We, the church leaders, teach so many truths such as salvation, victorious Christian life, worship, prayer, evangelism, giving to the Lord etc., to our congregations, but do we teach them the fear of God?
King David invites his children (citizens of his kingdom) so as to teach them the fear of the Lord (Psalm 34:11). As we read the history of the early church, a strategy to multiply your church membership is to make your congregation to walk in the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31).
Let us see the necessity and importance of walking in the fear of the Lord.
Firstly, Fear of the Lord prevents His people from committing sin and keeps them holy.
When God visited Mount Sinai to give the Ten Commandments, all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; they were afraid and trembled.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you that the fear of Him may be before you that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:18, 20)
That is how young and handsome Joseph protected himself from the temptation of Potiphar’s wife while he was alone. He proved that he was one who feared God. Yes, it was so (Gen. 39:6-13; 42:18).
The wise man declares, “By the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.” (Prov. 16:6b)
Surely lacking the fear of God leads people into all kinds of vile sins, as we read in Romans 3:10-18.
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Secondly, Fear of the Lord stirs up obedience in the lives of God’s people.
The obedience of Abraham, the father of all Christian believers even to the extent of offering his son of promise ‒ Isaac ‒ as a burnt offering to God is the manifestation of his fear of God. God himself testified to him as one who fears Him. We and all people groups are also blessed through his seed, Jesus Christ, because of his obedience to God that was the outcome of his fear of God (Gen. 22:12, 18).
The Preacher summarizes his preaching in these words:
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Eccl. 12:13, 14)
Let us not forget the fact that our unchanging God is a consuming fire, even in the dispensation of grace. So let us offer Him acceptable worship with reverence and awe (by presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him) as we are going to receive an unshakable kingdom (Heb. 12:28, 29; Rom. 12:1).
Let us also labor to make our congregation to walk in the fear of God by setting examples in our own lives and teaching biblical truth about the fear of God so that many more souls are added into the Body of Christ by their exemplary lives.