WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE FEAR OF THE LORD?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

The Fear of the Lord. What is it? And why is it important to have?

We live in a time of increasing lawlessness. There is little respect for authority, whether it be parental, institutional, governmental, or church authority.  Students are rioting on campuses, demanding rights without responsibility. The reason for this rebellion against authority is that people have lost the fear of God.

What is the fear of God? The fear of God is a holy reverence and respect for Who He is and for what He has commanded. It is an understanding and an appreciation that God is not our buddy but that He is the Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe.  

Unfortunately, we live in a day in which the world does not even acknowledge God. Worst of all, even many in the Church have reduced God to an image of their own making. Some have made Him a bosom buddy who cuts us some slack because we are, after all, human.  Others have made Him a butler who does their every bidding.  Others have made Him a dispenser of goodies whose only desire is to make us happy.

Dear ones, this is NOT the fear of the Lord! This is reducing God to the level of man. It is to create our own God based on what we want Him to be to us. In short, this is idolatry!

The fear of God is a holy reverence and respect for Who He is
and for what He has commanded.

Why must we fear the Lord? For many reasons. Here are a few:

1–God deserves to be feared. He is almighty, all-knowing, and absolutely majestic. He is the only uncreated Being Who has always existed and always will exist. He is supreme in every way.

2–We cannot be wise without fearing the Lord. Scripture says this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9: 10).  If we want to make wise choices in life, we must start with the right foundation of fearing the Lord. Fearing the Lord means realizing that He is always watching us and that, one day, we will stand before Him to give an account of every thought, word, and deed of our lives.

3-We cannot avoid evil without fearing the Lord. God is not only the God of mercy; He is also the God of justice. When we look upon God only as the God of love, we are tempted to think that He will let our sin slide by. But when we keep in mind that God is also the God of justice, we will have a greater incentive to stay away from evil in order to avoid His judgment.

If you have not been fearing the Lord, repent, and start fearing Him! As the Word promises in 1 John 1: 9, But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

For an outstanding book on the topic of the fear of the Lord, I encourage you to read The Fear of the Lord by John Bevere available here at my affiliate link.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Have you been fearing the Lord?  If not, why not? How will you begin fearing the Lord? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “Whatever Happened to the Fear of the Lord?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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Whatever Happened to the Fear of the Lord?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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We live in an age of grace. Everywhere we turn, we hear messages about God’s grace.  And this is good. But what concerns me is the imbalance I see in the message.

It is true that God gives us grace and that we come to Him and live in Him only by His grace.  At the same time, His grace is not a license to sin. And, unfortunately, I am seeing this false interpretation being promulgated more and more in the Body of Christ and even outside the Body of Christ.

Adult Woman Reading a Bible. Close

For example, I hear comments like, “God is good, and because He is good, He won’t send anyone to Hell.”  Or, among believers, I hear comments like this one: “If we love each other, it’s all right to live together. Our love is what matters.”  Or, “As long as I repent before I die, I can live however I please.”

What about what God said? Does that matter?

Indeed, it does! And it matters enough to affect the eternal consequences of our lives.

Let’s make no mistake about it: God is a God of Justice as well as a God of Mercy and Grace.

When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, we tap into the mercy side of God.  We receive His grace and are forgiven of our sins.  But it doesn’t stop there. We must then obey His commandment of love by the power of that same grace that got us saved in the first place.  In other words, we must live above sin and pursue holiness.

Contrary to what many Christians think, the New Testament lists several don’t’s for the follower of Jesus. Here are just a few:

—Matthew 6: 1 – “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”

—I John 3: 18 – “Do not love in word only.”

—James 2: 11 – “Do not commit adultery.”

—I Peter 1: 14 – “Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.”

These “don’t’s” are not suggestions; they are commandments. A commandment implies that we must obey it or else suffer God’s judgment.

The next time you are tempted to over-emphasize grace, remember that grace does not mean a license to sin. Grace empowers us to overcome sin.

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

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