As I may have mentioned, lately my task at hand has been to memorize the verses in the Bible that deal with Fearing God. I had bought a Kindle book on memorization and it walked the reader through learning one verse a week out of twelve verses, all relating to the fear of God. Honestly when I picked the book, I picked it to help me to learn new methods of Bible memory, I was not very interested in learning about fearing God. To me fearing God was a task we were compelled to do...not a very pleasant task. I always kind of viewed myself in front of God with piles of sins and incompleted projects and because I knew God expected more, my fear was meshed with my failure.
However something wonderful happened. By the end of those 12 verses, I had begun to notice the word "Fear" as it related to God, mentioned dozens of times in the Psalms and also dozens in Proverbs. There was one mention in 2 Kings and one in Luke and one in Ecclesiastes...otherwise all were in the Psalms and Proverbs. What I saw was an amazing pattern. The fear of God is something desirable.
"The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.Psalm 33:18,19
The judgements of the Lord are true....
They are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold--
than much fine gold.
Sweeter also than honey, and the drippings from the honeycomb
How great is Your goodness
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which you have wrought for those who take refuge in You.
Before the sons of men!
You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of men.
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine
.Are you beginning to see a pattern?
Fearing God is sweet and imminently valuable. It protects men who fear the Lord...He Himself is their shield, and finally it causes God to provide for our needs, whether food, water, or against enemies...all this (and there is much much more) promised to those who REVERE God.
Revering God is how we Fear God....they are the same thing.
How do we revere God?
1) We keep His Name holy...not using it as a curse word but as the precious name of a dearly beloved one.
2) We talk to Him and commune with Him.
3) We treasure His Words. We memorize, meditate and read God's Word.
4) We trust His promises. That means when God promises to be our refuge, we should have no fear before any enemy. God has promised us to take care of us....we need to believe that and to let our actions and words show that we believe it.
5) We share His views on sin. God hates sin and so should we. When we stumble, we must confess quickly and get right again so that we can stand in His presence sinless.
6) We should live in an attitude of thankfulness. God loves us as high as the sky is above the earth. He has buried our sins as far as the east is from the west. All good things come to us from our beloved Redeemer, shall we forget to thank him? No. Part of fearing God is to appreciate His gifts to us and to thank him for them.
It is so easy to just live, bouncing from one challenge to another, Cleaning up messes, making more messes, making do with what we have. Throwing God a bone once in a while by showing up to church....but you must understand something. : fearing God is a nonstop, lifelong attitude. When choices come our way, as they will, in reverence seek God's opinion about them. When you are tempted to do something "shady" it is to stop yourself (helped by the Spirit of God) and to repent, which means to turn away. Our choices matter. And they matter to more than just ourselves. They matter to God. They matter to those who look up to us. And they will affect the manner in which God distributes His blessings on the earth. The Bible promises that those who fear God will have no want....in other words God will provide for their physical needs as well.
This journey I've been on in learning these verses not only been eyeopening. It's been a blessing, it's been convicting, it's been challenging and it has brought me much joy and a deeper understanding of who God is and what He expects from us......and what He longs to give us in return.