God is immortal, you are not, God is sovereign, we are not. This statement in its most simplest form, is the answer as to why we should have no pride, why we should never think higher of ourselves than others, this is the answer to the question of exactly what the fear of the Lord means, and it is this, reverential trust. Two verses come into my mind when I think if these words, reverential trust, one is from the Book of Job, (Job 13:15) “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” and the other is from the Book of Philippians, 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In both of these verses, and of course there are many others that are applicable, I hear two men saying that their lives have absolutely no value outside of their service to our Lord, every thought is concerned with bringing glory to His name.
Every soul has been created by God, and every soul will live forever, we are eternal, but not immortal, we have a beginning, but no end, and for those who are obedient servants of Jesus Christ, we will know the fulness of His joy and pleasures for all of eternity, (Psalm 16:11) we will judge angels, (1st Cor. 6:3) we are heirs to the kingdom of heaven, (Rom. 8:17) we will know the unspeakable joy of the fellowship of our Lord, and we will have done absolutely nothing to deserve it, all that we have we have been given.
One of the terms, names if you will, that I like to use for our Lord is ‘Creator of all reality,’ for if you truly think on it, nothing, absolutely nothing exists that He did not create, and if this does not put into your heart that God is due all the reverential trust that you can give Him, I do not know what will. This knowledge takes everything out of the equation, pride, self, any purpose in our lives that does not revolve around Him, there is no place within or without of our lives that we can hide from Him. One of the main verses in the Scriptures that has always consumed me in this area is Roman 9:15, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Think deeply on that verse and then try to tell yourself that you have control over anything in your life, if you can’t do a minor thing like make yourself taller, (Matt. 6:27) what can you do? For the unsaved, the lost that I speak with, especially those that are full of self-pride, I like to use the analogy in this way, I suggest that they try not eating for a year or two, or perhaps stop breathing, and then tell me just how much control they have over their lives.
We as Christians should think along these same lines, what is it that I can do that God actually needs me to do, the answer is simple, nothing, God did not create me, you or anything else in all of His creation because He needed it, He is self-sustaining, He is immortal, we are not. In His infinite wisdom and by His own design everything was created, and for His pleasure it was all created. (Rev. 4:11) The only created things that are going to last forever are angels, demons, the Word of God, and people.
To revere something means to set it up higher, to put it on a pedestal, above other things, but when we are speaking about Almighty God, we are speaking about He by whom all things consist and have their being, the one whom without nothing would exist, (John 1:3) so the highest form, at least in human thought that we can give to our Creator is reverence, in its highest form possible. God cannot be compared to anyone or anything, He is not limited by time, for He created it, He does not look forward, or backwards for that matter, into time, God is in every time all the time. It is ridiculous, and immature to say the least for the mature Christian, to think that we can hide anything from God, for not only does He know the thoughts and intents of our hearts, (Heb. 4:12) be He created them, absolutely nothing anywhere is hidden from His sight and knowledge. (Psalm 139:8)
I have read much and in many varied places on this subject, I have thought and am now even trying to write about it, and I have come to one ironclad, irrevocable conclusion, we are all wrong, for no man can know the mind of God. I have never held a conversation with an ant or a fish, I can only observe them and deduce from their actions what I believe they may be thinking, and so it is for us when we try to decipher the mind of God. I believe John may have had a glimpse of these same thoughts when he came to the end of his writings in the Gospels. (John 21:25) The Scriptures that God has given us in His Holy Book, from Genesis to Revelation, is all that He has deemed necessary for us while we are here on our pilgrimage through this earthly life, but my brothers and sisters in Christ, there is so much more waiting for us, we will see God, (Matt. 5:8) and I personally have no desire to wait until that incredible day to start reverencing His Holy Name, to lift it up to all that will listen, to rise in the morning with thoughts of Him, and to walk on the path that He has chosen for me, in every way possible to revere His Name above all that is.
Recall now though that there are two words that describe the fear of the Lord, reverential and trust. Oh, the first word seems easy now, doesn’t it, it seems a little easier to lift up His Name above all others after some encouraging words and some conviction from the Holy Spirit, but that word ‘trust,’ that’s a tough one. It is easy to read, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” (Psalm 23:4) unless you are actually in that valley, when the doctor says “It’s cancer,” is your first thought “Thou he slay me,” does Philippians 1:21 come to your mind when the angry mob starts toward you after witnessing to them.
You can choose in this life to ride on a bus, or to jump in front of it, you can choose to swim, or you can choose to drown, the choice is yours, but sooner or later, no matter how good a swimmer you are, if you are in the middle of the pacific ocean, unless someone comes along in a boat to save you, you are going to drown, and then all they will have saved is your earthly life, sooner or later, in one way or another, you are going to be leaving your earthly temple behind. You may be eternal, but you are not immortal. Whether we agree with it or not, whether we like it or not, God has and ‘end-place, a final destination for every soul that He has created, heaven with Him, or a lake of fire for those who have denied the only way to Him, through His Son Jesus Christ. What Christ did for us on the cross no one else could do, a perfect and pure sacrifice was required by God because of sin, and so God in the flesh in the form of our Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth, remained pure from sin, and died on a cross for all, appeasing the wrath of God on all that will accept this truth, and on all that will accept and trust in Him and Him alone for their salvation.
He came along side of you in a boat when you were drowning out there in the middle of all your sins and offered you His hand. He offers His hand freely to all, and to those that will grasp it, He pulls them into the boat, pulls them to eternal safety, never to die again. (Rev. 20:14) If you have trusted Him for your eternal salvation, please, go ahead and try to rationalize to yourself why you don’t trust Him to feed and clothe you, try to make yourself believe that He won’t help you in this, if you don’t do that, figure out just one place in your life that you don’t trust Him, that He is unreliable in, and then tell Him that. Do you know what He will say, He will say “I know, it’s difficult, I know that you love me, and you know that I love you, so much in fact that I took the wrath of God for you upon myself so you would not have to. Trust is a difficult thing,” He will say, “and I know that you do not expect me to have to keep proving myself to you, and I love you so much because of that. Talk to me anytime you want to, I am always here for you, I will never, ever leave you, and please trust me when I say this, everything that I allow to come into your life is because I love you, none of it is ever meant to hurt you, and through whatever pain, suffering and sorrow that I bring to you to bear, know this, it is because you are my child, and I love you.”
Can you trust that love, can you completely trust the one who spared not His only Son, (Rom. 8:32) can you trust Him in the pain, and still praise His Name, in suffering, and still adore His Son, in extreme heartache, and still seek first the Kingdom. Only those that our Lord loves does He chasten, (Heb. 12:6) think about that, only those He loves. The whole earth is groaning in pain, (Rom. 8:22) this sinful world is, and has been since the fall, been in a downward spiral that is going to find its finality in the tribulation period, evil is abounding, the love of many is waxing cold, and what are we to do about it, trust. Trust in the immortal one who is never surprised, never hurried or worried, trust in the One in which in the palms of His hands He has written your name. (Isa. 49:16)
One of the greatest phrases that a believer can read from the front of the Bible all the way to the end is this, “fear not.” Reverential trust, honor due because trust has been proven, that is the fear of the Lord, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of every believers path, the path that leads to glory, the path that leads home.