If I am honest, facing the start of a new year is often a fearsome thought. The reality is, I don’t know what the new year holds. Yes, it is great to plan and even set goals, but the reality is we don’t know for sure what tomorrow will bring. However, our fear of the new should not snuff out our fear of the Lord. In fact, Proverbs 1:11 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
To fear the Lord is to approach Him with a reverent attitude of worship that regards Him as truly awesome! In short, to fear the Lord sets Him in His rightful place in our lives as not only being greater, but our source of hope, adoration and wisdom.
Have you ever considered what causes certain men and women of God to step out and follow the Lord, even in the direst of circumstances? I would argue that the fear of the Lord leads many to go where God has called them and to follow through with what God has called them to do.
I am reminded of Noah and the call to build an ark:
So make a wooden ark. Make the ark with nesting places and cover it inside and out with tar. This is how you should make it: four hundred fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. (Genesis 6:14-15)
As God saw the wickedness of man increase on the earth, His judgment was to begin afresh with Noah and his family. Yet, what causes a man to trust God, endure the criticism of the world around him, and build with no evidence of a flood in sight? Hebrews 11:7 tells us,
By faith Noah responded with godly fear when he was warned about events he hadn’t seen yet. He built an ark to deliver his household. With his faith, he criticized the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes from faith.
Noah’s first response was godly fear or reverence of the Lord. As you embark on the new year, here are several ways the fear of the Lord can impact your life.
1. The Fear of the Lord helps you walk in godly wisdom.
When we humble ourselves before the Lord, we are in fact saying, I don’t have it all together and I need you. The fear of the Lord, as Proverbs tells us, is the beginning of wisdom. As we seek the Lord, reverence of who He is will lead you to gratitude and also to seek His wisdom, not just your own.
2. The Fear of the Lord will keep you committed.
What keeps great men and women of God committed when they want to bail? I would argue it is their fear of the Lord. Noah, the Bible tells us, “did everything exactly as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). Our reverential worship of the Lord will lead us to not only love, but obey His commands. We will obey who or what our heart truly worships. Maybe the fulfillment of your commitment lies in your worship of the Lord.
3. The Fear of the Lord will help you fight temptation.
Temptation comes to all. This is a normal part of the Christian walk. In fact, to be tempted is not sin; yielding to temptation is sin. One of the greatest ways we can fight temptation is to remember who we worship and fear. When Jesus was tempted in the desert, He constantly went back to the Word of the Lord and His worship of the Father. When Satan tried to get Him to worship, Jesus replied, “Go away, Satan, because it’s written, ‘You will worship the Lord your God and serve only Him'” (Matthew 4:10). If you are facing temptation, you are in good company; but remember who you belong to and worship Him.
Again, I don’t know what 2018 holds, but regardless of what comes your way this year, remember to fear the Lord. Allow reverential worship of the Lord to settle the fear in your heart and cause your eyes to focus on the one who is greater than anything you could face in this life.