Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. -Psalm 25:12–13
Psalm 25 generally teaches us that if we commit ourselves to God in prayer and cast our care upon Him, He will provide all the comfort and support we need. The two verses above remind us of the blessing that belongs to those who fear the LORD. But first…
What does a person who fears the LORD look like?
Let’s suppose I ask, “Who in our church really fears the LORD?” What particular person would come to mind? We’re all Christians. Christians are supposed to fear the LORD. So it shouldn’t be too difficult. But it is. If we were to name someone, we ought to spend a lot of time with him or her. They are promised the blessings of this passage. What Christian does not want to be taught in the way God chooses? Who doesn’t want to dwell in prosperity or goodness?
Look at your heart. Check your conscience. Do you fear the LORD? If you do, come close to me. I want to find what you’ve found. “Who is the man that fears the LORD?”
- Do you respect God’s authority? Do you know that all things are working toward a certain goal? “When all things are made subject to [the Lord Jesus], then the Son Himself will also be subject to [God the Father] who put all things under [Jesus], that God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15.28). God is to be all in all; therefore, He must be respected and feared. If you submit yourself to God’s authority, you fear Him. Nobody who disregards the authority of God fears Him.
- Do you dread God’s displeasure? Our sin is repugnant to God. All of us have sinned and have, therefore, deserved the wrath of God. What brought us to salvation was a realization that we deserved punishment …that we are not good. Past sin provokes in us the need of God’s mercy. It’s not that we think about our past activity with regret sometimes. It’s more than that. We are broken over our sin. We know poignantly the displeasure of God. We know what it is like to be without hope or peace in this world. We feared the displeasure of God and found refuge in Jesus!
- Do you tirelessly pursue God’s will? Every day, do you wake up and say, “God, I want your will to reign supreme in my life?” Do you fear God enough to know that your own will destroys you? You say, “Well, surely I’m going to blow it, Pastor O!” But I’m not asking you if you’re perfect. I’m asking if you are pressing toward the will of God! I’m asking if you are pursuing the glory and joy of ministry in the will of God!
Now you might think that you’re a prime candidate for a person who fears the LORD. But do you really seek out the will of God daily? Are you so determined to do the will of God that nothing distracts you from it – no hobby, pleasure, or person? When someone shows you that you are not in the will of God, how does that work itself out for you? Are you ready to humble yourself and obey? Are you ready to face trial and struggle to have the will of God? Well if you are a person who truly fears the LORD, here’s what God has in store for you…
What blessings are in store for those who fear the LORD?
- The LORD shall teach you in the way He chooses. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Once you receive Him, He empowers you by His Spirit to walk in Him. “You shall be rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abound in it with thanksgiving” (Col 2.6-7). Jesus said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6.45). God “will guide [you] with [His] counsel, and afterward receive [you] to glory” (Psalm 73.24).
- You shall dwell in goodness. Consider that you deserve the wrath of God but instead you shall dwell in prosperity. Your sins are forgiven you. You have been justified by your faith. You shall have peace with God. 2013 holds challenges, trial, and temptations. A retrospect over 2012 should indicate that had God not enabled you, you would have fallen to many temptations and discouragements. They would have overwhelmed you. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1.12). The LORD “will keep [you] in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on [Him], because he trusts in Him” (Isaiah 26.3). “When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?” (Job 34.29) The NKJV has a marginal notation for prosperity. It is literally goodness. You shall dwell in goodness if you fear the LORD!
Who fears the LORD? If you do, God will teach you in the way He chooses. He will make you to dwell in goodness! If you don’t, you will remain in the dark and dwell in that darkness until you do. Let us labor this year for that which endures unto everlasting life …not for that which will perish.