This post is one you might as well have ripped out from my journal…
because it’s something personal God is doing in my life.
Since I’m always encouraged to hear about God’s work in someone’s heart,
I thought I’d share with the prayer that you’ll be spiritually encouraged.
Several months ago, Jonathan and I had a conversation revolving around this question:
“If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?”
Immediately, I knew the answer. It’s something I’ve thought about for months and struggled with for years.
If I could change one thing about myself, do you know what it would be?
I would have more fear of God.
Now, I realize at first reading, that answer may seem like a bit of a copout. Like, of course, who doesn’t need to increase in their fear of God?
But here’s the deal: I so often struggle with what others think of me.
Peer pressure is not just for teens, y’all.
I think this preoccupation with others’ thoughts is because
I fear people around me more than I fear God.
If I feared God more than I fear others, wouldn’t I be more concerned with what He thinks about me than with what others think?
If I feared God more than I fear others, wouldn’t my main questions be, “Am I pleasing God in this area? Am I doing something He loves or hates?”
Now, the great thing about this desired change is this:
it doesn’t have to stay this way!
In fact, God commands me to fear Him. Check out these words from Scripture:
You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice,
and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
But how do you increase your fear of God?
When I asked Jonathan how he thought a person could grow in their fear of God, he pointed out that fearing God looks like obeying Him.
I pondered this briefly before replying, “But I’m already obeying God.”
I mean, go ahead and insert a major laugh line here. I know you’re laughing, so I might as well acknowledge the humor (although it’s slightly painful).
I decided to give my husband the benefit of the doubt.
(I know, I know—I’m so generous.)
I asked God to reveal areas of disobedience in my life. Over the next couple weeks, I encountered several situations in which I was extremely tempted to take a course of disobedience when the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Hey, remember that prayer about wanting to fear God?”
Here are two lessons He drilled into my heart during that time:
A person who truly fears God obeys
no matter who is around—
because they remember God is always watching.
The person who fears God considers
God’s thoughts the only ones that matter.
So the outworking of fear for God looks like…
- a wife who speaks respectfully to her husband
because she’s more interested in following the command of God than attempting to change her spouse.
- an employee who chooses the path of servanthood for his employer and coworkers
because he prioritizes God’s values over the values of the world.
- a friend who extends humble love in spite of her friends’ rejection
because she desires to love fully as Christ did.
- a parent who lovingly, consistently disciples her children in God’s Word (even though her friends are teaching their children popular but unbiblical truths) because she cares more about what God thinks about her than what her friends think.
- a teen who shows kindness to people outside his friend group
because he’s genuinely thinking about others more than himself.
On a personal level, this is what will happen when I fear God:
- when I’m tempted to give up on the whole patience thing with my child during a frustrating math lesson,
I’ll repent and trust God to provide me with the love only He can give.
- when I’m envying another woman’s schedule, talents, personality, or possessions,
I’ll repent and trust God to provide everything I need.
- when I’m filled with a complaining heart because of the weather, people’s problems, and the repetition of my daily jobs,
I’ll repent, thank God for all He’s given me, and ask Him to make me truly grateful for all His amazing gifts.
I want to live for the eyes of Him
who has given me unending love through Jesus.
I want to become a woman who fears the Lord.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
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