Fearing God at all times is the best thing that can happen in our life. It creates an obedient heart in us. His mercies will be endless toward us. We do not hesitate to walk His ways. Furthermore, we desire to let our lives be filled with Him. We desire Him in our thoughts, actions and every area of life. Fear of God is an excellent quality. It is demonstrating utmost respect to Him. It displays we are being controlled by the Supreme Being; we can neither lose nor fail. It pleases Him to keep us on a level surface and to set us up on higher places. It helps us realize His commandments are indeed not burdensome. If we trespass, it compels us to approach Him for forgiveness. So, let me ask you: what is it that makes you fear Him or why do you fear Him? “Then Satan answered the LORD, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’” (Job 1:9).
Many fear God with what they have. Their fear will be found to be untrue; for when God tests them they will fail the test. Again, there are those that fear Him for what they have. In other words, in a desperate desire to keep their possessions they fear Him. Still, it is acceptable to a small degree. But, genuine fear of God yearns for intimacy with Him. It takes into account nothing, but a heart that is willing to give it all for Him. It always seeks His presence and wonderful counsel. Its greatest virtue is keeping the things from above, such as truth, righteousness, wisdom, faith, purity and the like. It is the best thing, because our life will be built by the almighty and all-knowing God, who loves us with an incorruptible love. Listen, if you ever have to ponder upon choosing between fearing God and any other, I advise you to choose fearing Him. For in it you will find everything even if you lose everything. To this statement Job remains a testament to us.
Fear of God is something that even Satan cannot fully measure. If he is able to measure it, he would have known it is useless to provoke God concerning Job. He can never fully realize the measure of our fear of God, except when we fall for or overcome his works. Therefore, he is constantly resigned to tempt and suffer us. In overcoming his actions lies his defeat. On the other hand, God knows exactly the quality of our fear toward Him. He has measured it by our every thought, deed and by the way we apply ourselves for His will. He has measured it by our relationships and by the purity and compassion with which we maintain them. He has measured it by our walk in all areas of life. He created us and knows every bit of us. Such privilege Satan does not possess. So, when God took great pride in Job before him, he took the opportunity to provoke God against Job. Here many intellectuals ask great theological questions. I think they are horrendous. You know why. God allowed Satan to incite Him, for He was superbly confident of Job. Did we comprehend it? We ought to. God was absolutely certain that despite Him not going to be fully involved in Job’s life for a period of time, He knew Job would not deny Him. Now this is by the fear of God Job displayed.
It is evident that Job did not fear God with what he had or for what he had. Such clarity we must also obtain. And for it we must allow God to take over our lives. This then means we face suffering. It is something God clearly desires to allow in our life. While in it He does not involve in our life as far as immediately redeeming us from it. He permits Satan to work against us, yet only so far as suffering us to the extent He intended. He never lets him take a decision on his own. No one can incite Him, unless He allows it, for there is no higher power than Him. No one, not even Satan, can suffer us, unless He desires it. This is realized by the numerous times He worked for us, besides the times He held Satan back to harm us, of which we are unaware. Many times He cleared the way before those who would take advantage of us. There were times He disallowed our accusers, enemies and the gentiles to gain control over us. Again, He rescued us according to His promises. He does not let us suffer endlessly. The following is an apt proof of it. “Then the lookout called, ‘O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower, and I am stationed every night at my guard post’” (Isa. 21:8). He made an end to Babylon that dealt treacherously with His people.
Nevertheless, the suffering that comes from practicing fear toward God is unique. It is because God desires to boast about us. I have seen people suffer the consequences of disobedience and yet, call it suffering by the will of God. This is being quite dastardly. Do they suppose that somehow God does not know their claim? And they have made fearing God a joke. But let me say that it is not a joke to fear God. It has wonderful consequences. God uses us for His glory all the while planning eternal glory for us. Those put to death for fearing God will have greater reward in heaven. Others living in the fear of God too will have their reward for all the things they continue to bear for Christ. When God sees that our fear of Him is complete, He opens the door for greater things and greater accomplishments. Here is the reason for it: “he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY” (Acts 2:31). If God thought anything other than that which David, His prophet spoke, it is indeed vain to fear Him. But He rewarded Christ for living all His days on earth fearing Him. Christ suffered the greatest suffering of all; it was God’s desire for Him. So, the first and foremost reason why fearing God is an excellent quality with wonderful consequences and the best thing that can happen in our life is this: we get to live with God forever. In addition, the power revealed in the resurrection of Christ that was with God from the beginning becomes our mainstay all our days on earth.
When Christ entered heaven, God rewarded Him by sitting Him at His right hand and giving Him a Kingdom. He lives, His kingdom lives; He reigns, His kingdom reigns. The power in His resurrection that nourishes us is the reason we never waste away. If Christ did not suffer decay or abandonment, we too will not suffer decay or be abandoned, for we belong to God through Christ. Once He overcame suffering He began doing greater things and accomplishing greater things for God. The moment we too walk out of suffering, we begin bringing glory to God through Christ. This is the fruit of leading a life with fear of God. And Job’s suffering is also an example. Though He lost everything, He did not surrender his fear of God. It stood as his reminder for all the commandments, judgments and promises of God. God exalted him again more than before. A similar nature to Job is also owned by Paul and the like. He confidently said, “For He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles” (Gal. 2:8).
Once we overcome suffering by the confidence of God in us, He begins to effectually work for the purpose He gave us. Then, our obedience will not only be realized by Satan, but also by those who did not believe us. Many will realize God. We become a resource for them to receive forgiveness from God. Even if one dies suffering, God will make that one a standing memory for generations to come. By relating that one to men and women He makes many more His children. By faith He keeps that one as an effective tool for magnifying His glory. So, in any case, God will not lose the glory due Him. However, since we are alive, it is certain God will powerfully work through us as we fear Him. We attain joy and honor. Not all sufferings are alike; they come in varying degrees. But to the extent God has called you to suffer, have willingness to overcome through Christ. With this in view, it is said, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Pet. 4:1).
Whoever you are and whatever be your condition, when you fear God, God makes full use of you. He will not let you waste away. Yet, bear this in mind. Fear of God is not genuine if you attach priorities to it. Priorities do not allow you to fear Him. If fearing Him invites suffering into your life, the outcome is ceasing from sin. The moment you set priorities, you become repulsive to suffering and commence sin. So, the only standard to cease from sin is to fear God. As often as you suffer, whether great or small, physical or emotional or both, you stay sinless. (It is of my opinion that based on our fear of God the suffering God allowed upon us is the lightest of all the sufferings that could have come upon us). If you have attained to a state where God can confidently let you suffer for a period of time all the while having His eye on you, you are bound for glory. This will take place, for see how great He is. “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Rev. 1:8).
He is the beginning and end of your suffering. He is the Almighty God able to lead you to glory. He knows you, has known you and will continue to know you. Let Him effectually work in you. He desires to do it through all areas of your life. Do not waste your time seeking intellectuality and other things; rather spend it on fearing Him. You will realize it is the best thing that has happened to you. “For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Cor. 8:12).