What does God require to walk in the Fear of the Lord?
Part 1 of this Series – What is the Fear of the Lord? – Part 1
Part 2 of this Series – What is the Fear of the Lord? – Part 2
Part 3 of this Series – Walking in the Fear of the Lord – Part 1
Part 4 of this Series – Walking in the Fear of the Lord – Part 2
Part 5 of this Series – Build According to the Pattern
Part 6 of this Series – Avoiding Satan’s Will for the Church
Part 7 of this Series – Revival
Before we get started, I would like to recommend a short prayer to you. We should always confess our need for God to give us wisdom, understanding, knowledge and revelation in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ better through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you are awesome in all of your ways. Please give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ more and more as I read this article.
At the onset, I would like to give honor to Derek Prince for teaching me that God actually wants us delivered from the law of Moses and that we can never be righteous in God’s eyes by keeping the law of Moses or any law or set of rules. Romans 4:13-25 make it crystal clear, in case this fact shocks you, that the ONLY way to obtain righteousness with God the Father is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Derek Prince is in glory now, but he was a true man of God that has blessed my life and he deserves my acknowledgement, respect and honor.
Righteousness Through Faith ALONE
I would like to draw your attention to the following passage of scripture. Please pay close attention to the highlighted areas. This is one masterful piece of writing by the Apostle Paul. As I meditate on it, it often causes me to jump and shout.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ
Colossians 2:13-16 (NIV)
Please note that the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus brought a total and complete end to us achieving righteousness with God by keeping the law of Moses or any set of rules. This doesn’t mean we can be lawless, because that definitely would not be walking in the Fear of the Lord. However, it does mean that God doesn’t keep a tally sheet of our righteous acts and our failures to determine whether we’re righteous or not.
There is one and only one way to achieve righteousness with God, and that’s by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ working through love (see Romans 4:5, Romans 4:24-25, Galatians 5:6). In addition, because Jesus disarmed Satan and all of his forces of darkness, Satan (the accuser of every believer) no longer has the power to attack us with guilt because we’re no longer under a law we could never keep anyway (see James 2:10).
This is crucial to us moving forward in the discussion of God’s requirements for walking in the Fear of the Lord. If we don’t carefully consider and understand this, we’ll instinctively reduce walking in the Fear of the Lord to keeping a set of rules as opposed to deepening our relationship with God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us as joint heirs with Jesus.
Please take a moment and breath a sigh of relief. If you don’t get it perfectly right in your quest to walk in the Fear of the Lord, it really is okay, because we are not under law but under grace(see Romans 6:14). This means that if you let anyone condemn you for not getting it exactly right, you are disobeying God.
There will be a time when each of us has to give an account for what we did in our bodies, however, that time is not now, which means we still have an opportunity to get it right; HALLELUJAH! Since we’re under grace, sin no longer has dominion over us (see Romans 6:14). This doesn’t mean we no longer have to war against out sinful nature, but it does mean we already have everything we need to be victorious and more than conquerors through Jesus.
If Satan or anyone else is successful at condemning you and making you feel guilty, it will be very difficult for you to walk in the Fear of the Lord. You’ll never be sure you’ve done enough or done it perfectly enough to be accepted by God. The ultimate goal of walking in the Fear of the Lord is an intimate, up close and personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that’s free of condemnation.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s focus our attention on the remaining requirements of God for walking in the Fear of the Lord.
I would like to handle this portion differently than my normal writing style. I’ll break down the following passage into areas of focus below.
My son, IF you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and IF you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and IF you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, THEN you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. THEN you will understand what is right and just and fair–every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways
Prov 2:1-15 (NIV)
Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous
Prov 2:20 (NIV)
Accepting and Internalizing the Word of God
I would like to give God glory for leading me to my Church home. Jesus has graced me to be a part of a body of believers that are lead by a true Apostle and Prophet (if you happen to be a part of a fellowship that believes Apostles and Prophets only were relevant during Jesus’ day, it’s okay, you have my permission to keep reading 😉 ).
The spiritual leaders of my Church tirelessly demonstrate their continued consumption of the Word of God and always encourage members to do the same. You know you have a leader that loves the Word of God, when you think you’ve stumbled upon the greatest revelation since sliced bread, and your leader responds by saying, I taught that in classes 10 years ago.
