We should be intrigued enough by the claims of God’s promises to try to seize them.
Particularly when we realize that God’s promises are gifts, that come from obeying His loving commands that produce both temporal and everlasting goodness in our life.
Take a look at some of the promises of God concerning the gifts He’ll give us: Longer life, wisdom, bountiful goodness, rich relationships, wise children, healthier marriages, and the conquering of death to name a few.
Our lives are meaningless & unproductive until we start to obey God and allow His power to work within our lives. We might have a slight glimpse of an everlasting hope and flourishing life without Him, but death and hopelessness shatters the godless.
One key way is to seize His promises is to study the meaning of the proverbs, and to apply them to our lives.
The purpose of proverbs is to:
* Teach people wisdom and discipline
* Help understand the insights of the wise
* Teach us to live disciplined and successful lives
* Help us do what is right, just, and Fair
* Give simple people insight
* Knowledge and discernment to the young
The proverbs are meant for all levels of intelligence, experience and capabilities.
If we let the proverbs become the instructing code for our life, it will come from exploring the meaning in each proverb.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is understanding the future position we’ll find ourselves in.
We will stand before Him, and every single secret and idle word or action will be brought to light in a public way.
We will all be guilty – but declared justified by our faith.
Sin robs us of some of the eternal gifts God wants to give us.
But sin will rob me of things for my eternal life.
My sin, and poor stewardship with the little things, will rob me of eternal rewards
Why allow the temporal things to mar the eternal?
It happens because we lose sight.
I lose sight – because of my sinful desires.
EBC preached about how all the fighting and quarreling around us is caused by our evil desires.
Evil desires produce sin.
Sin will sacrifice eternal for the temporal. It sells what is everlasting to obtain what will disappear.
our sinful desires set a trap for us, to drag us away from God, from seizing the promises in His word, and from goodness.
We are trapped by our sin and desires, and yet when a bird sees a trap set, it knows to stay away.
Greed for money is one of many selfish and evil desires that ensnares us into sin that robs us of rewards that will be everlasting.
To usher in goodness to our lives, we must start with accepting the truth, and being confident in the unseeable future that awaits us – being before the judgement throne of God.
The fear of the Lord is the prime executive command which allows us to Siede the promises and experience the rewards and gifts He gives.
The Best Analogy of the Bible
Francis Chan Wrote a children’s book called “The Big Red Tractor.” It’s the best analogy for the bible you could ever see. It’s often difficult to help people understand what God’s word, God’s commands, and fearing the Lord means to our lives. Which is why I really like this analogy and lesson by Francis Chan. Watch the video, it’s definitely worth watching.
In it, a small farm community uses a tractor to farm. They get teams in the field to push and pull the tractor, powering it by man to accomplish work. It doesn’t go well, and they barely survive.
One day, a farmer finds the instruction book for the tractor, which describes a tractor that works on its own and can accomplish infinitely more than they had ever dreamed.
The farmer tells the village, but they scoff and tease him “that’s nonsense!” They say.
But each night, the farmer works on the tractor.
One evening the tractor starts up – so he heads out to the field and does 3 months of work in half an evening.
The villagers all change their tone, and the farmer starts to bless the entire region with the fruits of the tractors labor.
They share this news with other towns, and they all experience the same thing – their tractors work when they’re put together and ran according to the instruction manual.
This is a perfect analogy for our lives in respect to Gods word.
We come alive and flourish when we live in obedience to Him.
Jesus Even purchased victory over eternal death by justifying us with His blood.
In the example of the big red tractor, it is the confidence that the farmer has concerning the instruction manual that he found.
The beginning of all good things is exactly like the big red tractor.
The fear of the Lord – does it require actual fear?
Is this verse saying that fear is what should motivate us?
Are we to be motivated by a fear of the Lord, or are we to strategically nod to the Lord concerning His power and justice, then be motivated by something else?
What things can we be motivated by? Both Godly and ungodly motivations.
Must all motivations be subservient to the fear of the Lord?
Again – am I to understand that we should be motivated by a Fear of the Lord to obey, or is it simply one motivation among many?
We can be motivated by:
Blessings on earth
As I write this, it seems any other motivation, but to please God because of our future reckoning, is ultimately temporal. Any motivation that doesn’t have a foundation in the fear of the Lord, is ultimately going to be a selfish desire.
We must want to please God because He is worthy to be praised, adored, and feared.
Is there any negative repercussions to fearing the Lord and living a life that’s motivated by fear of the Lord and the future reckoning?
It seems to me that there is no disadvantage, either for today, or for the future, to fearing the Lord.
Why is there no disadvantage for living life out of fear of the Lord? Because His command is to fear not.
We are to fear nothing but God.
And when we fear Him, we then must show our reverence by obeying Him.
God has promised, and our observations confirm, that lives are always blessed when they are lived in obedience to His ways.
His ways are not burdensome, and they lead to eternal and temporal life.
In the book the big red tractor, it might have not specifically said that the farmer read the tractor manual and applied it to the tractor out of a fearful motivation, but because He saw an opportunity to have a better life by making the tractor work according to the designers instructions.
In other words, if the tractor had the possibility to work and run like the manual describes, then isn’t it worth attempting no matter what?
In a sense, what would the farmer have to lose?
It is the same with our life.
God is to be feared, respected and obeyed.
He has the power not only to end our life, but to cast our souls into eternal oblivion.
It is good to use the fear of the Lord as a safe-guard for our life and soul.
Our inherit disobedience to God concerning who He is and His majesty means we cannot place our faith in Him on our own accord, and we also cannot experience victory when we stand before the judgement throne without His justification. On our own, we are doomed to death & eternal suffering.
“a life motivated by the fear of the Lord is not incongruent with the commands to fear not.”
So fear of the Lord is necessary, and a life motivated by the fear of the Lord is not incongruent with the commands to fear not. We are to fear God, and trust His word, which promises us Love, forgiveness, justification and blessing as we love Him.
Therefore, I conclude that we must fear God, live life out of fear of being cross with Him because we know that it’s the path to goodness, and abundant life.
The fear of the Lord is the outer boundary, the absolute respect for the chasm on the other side of the guardrails.
Fear of the Lord is acknowledging the fact that life outside of Gods’ ways will lead to both temporal and eternal death.
We are instructed to fear only God – but show wise respect to all other things – but not to fear them.
This is why the command is so often given to fear not, because when we fear other things we are not trusting that God will guide us and protect us, since it’s all controlled in a sovereign way by God.
All things work together for the glory of those who Love God and are called according to His purpose.
“Lord, give me both the desire and the power to live according to your ways. Forgive me Lord.”
Something to Remember:
For it is God at work within us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Jesus said – “come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and let me teach you for I am humble and gentle at heart, and I will give you rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30)
This means that fearing the Lord and obeying Him is meant to utilize the power of God, not our own power.
By man, things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible.