We must come to the worship service tomorrow ready to grow in the fear of God. Why? This is the reason: When we have the knowledge of who God really is and why we must fear Him, all of our other fears and concerns will be allayed. When we understand how great our God is, we will earnestly desire to praise and reverence Him at all times. David understood this: “O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD” (Psalm 34:9-11).
What is the fear of the Lord? Let’s take a look at how the Bible defines it.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalm 110:10).
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).
To sum up these verses, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, hatred of evil, and the fountain of everlasting life. Fearing God is coming to an understanding of who He is: finding out how holy, just, merciful, and perfect Jehovah is, and how we really cannot even comprehend how great He is. We can only come to this knowledge by the grace God gives us, and even that fact humbles us and causes us to bow before our almighty Lord.
The world we live in, however, constantly tells us to forsake the fear of the Lord. We are tempted daily to turn our eyes from God and instead fear man. The culture of victimization that we live in shows this plainly. How common isn’t it to say that it’s the other person’s fault? “They did it, they made me do it.” This is basically saying that our behavior is controlled by other people. We are succumbing to the fear of man, looking to man to solve problems instead of looking up and putting our trust in God. When we fear man, many problems ensue: we worry about what others think about us, we love ourselves instead of loving God, and sometimes we even demand answers from God.
Because we are so prone to wander from God, we must constantly seek to grow in the fear of the Lord. How can we grow in this knowledge? Every Sunday we have the opportunity to grow—and not only is it an opportunity, but it is a requirement for God’s people. Our Lord requires us to come to the worship service ready to grow in His fear. Using His servants that preach His Word, He calls us to learn who He is, how needy we are, and why we must worship Him. We cannot come to worship with a heart that doesn’t want to grow anymore. Instead, we must be eager and longing to know our God more and more so we can put our trust in Him alone.
Be ready tomorrow, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Prepare your hearts to grow in the fear of the Lord!