There are eight distinct IF’s in the passage above. They key thing to notice is that this doesn’t happen automatically. It demands active and intentional involvement on our part. Many people think simply reading the Word of God meets this IF condition. I would like to suggest that this is not true, according to the Word of God. Let’s take a look at what tactics the enemy uses to prevent us from accepting and retaining God’s Word. I’m going to include the accounts from each of the gospels where this parable appears because each has something significantly different that I would like to draw out.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Matt 13:18-23 (NIV)
Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop–thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”
Mark 4:13-20 (NIV)
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
Luke 8:11-15 (NIV)
- Not Understanding the Word of God (Lust of the Flesh)
- This represents the Lust of the Flesh because whenever we seek to accomplish something outside of God’s influence and dominion (evil conduct), not only is it the opposite of walking in the Fear of the Lord, but it always produces works of the flesh, which NEVER produce a spiritual outcome, salvation in other words. Please take note, that this person is in an environment where the Word of God is being spoken, but they don’t understand it (see I Corinthians 2:14). Whenever we read or hear the Word of God, and don’t understand what’s being spoken to us, Satan steals the Word of God from our hearts (I wish I knew exactly how this happens, however, see Proverbs 8:5). This tactic is primarily used against people who have not yet come to know Jesus as they’re Lord and Savior. This is a powerful truth that I recommend we really take hold of. In the third article of this series, we looked at three types of people, a simple person, a scorner or mocker and a fool. All three of these people, according to Wisdom, rejected the correction and instruction of Wisdom. As a result, understanding, which always appears with Wisdom, could not be purchased or found by either of them. This condition is the condition Jesus reveals to us. Choosing to walk in the Fear of the Lord is the only thing that will give us access to wisdom and understanding, so that Satan is not able to prevail in his attempt to keep us from being fruitful (see Matthew 25:26).
- Lack of a Strong Spiritual Foundation (Pride of Life)
- This represents the Pride of Life because the person has built the foundation of their salvation on their dead works of righteousness as opposed to walking in the Fear of the Lord and allowing Jesus to build the foundation of their salvation based on their union with Him. Please take note that the absence of a sure foundation is the cause of this person not being able to accept and retain the Word of God. It is not the result of the trials nor the tests, which happens to every person that intends to live according to the Word of God. My Apostle frequently says, anything that can’t be tested isn’t genuine, “that includes you” (as in whichever audience he’s addressing)! According to this passage, spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ, this is a true statement. So the question is, how do we ensure that our walk with Jesus is built on a firm foundation? I recommend reading Part 2 of this series where we looked at the life of Job and the fact that the Fear of the Lord is what anchored him through, what I’m sure we can all agree, was the most catastrophic series of tests and trials any person has had to endure, outside of the cruicifixtion, of course. Both Job and Jesus walked in the Fear of the Lord, this didn’t just get recorded in scripture by accident. Walking in the Fear of the Lord is the only way to ensure that your walk with the Lord is built on nothing less that the rock of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only sure foundation.
- Cares of this World (Lust of the Eyes)
- These are the things unbelievers seek after because they are all under the influence of the god of this world (see Matthew 6:32, I John 5:19 (NIV)). Please note that although Jesus doesn’t directly identify Satan or his dark forces as the culprit, because Jesus identified him as the prince of this world, we can logically assume that any system in this world responsible for choking the reproductive fruitfulness in the Word of God, from the life of the believer, is the direct product of Satan himself. Finally, I would like to draw your attention to all three of the conditions responsible for choking the Word of God; Worry, Wealth and Want. These are the very things that mark many people attempting to pursue God. Jesus makes it clear that since accepting and retaining the Word of God is a requirement for walking in the Fear of the Lord, there isn’t enough room in one person for pursuing God and the things of this world.
Pursue Peace & Holiness
Before we begin to discuss this requirement, I would like to encourage everyone reading this article to take a moment and consider the Holiness of the God we serve. I would also like to ask a theoretical question intended to provoke a hunger for holiness in you. When exactly did the Church decide that it no longer needs to aggressively pursue the Holiness of God? I don’t know the answer to this question, what I do know is that without Holiness, we will not see the Lord Jesus Christ. I know of no greater word picture of God’s awesome holiness than His visitation to Mount Sinai after He delivered Israel out of Egypt. Let’s take a look at this awesome account.
On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.” Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.'” The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.” So Moses went down to the people and told them.
Ex 19:16-25 (NIV)
I’m not sure how you feel about this account, but it is so marvelous to me. God loves Israel and the Church so much that He wants nothing more than to be up close and personal with each and every one of us. However, as we see near then end of this account, He was constrained from being close to the people of God because of His awesome Holiness.
Scripture plainly states that He commanded Moses and Aaron to restrain the people from approaching God, otherwise, His Holiness would break out against them toward anything that would violate His Holiness.
This is such a beautiful and fearful passage of scripture to me, because on the one hand, if that happened today, I’m 100% sure that I would be one of those behind the “take one step back or fry like an egg” boundary tape. However, on the other hand, the shed blood of Jesus Christ has opened the way for us to, in Christ, past the boundary tape and approach a perfectly Holy God without being utterly zapped into oblivion.
