Summary: Fearing the Lord is not just good for us after we die – it is for our good in the here and now.
The Benefits of Fearing the Lord
June 18/19, 2005
MAIN IDEA: Fearing the Lord is not just good for us after we die – it is for our good in the here and now.
AIM: Those who hear this message will be motivated to live in the fear of the Lord because of the many promises God makes to those who will do so.
“What’s in it for me?” Ever asked that question? When the telemarketer calls that question is one of the first that comes to my mind. I’m not going to buy it (whatever it is) if I don’t think the payoff is worth the price – or even better that I’m getting the better part of the deal.
Up to this point in this series on Understanding the Fear of the Lord, we’ve been looking at what God requires of us. It’s been some strong medicine. And though we’ve looked at verses like Deut 5:29 (Deut. 5:29 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!) in which we learn that fearing the Lord is for our good – we haven’t really talked in specific terms about what that good is. That’s what we’re going to do today. When it comes to fearing the Lord (even though we should do it “just because He says to”) there are some major benefits that come into our lives. If you ask, “What’s in it for me?” the answer is “more than you’ll ever have to give up to get it!”
Let’s get to it!
Prov. 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
There is a simple rule to life that goes like this. Fools never prosper. People who are fools make bad decisions constantly. Bad relationship decisions. Bad financial decisions. Bad career decisions. Bad spiritual decisions. And they always find themselves in trouble.
On the other hand you’ve got wise people. Wise people are people who make wise decisions. Wise relationship decisions. Wise financial decisions. Wise career decisions. Wise spiritual decisions. Wise people find themselves, more often than not, avoiding trouble that plagues so many others.
What kind of person do you want to be? Funny thing is noone WANTS to be a fool. But so many people are – because they don’t start at the right place.
You can have lots of knowledge – go to college, ace tests, you can be an expert in some sort of skill – and yet still lack wisdom – for if you want true wisdom it starts right here – with the fear of the Lord.
Why is this? Because when you begin with a relationship with your creator that is one of awe and respect, you begin to have a life that aligns with God’s purposes in the world. As you live under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit you will begin to think more like God, you’ll begin to react to situations and people more and more like God – and when you do this, you’re guaranteed to be making wise decisions.
2. INTIMACY WITH GOD
As I’ve been saying since the beginning of this series The fear of the Lord is the key to an intimate relationship with Him. But let me show you exactly where this comes from and what it means.
Psa. 25:12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
Psa. 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
God tells His secrets to those who fear him.
He confides in those who esteem him properly. And he gives them instruction in the way chosen for them.
It can be hard to know God’s will or why he is doing certain things in our lives. But if we fear Him we are promised He will not leave us out in the cold forever. He will give instruction. He will confide.
When I’m going through a difficult time – stress, difficult situations – I want to talk to someone with whom I know the information will be safe. I CONFIDE in someone close to me.
When we fear the Lord – he knows he can trust us with information about what he is doing. He will give insights.
ILLUS: Just this week meeting with Terry felt impressed with guidance about a new teaching series. Then last night had more input from God.
Guess what? I prayed and fasted on Monday. God is good all the time.
Psa. 147:10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man;