26 Mar 3/26/17 “WALKING IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD” – Pastor Shane Idleman
“Walking in the Fear of the Lord”
If churches are trying to win a popularity contest, they will avoid this!
A wrong view can do harm too.
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.
There was a season of peace – until Herod in chapter 12.
Peace / comfort – WHEN THEY FEARED
“Let us learn not to abuse external peace by being involved in pleasures and idleness…When the churches had peace, they were not drunk with pleasures and earthly joy…” John Calvin.
Edified – “To improve morally or intellectually.” WHEN THEY FEARED
Multiplied [spiritual growth] – WHEN THEY FEARED
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
FEAR IS A RESTRAINING FORCE: Only fools would want to remove this restraining force: “Men…must be…controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet” (Robert Winthrop; 1809 – 1894).
NATION: God fearing people should lead – PSALM 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him.”
The Delaware Constitution initially required that everyone appointed to public office must say, “I do profess faith in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ His only Son . . . .”
“Remember ever, and always, that your country was founded by the stern old Puritans whose first act on touching the soil of the new world was to offer on bended knees thanksgiving to Almighty God.” HENRY WILSON (1812-1875); 18TH U.S. VICE PRESIDENT
“The law . . . dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.” ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1755– 1804), SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION
CHURCH: Is a gathering of God fearing people – we hate sin BUT love the sinner. We aim for a high standard of living, BUT offer grace when we miss the mark. We love unconditionally BUT still warn the prodigal.
FAMILY: God should be feared and reverenced in our homes –
Psalm 33:18 [NIV], “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.”
The CURE for many problems – “Fear Him”! Reverence and Respect = obedience.
Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
“Teach me” what to do – when you fear God the answers become clear.
“Walking in the fear” of the Lord is living it out.
Where I walk determines where I go – Rom. 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Example of God’s people “not fearing” – we forget who He is and what He did.
1 Kings 18:18 “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel…”
When we do not fear we waver – How long will you waver [hop back and forth]?
* Worshipped both baal and God to be safe!
Elijah: “my God is YAHWEH”
When we do not fear we compromise
A] more convenient
B] partial obedience
Psalm 31:19 “Oh, how great is your goodness which you have laid up for those who fear you.”
We all go through challenges but there is peace in the midst of the storm – just make sure that the storm is not “self-created.”
Ask – “Is the fruit of the Spirit present in my life?” Walking through the difficult season…
Psalm 23 “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”
Back to the churches walking in the fear of the Lord
MIRACLES: As Peter was walking in the fear of the Lord [visiting coastal cities]: Read ACTS 9:32-43 – healing AND a resurrection took place.
Do you need to come back to life? Spiritual resurrection takes place when we reposition ourselves to FEAR God.
Do you need spiritual life? ACTS 10 – A devout man who feared God but didn’t know Him.
FRANCIS COLLINS – Renowned geneticist and head of the Human Genome Project: “I had started this journey of intellectual exploration to confirm my atheism. That now lay in ruins as the argument from the Moral Law (and many other issues) forced me to admit the plausibility of the God hypothesis. Agnosticism, which had seemed like a safe second-place haven, now loomed like the great cop-out it often is. Faith in God now seemed more rational than disbelief.”
But that still doesn’t cut it.
WE NEED TO BE RESTORED:
Rom. 3:23, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That’s why I “feel” broken.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…”. That’s why I “feel” condemned.
Psalm 51:3 “…my sin is always before me.” That’s why I “feel” convicted.
“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”…“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (cf. Rom. 6:23, and 5:8.)
What must I do? – FEAR GOD, TURN TO HIM.
Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
To live your entire life fighting God, mocking God, and rejectingGod and to trust your soul to the ever changing theories of scienceand the winds of speculation – to me, is the greatest tragedy that man has ever known.
A LIFE OF REBELLION leads to an eternity of separation from God. In the end, the rebel gets his way.