but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
We have a tendency to panic and fear. This doesn't need to be how we react. God gives us a better way.
Why should we fear God?
3 kinds of Biblical fear:
Terror: fear of the power of God
Respect: as a servant servicing a master.
Reverence: Understanding who He is and who we are.
Reverence is a deep, deep respect. Knowing who God is, who we are -- what God is capable of.
The benefits of fearing God (as in the reverence kind):
1. Hate Evil.
"To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech." Proverbs 8:13
The world has a problem of saying something is evil -- like sin. We need to look at the world through God's view. We get understanding when we look with God's perspective.
2. Live a "Long" Life (abundant, full life)
"The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short." Proverbs 10:27
When God disciplines us He is loving us.
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all." Hebrews 12:7-8
"Because He said so" is somehting we should accept from God.
Healthy vs. unhealthy fear:
Healthy fear: "Good judgment wins favor,
but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction." Proverbs 13:15
Unhealthy fear: "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”" Genesis 3:8-10
Unhealthy fear can be based in shame or blame or condemnation.
We continue to hide in sin. You can't hide anything from God.
Godly sorrow vs Worldly Sorrow:
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." 2 Corinthians 7:10
Choose Him or don't choose Him. Admitting sin is uncomfortable. We have a choice on what or who we fear. We can fear God or fear people. If I hide the good news from other people, if I don't share the "Cure" to fallenness, I am a coward, a selfish coward (those are Jane's words speaking to herself).
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33
Those verses should scare us!
When we fear God we don't need to fear anything or anyone else. If we fear the world more than we fear God we distance ourselves from Jesus.
Jesus came to bring us home.
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." Matthew 12:30
Am I gathering or scattering?
It's not multiple choice. It's true or false. Is there something stopping us from living for God?
The fear of God leads to a life of fearlessness! Halleluia!!
"The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble." Proverbs 19:23
If we find contentment in God everything will be provided. We serve a living God who is here right now.
"For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;" Psalm 103:11-13
"For those who fear Him" has to be part of the equation. It's okay to "rock the boat." It's okay to "stand alone." If you fear God, He'll take care of everything. We need not to have any fear of Satan or the future:
"We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them." 1 John 5:18
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
God is a jealous God. He won't let anyone take you from HIm.
#1. Everything we do is seen by God.
#2. If I repent God will take care of me.
#3 We have to choose to fear God and not people. God or people. That's it.
Who do you choose to fear?
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15