusing to be disciplined by the Word of God is the lack of respect for it.
Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
He who sows to the flesh will live in fear, fear of God, fear of others, fear of his actions, fear of the future, fear of judgment, for all these fears come as the results of corruption within, and may someday bring that person to the point where they become incorrigible.
He who sows to the Spirit is continuously guided by the counsel of the Word of God, his fear or respect for it, drive his actions to the point where he eventually matures into the place of peace that our Lord has reserved for him.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”