Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Living As Overcomers

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

THEME OF THE DAY. LIVING AS OVERCOMERS. Nothing will come into our lives today which caught God off guard. Nothing will happen to us that doesn’t have a Divine Hand guiding it. No tough circumstance will develop that isn’t coming from the loving heart of God. No intense trial will be beyond our capacity to endure it for the God of all grace sent it. No impossible situation exists because the God of the impossible orchestrated it for our good and His glory. Friend, the Psalmist said six words which are great confidence-builders toward our always loving God – “My times are in your hand . . .” (Psalm 31:15a). Everything which will happen to us today comes with a Divine purpose and that purpose is to teach and develop the fear of God in us.

The fear of God is the answer to defeating sin, Satan, and the world. The fear of God transforming the mind, ruling the heart, and guiding our feet is the way to be an overcomer in all things. It is the fear of God which brings us close to God. Do a Bible study in the book of Psalms by tracing the occurrences of two words “fear Him.” It will be a delight to the soul. Here are just two samples – “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant” (Psalm 25:14). Are we longing to know the Lord more and more? Is there a growing desire for us to be close to Him? Such intimacy is found in fearing Him. Let’s paraphrase the Psalmist. He says, “The Lord reveals Himself, His friendship or the secrets of His heart, to those who walk in His fear.” Now the second sample from the Psalms – “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love” (Psalm 147:11). Wow! What a joy to the soul!!! The Lord delights in us; a people who fear Him. And now get this . . . His fear is not something we can create. He gives it to us in the New Covenant – “I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul” (Jeremiah 32:39-41). When God saves us, He gives us His fear; a fear that is pure, purifying, full of His love, and is the strongest antidote and power against everything that displeases Him. Want to defeat all sin in our lives? Walk in His fear. Want to love Him with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength? Walk in His fear. Want to be effectively used by the Lord in a dying world? Walk in His fear. But there is a distinction in the fear of God. There is a slavish, unhealthy fear that paralyzes us. And then, the right one, the one God gives us as we read in Jeremiah 32:39-41.

How do we distinguish between the two? A couple of ways. First, wrong fear makes us afraid of God in an unhealthy way. Like Adam in the garden after the fall (Genesis 3:10). This fear of God makes us doubt His love and run from Him. It is sinful and of the sinful nature. Next, the healthy fear of God creates within us a love and desire for God. It also makes sin, all sin, ugly and avoided. Finally, sinful fear frets over our standing with God and subtly relies upon our “Christian performance” to make us feel right with God. The healthy fear is the opposite. It confidently leans only on what Christ has done for us, not what we attempt to do for Him. And where the healthy fear of God rules a life; a boldness for the Lord, humility before the Lord, and holiness toward the Lord take shape in our lives, guiding our lives.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to trust You as You test me, knowing it is for my good and Your glory.”

QUOTE: “To walk in the fear of the Lord is the only way to defeat sin, Satan, and the world.”