Even though this is true, because we’re only visiting earth and our final home will be with the Lord for eternity, walking in the Fear of the Lord requires us to pursue peace with all men and Holiness right here on earth. Yeah, I feel the same way, I wonder if God really knows who I am; and if He does, how is it possible he would require such a thing from such a marred vessel?
Well, hold tight, the key to the question above is found in the Word of God. Please notice a few things. The writer of Hebrews addresses the self-same question I just asked. The pursuit of perfecting Holiness is only possible if we are in Christ and the Fear of the Lord is the Kingdom Technology that makes it all possible. I tell you, this is why I Love the Word of God and the Holy Spirit; who knows the Word of God backwards and forwards.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God isa consuming fire.
Heb 12:14-29 (KJV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled
Matt 5:6 (NIV)
The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works
Psalms 145:17 (KJV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
Prov 9:10 (NIV)
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil
Prov 3:7 (KJV)
Watch What Enters Our Ears & Eyes & What We Speak
I often ask the adults in my Sunday School class this question, “If faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, what comes by watching non-Christ centered television“? I encourage you, take moment and ponder this question.
I’m not sure any of us can adequately explain exactly how hearing the Word of God puts faith into our spirits, but the Word of God says it and I can testify to it’s truth. That said, if it works this way concerning faith, exactly what gets put into our spirits when we watch other stuff. Don’t forget Romans 8, there is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. I’m not attempting to provoke you to chuck your brand new 47 inch LCD TV you bought for under 500 bucks. I do intend to provoke you to think about how much time you spend putting faith into your spirit as opposed to how much time you spend putting other stuff into your soul. By the way, only what comes from the Spirit can enter your spirit (see Romans 8:5).
One last thing before we look at what the scripture has to say on this topic. You should know that your eyes, your ears and your mouth (what you speak, not what you eat see Matthew 15:11) are all direct gateways to your heart (the core of your being). What enters the core of your being determines how you deal with EVERY situation in your life.
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Prov 4:20-27 (NIV)
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Josh 1:8 (NIV)
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good
Psalms 34:12-14 (NIV)
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himselfto him that judgeth righteously
1 Peter 2:21-23 (KJV)
Once again, I think a note is critical at this point. It is not possible for you and I to be totally without sin, while still in the earth realm, but God does expect each and every one of us to be intently pursuing a sinless life. Specifically, we should be seeking to do the good that God reveals to us individually in scripture. This does not mean attempt to do the good we see other people doing. It does mean we should each trust the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide us into doing the good that God has foreordained for our lives. God also expects us to mind what we speak from our mouths. The word guile means to speak with ill intent through craftiness, deceit or subtle malice. Basically either defending ourselves with our mouths or speaking that which is contrary to the Word of God. We can avoid this type of speech with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Watch or Be Alert, Pray & a Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house
2 Chron 7:1 (KJV)
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man
Luke 21:36 (NIV)
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak
Matt 26:41 (NIV)
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is
Mark 13:33 (KJV)
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful
Col 4:2 (NIV)
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer
1 Peter 4:7 (KJV)
WE MUST BE ALERT, WATCH AND PRAY…WE MUST BE ALERT, WATCH AND PRAY…WE MUST BE ALERT, WATCH AND PRAY – Have I made this point clear? I would really like to encourage the person that feels they don’t know how to pray well enough, so they don’t pray at all, or very little, especially openly in the Church you attend. Here’s the only thing I want to share with you, God is our Father, and as a Father, He would never reject you for trying to speak with Him and put Him in remembrance of His Word. Please, try it again, then try it again and then try it again, until you find the resting place of prayer.
Finally, going back to our scripture in Proverbs 2. God, after laying out the requirements, makes some very strong promises. God says, if we agree and come into alignment with the IF’s then we WILL understand the Fear of the Lord, but not only that, we’ll also find the knowledge of God. Notice that God doesn’t say we might, or it’s a possibility, but we will!
Many Christians, I’ve encountered, are not really sure about the perfect will of God for their individual lives. Proverbs 2 makes it clear that when we walk in the Fear of the Lord, we will without a doubt, discover the perfect will of God for our lives. In addition, we’ll be established on the firm foundation, which is Jesus Christ Himself, required to sustain us when test and trials come to validate the Word of God in us.
Well, we covered a lot of information in this article, so I believe it’s only fitting to end with a brief prayer. In my next article, we’ll take a look at what happens when we choose to walk in the Fear of the Lord.
Father in Heaven, I know that you love me because your Word says you demonstrated that love by sending your only son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. Father, in the name of Jesus, I acknowledge your awesome power, your everlasting mercy, the grace you have extended to me and your loving kindness which you continue to demonstrate. Father help me, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to pursue peace with all men and holiness as I walk in the Fear of the Lord. Father, give me your wisdom, understanding and knowledge so I can obey every commandment The Lord Jesus Christ gives me and so I can depart from every evil way that’s contrary to your ways.