In our last article we discussed the subject of beginning our homes in the fear of the Lord. We emphasized how important it is to establish our homes in the fear of the Lord. It is in a sense, of course, easy to vow when we begin our homes that we will fear the Lord. We are inclined to be as Israel in the latter days of Joshua when Joshua charged Israel to choose to serve the Lord God. To that charge Israel could answer rather quickly, “We will serve the Lord.” Joshua had to tell Israel, “Ye cannot serve the Lord: for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” Joshua 24:19. We must continue in the fear of the Lord all the days of our life. Especially in our homes we must grow and increase in the fear of the Lord. We shall continue in that fear as we grow in our understanding of the awful, perfect holiness and greatness of God. We shall continue in the fear of the Lord as we more and more understand our holy calling as the people of Jehovah God. We shall continue in that fear only when we understand how corrupt we are and how much we need the grace of God to serve Him and fear before Him. Sad to say, often our good vows and good beginnings are not continued. We can so soon forget the Lord our God and our holy calling before Him.
How often in the history of the children of Israel do we read that Israel forgot the Lord their God and departed from His fear. They forgot the Lord though they daily walked in the presence of His mighty and wonderful revelations, though they experienced daily His wonderful provisions. Israel again and again saw the wonderful, mighty power whereby Jehovah saves and protects His people. Israel lived in the land which God in His sovereign grace had given to them. Yet in spite of all of this they forgot the Lord and did not fear Him. They despised His revelations and trampled underfoot His Holy covenant. And we are so often so much like Israel. We live in great prosperity. We enjoy daily the wonderful benefits which the Lord provides for us. Above all we possess daily the wonderful benefits of salvation in Christ Jesus. We have the infallible Word of God which reveals unto us in a perfect and wonderful way Jehovah our God and our Savior in Christ Jesus. We have a so much more clear and wonderful revelation than Israel of old. God has given to us His Spirit whereby we know spiritually the mysteries of salvation and of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have the wonderful gracious covenant of God. Yet we too often forget the Lord our God. So often God is not in our consciousness, not in our hearts and not in our lives. We forget the awful holiness and righteousness of our God or we take this all so very lightly. We forget the holy calling that God has given to each one of us. We become carnal, our hearts are filled with lusts for material things. We become worldly. Our lives are patterned not by the law of God but according to the wicked world and after ungodly men. We see the way and the prosperity of the wicked. We say in our hearts, let us live like them, let us join with them in their wicked purposes and counsels. Let us do what is right in our own eyes. We think that God has no knowledge, He does not see our lives. Especially we think that God does not. see us in the privacy of our homes.
The Lord must come to us again and again in His Word to tell us, “Remember that I am the Lord your God, I am the holy one your King, I am He Who has redeemed you, I am the God Who has formed you for Myself even for Mine own glory. Fear before Me, be holy even as I am holy.”
How urgent it is for us to apply ourselves daily in our homes to the fear of the Lord. This is a spiritual activity in which we must constantly be engaged.
If we are to continue in the fear of God we must continue ever to remember Him. We must grow more and more in His knowledge. We must increase ever more in a living, spiritual understanding of the wonderful greatness and holiness of our God. We must ever remember who and what our God is. We must remember His sovereign power and greatness, His wonderful electing love. We must contemplate again and again His wonderful deeds and mighty acts as the God of our salvation. How often the Psalms do this! We must ever remember that, exactly because we are the people of Jehovah God, therefore we must be a holy and peculiar people unto Him.
To continue in the fear of the Lord means that we ever know how grievous our sin and corruption is in the sight of our holy God. This remembrance must daily bring us upon our knees to plead with God for forgiveness and mercy. To continue in the fear of God means that we ever remember the terrible judgments of the Lord upon those who turn away from Him, and the great blessedness of those who walk daily according to His commandments. To continue in the fear of the Lord means that we continue to strive with all our might to walk in a way pleasing to Him.
To remember God and continue in His fear we must continue in the diligent and faithful study of God’s Word and in prayer. It is impossible to continue in the fear of the Lord if we do not. have each day times when we study the Word of God. How terrible it is when our life becomes so busy that we do not take the time to study the Word of God. We must study the word of God as it is indeed the Word of God. We must not read the Word of God as a mere dead letter or as a book among our other books. We must study the Word of God as it is the living revelation of our God, as it teaches us how great, how wonderful and holy and perfect our God is.
To continue in the fear of the Lord we must continue in prayer. Surely not a day must go by that the Christian does not spend time in prayer. Through prayer we know again and again that our God is the living and true God. Through prayer we have daily fellowship and communion with our God. We must really pray. Our prayers must not be merely the mouthing of words and the repetition of clichés. We must pray sincerely and earnestly to our God. We must consciously place our life each day in His holy presence. Through prayer we must seek each day anew the grace and the Spirit of God that is so absolutely indispensable if we are to continue in the fear of the Lord.
Absolutely essential for continuing in the fear of the Lord is to continue in the house of the Lord. In another article I would like to consider the whole subject of worshipping the Lord in fear. God commands us to worship each Lord’s day in His house and there to learn His fear through the preaching of His word. Those who continue in the fear of the Lord are those who diligently frequent God’s house, who understand that the worship of God is central for all of their life.
Through the Word of God and prayer we must learn again and again how we must order our lives in holiness and truth before our great and holy God. Day after day as we continue in our homes questions arise, problems come, decisions must be made, trials and temptations have to be faced. To continue in the fear of the Lord means that we constantly ask what the will of the Lord is for our life, Often before our marriage everything seems to be so easy. But soon conflict and trouble comes. In the world we see marriage after marriage breaking down soon after they are begun. The reason for this is because there is no fear of God with the ungodly. The God-fearing husband and wife constantly are asking, “What is our calling as husband and as wife before God? How must we live in holiness with one another, in faithfulness and love, forbearing one another’s weaknesses, forgiving one another’s sins, encouraging one another, supporting one another. This we must do for God’s sake. ”
How many important decisions are made from day to day in our homes. How easy it is for us to make those decisions on our own without regard to God and His Word. To continue in the fear of the Lord means that the Word of God is the infallible rule and guide for all our life. To continue in the fear of God means that God’s will is absolutely decisive for our lives. We follow not the desires of the flesh, we are not motivated by carnal considerations but by what is for the glory of God and according to our holy calling before Him. Innumerable areas of our life in the home could of course be mentioned as practical examples. How we live, what we do, and what we do not do all must be determined by the Lord our holy God is we are to continue in His fear. How we conduct our business, how we spend our money, how we support the church and kingdom of God, how we bring up our children, what we do for entertainment, all these things and so many more must continually stand under the scrutiny of and be directed by our God and His Word. As we have said many times, we live in an age when there is so little true fear of God among men. May God give us His grace and Spirit that we might daily continue in His fear.