“The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers”. Acts 9:31 NLT
The Scripture text in Acts 9:31 describes the state of the early church after the conversion of Saul. Two conditions are described; they walked in fear of the Lord and they walked in the encouragement (comfort) of the Holy Spirit.
Is it strange that such things be blended: fear and comfort?
Are we normally in such a state as this, as was found in the early church?
Does fear dominate your conscience and are you comforted in the midst of this fear?
Is the church of today in such a state…..a true fear of God?
It appears that the church of today prefers to dwell upon the love of God, yet find no durable comfort in it. The love of the world permeates the church, instead of a hatred for sin.
Fear of man prevails and God is a convenience for Sundays and emergencies.
Many are persuaded today that the word fear really means respect. There is a type of superficial respect to God that does not affect how one lives. God is not in all their thoughts; when the world and their fleshly desires are gods of their heart: this is truly wicked and glory is in their shame. They love the euphoric feeling that they are getting away with their sin.
“I have told you this many times before, and now I repeat it with tears: there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ's death on the cross. They are going to end up in hell, because their god is their bodily desires. They are proud of what they should be ashamed of, and they think only of things that belong to this world”. Phil. 3:18-19 GNT
How would those who know you describe you?
Would they describe you as one who walks in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit?
Is that, in truth how you do live?
What does a lack of the fear of God look like?
It is when a person takes sin lightly, casually, carelessly, obstinately, persistently and is either brazen or apathetic when confronted with sin.
Sin is unconcerned with being offensive to God and unconcerned with His heart.
Sin complains at exhortation, despises reproof and instruction, refuses to submit, seeks its own way and justifies itself.
It is so common…..just look around you…….or……maybe within you?????
What does the fear of God look like?
“The fear of the Lord is to hate what is sinful. I hate pride, self-love, the way of sin, and lies” (Prov. 8:13 NLV).
Fundamentally, the fear of God is a disposition to hate sin. It is a hatred of sin that moves one to depart from it: “…by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil” (Prov.16:6 NKJV).
The fear of the Lord will NOT disobey God, regardless of the consequences. It will seek to know God’s will and follow after Him, no matter what the cost may be.