As a new believer I didn’t know what it meant to fear the Lord. When I was born again and transformed I knew that everything had changed. The Holy Spirit filled me with a love for Jesus and a deep desire to follow Him. I knew exactly what those men must have felt like when Jesus looked at them and said, “Follow me,” because I had experienced the same loving invitation.
That began the most important journey of my life which led from conviction of sin to a Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10) which led to repentance. I was genuinely sorry for the terrible things that I had done and my heart was truly transformed – anyone who knows me would realise that there was a dramatic change. I once was blind, but now I can see.
And then the battle really started!
And then (and I say this knowing that this is the experience of many Christians) the real battle against sin started. Sin became exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13). The light of truth was shining brightly in my sinful heart to expose evil desires, sinful habits and the rebellious nature of my relationship with God. But I battled forth and asked the Holy Spirit for strength and encouragement. My life was changed and for a while, at least, I was winning this war.
But the devil is unrelenting and over time I found that I could quite easily slip back into sinful ways – even though I have a personal relationship with Jesus, even though I know with certainty that God is all-seeing and all-knowing – I would slip back into sin. I found myself in that place of asking for forgiveness and then sinning again. Asking for forgiveness and sinning again. I’m sure you know what I mean.
And then I was disciplined. I came to understand God’s tender mercies and lovingkindnesses which are ever of old (Psalm 25:6) but I also came to understand that God is good and upright, He will teach sinners in the way (Psalm 25:8) and that the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him (Psalm 25:14).
God is a loving Father and He will discipline His children. As Paul write in Romans 6 verse 1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” and the answer, “God forbid.”
As a loving Father must do because He is righteous, God disciplined me. It was in that discipline that I saw and experienced the love that He has for me. God is not indifferent to us, He loves us and wants the very best for us. When I put my faith in Jesus Christ and accepted the invitation to follow Him I may have become arrogant. I was blessed with tremendous Faith and saw amazing miracles. I experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I think that I also began to think that I could flirt with sin. It is only because of the fear of the Lord, knowing that God will discipline His children, that I am strengthened and encouraged.
It was then that I came to understand that my strongest weapon against temptation, is to have a healthy fear of the Lord. When I remember who God is, that He can see it all, that there are no secrets with God, I am convicted by the Holy Spirit and I can hear that encouraging whisper asking me to turn away from sin, to exit the door that is presented, to leave the room, to resist the devil, to remember the Cross. When I fear the Lord and I stop trying to convince myself that God will ever tolerate sin, I am strengthened for the battle and I am indeed victorious.
Ask for help
Ask the Lord today to cultivate a fear of the Lord within you. Start looking for this term in your Bible and be amazed at how many times we are reminded to have a fear of the Lord. God has not forgotten to tell us anything, it is simply up to us to go and read the instructions carefully and prayerfully.
The most encouraging thing to remember is that when we fear the Lord, we are promised that we will have no lack.
Bless you today in Jesus name.
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,Psalm 34: 9
for those who fear him have no lack!