The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10)
When we think about sanctification and our struggle with sin in the Christian life, often our greatest dilemma is not so much that we lack faith or self-control or self-discipline, but that we lack fear. It may seem odd to say that, but fear is truly what most Christians do not have, or at least do not have an adequate amount of. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” When we think about our lives and the struggle that we face in life, when we think about our churches and how we can improve them, minister to the saints more effectively or reach the lost with the gospel, in essence what we are looking for is wisdom and insight. How do I fix my marriage? How do I help my children? How should we do worship? What kind of music should we sing in church? Yet, the key to wisdom and insight, according to the Proverbs, is “the fear of the LORD.” But this is precisely what many Christians lack--fear. Very few Christians truly fear God. This is evident from the number of Christians who munch on donuts and drink coffee during the worship service. While we say we attend church to worship the King of kings, we worship and approach God more like the Burger King we might hire for a kid’s birthday party, rather than the king of the universe. The Burger King would expect us to eat and drink while he entertains us, but we would never think to eat and drink and dress causally while meeting with the king of a nation within his throne room. We speak to people and treat people in ways we know are displeasing to God. We fail to share the gospel with people when we know we should. We fail to serve others and put the needs of others before our own, all because we do not truly fear God. We know we are going to heaven so long as we have faith in Christ and believe he died for us, and for many Christians that is all that really matters. Our behavior may be displeasing to God in many ways but so long as we are still going to heaven, then displeasing God does not really matter all that much to us. We don’t fear God.
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