Approaching the conclusion of our reflections, let’s recap. You desire success? You’ll need wisdom. To have wisdom, you’ll have to embrace the fear of the Lord. You’ll never embrace the fear of the Lord apart from God’s revelation of Himself to us, supremely in Jesus as held before us in the pages of the Bible.
We come then to the third movement in the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is evidenced by obedience to God.
How do I know whether I fear the Lord? There’s only one answer: Am I currently walking in obedience to God?
How do I know if someone else (maybe someone I love deeply) fears the Lord? Same answer – are they walking in obedience to God?
The Bible underscores this repeatedly. Here are just a few samples:
- “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.” (Proverbs 8:13a)
- “… by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6b)
- “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.” (Proverbs 23:17)
The evidence of whether one fears the Lord is not how passionate one feels during corporate worship, how much passion arises within one over certain issues, nor how many Bible verses one can quote. There is only one test – obedience to God.
If you obey God’s Word, you fear Him. If you, at any point, do not obey God’s Word, at that point you fear something or someone more than your fear the Lord. That thing is your god, whatever else you may say.
In C.S. Lewis’s masterpieces known as The Chronicles of Narnia there is a passage in the opening book that sets before us this matter of the fear of the Lord.
In the account the children Lucy, Susan, and Edmund have entered into the make believe world of Narnia. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver were showing them about and have begun to tell them of Aslan. He is a mighty lion, who represents the figure of Christ in the story. They described Aslan’s might, power, wisdom, and awesome presence. Yet the children did not seem to grasp who he was. Finally Mr. Beaver said, “You’ll understand when you see him.”
“But shall we see him?,” asked Susan.
“Why, Daughter of Eve, that’s what I brought you here for. I’m to lead you to where you shall meet him,” said Mr. Beaver.
“Is, is he a man?”, asked Lucy?
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly, not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quiet safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver. “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?,” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
Therein lies the heart of the matter. The fear of the Lord is not the opposite of love for God. The fear of the Lord is love in full blossom. And love for God is the fear of the Lord at its designed zenith.