In the last couple blogs we were talking about staying out of the ditches of false teaching and religion. We hit a little bit on the “fear of the Lord” and how crucial that is to “walking in the Spirit”, and not in the flesh. There is no doubt that someone that fears God cannot continue to fulfill the lusts of the flesh; and when they stumble, someone that fears the Lord will not rest until they confess and forsake their sin to God. When you belong to Jesus, your thankfulness, your reverence, and your fear of being outside His will, keeps you “sensitive” to sin. Why is that? Because he takes our heart of stone, which had no “sensitivity” to the true wickedness of our sin, and in its place He gives us a heart of flesh, which is “sensitive” to the things of God and His will:
Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
The condition of our heart will determine whether we will have a genuine reverence for God or not. The condition of our heart is either too proud to lay down our own selfish desires and seek God, or it is humble and contrite:
Mark 7:6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.
Mark 7:20-23 And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man."
Acts 8:21-22 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
Romans 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
2Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Is your heart prideful? Ask God to humble you. Is your heart far from God?? Ask God to draw you close. Is their evil thoughts and desires coming from your heart? Ask God to give you a new heart, with new desires.
1Peter 5:5-7 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
The issue of pride and selfishness is not anything new, take a look at Isaiah 2:7-8; doesn’t it sound a lot like today’s America?:
Isaiah 2:7-9 Their land is also full of silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land is also full of horses, And there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made. 9 People bow down, And each man humbles himself; Therefore do not forgive them.
People were humbling themselves, but not to God; they were submitting themselves to idols and riches. There was (and is) no fear of God; there was (and is) only self-exaltation, people seeking the glory for themselves…and Jesus warned of this:
John 7:16-18 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
God is very clear about pride vs. humility; and about disregard for Him vs. fear and reverence for Him:
Job 28:28 And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.' "
Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
Psalm 34:7-11 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
Psalm 145:18-20 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. 20 The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 14:26-27 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.
Proverbs 16:5-6 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished. 6 In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
Proverbs 23:17-18 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; 18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.
Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up— And it shall be brought low—
Isaiah 2:17-18 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day,18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.