"Those who fear God get God's attention."
- Psalm 147:11 MSG
In recent years, I have noticed that there are a lot of Christians who are not reaping the blessings of the promises of God, even though they are claiming them in faith. There could be many reasons for this, but I believe that the most common one is that these people lack a healthy fear of God. What exactly is "the fear of the Lord" in biblical terms? It is simply "a loving reverence for God that includes submission to His lordship, and to the commands of His Word." Jesus Himself commanded us to fear God when He said: "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:4-5 NASB) Christ set us the perfect example of someone who operated in the fear of the Lord. He didn't do anything apart from the Father, and He even laid down his life to do His will.
David said: "You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear Your name." (Psalm 61:5 NLT) Part of our inheritance as God-fearing saints is the privilege of claiming the promises of God, and seeing Him fulfill them on our behalf. Let's look at some of the promises that belong to us when we are operating in the fear of the Lord on a consistent basis. Scripture says: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding." (Psalm 111:10 NIV) True wisdom comes from God, and a holy reverence for Him and His commands gives us access to divine knowledge and insight. "Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose." (Psalm 25:12 NLT) Godly guidance for every situation belongs to us when we are giving God His rightful place in our lives, and following the leading of His Spirit.
Having a proper fear of God keeps us under God's divine protective "umbrella," which can shield us from destructive spiritual and earthly forces. "Fear of the Lord gives life, security, and protection from harm." (Proverbs 19:23 NLT) This healthy "fear" will cause us to avoid relationships that are not God's best for us, and that might put us in harm's way. Did you know that you open yourself up to unnecessary hardship and harm when you don't respond to trials and troubles the proper way? "Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is the man who reverently and worshipfully fears [the Lord] at all times [regardless of circumstances], but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity." (Proverbs 28:14 AMP) Those believers who remain faithful to the Lord throughout their trials will reap untold blessings from a grateful God.
Having the proper reverence for God can even affect our health and well-being. "Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones." (Proverbs 3:7-8 NLT) When we are praying for healing, with no results, we should ask the Lord if we have somehow let our "fear level" slip. Proverbs says: "The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short." (Proverbs 10:27 NIV) It's no surprise that if our health can depend on our obedience to God, then certainly our longevity can.
A lot of believers are claiming God's promises of provision, and are still suffering lack, simply because they are not giving God the reverential respect He deserves. They are not submitting to the Holy Spirit's leadership in handling their finances, and they are asking the Lord to do His part, when they are not doing theirs. Scripture says: "Fear the Lord, you His godly people, for those who fear Him will have all they need." (Psalm 34:9 NLT) Poverty, debt, and lack are not God's best for us, and He longs for us to submit ourselves and our material goods to Him, so that He can pour out His blessings upon us in full measure. Today, let's learn some valuable lessons from King Solomon, who finally discovered in his old age the highest and best way to live--"Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is everyone's duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NLT)
Prayer: Lord, I ask that You put the fear of God in my heart so that I may love, trust, and obey You the way You desire and deserve. (Jeremiah 32:40) Thank You that as I consistently walk in the fear of the Lord, I shall claim Your supernatural promises with complete confidence and remarkable results!
- J. M. Farro