MOMENT OF WORD WONDERS with Dr. Ayo Akerele (Canada)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7)
The Bible in Isaiah 11: 2, calls the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord”. And all through scriptures, the fear of God is an overarching subject of importance.
The fear of God is not the same thing as the fear the Bible encourages us to flee from. It speaks to the awe of God. It speaks to honoring God. It speaks to the reverencing and honoring of God in our hearts. What does the bible say about the fear of God?
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God-Ephesians 5:21 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: But the years of the wicked shall be shortened- Proverbs 10:27
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Proverbs 15:16
By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, and honour, and life—Proverbs 22:4
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever-Psalms 19:9
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom-Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil-Proverbs 8-13
The fear of God is one of the most significant dimensions of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Having respect for God, honoring God, being in awe of God and promoting God’s interest above every other person including you in the fear of God. Sadly, the fear of God has taken an exit from the hearts of so many church goers and so-called Christians- to the extent that we now find it hard to know the difference between the world and the Church. God is calling the church back to her first love-which is the fear of God. But before we go into the future, let us look at the past. What is responsible for the dearth of the fear of God in the Church?
Abuse of grace (God does not judge people instantly like He did under the Old Covenant, and by implication men have taken God for granted to continue to do evil because sentence against an evil work is not executed speeding, therefore, the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil-Ecclesiastes 8:11
Prosperity doctrine-The type of prosperity messages that is preached in the infuses in Christians the love of money, ultimately corrupting the church and making them slide into all manners of sinful practices that puncture the fear of God in their hearts
Increased demonic operations
Lack of sound teachings in the Church
Compromised mentors- When young people see church leaders fall in and out of scandals, with no form of remorse, they are drawn into the same perdition- effectively killing the fear of God in their hearts
Weak prayer and study life-This produces carnality which ultimately pushes Christians towards sin, leading to the loss of appetite for the fear of God.
The list is endless. But we can’t maximize the power of the Holy Spirit without the fear of God. A life of sin kills the flow of the Holy Spirit in our personal lives and in the church as a corporate body.
What are some of the things going on in the Church that are the direct consequences of the loss of the fear of God in the church?
There is massive sexual immorality among pastors and Christians alike, some of which don’t even happen among unbelievers.
There is massive financial corruption and bribery in the Church
There is massive occultic practices and actual membership of occultic societies among pastors
There is manipulation of Christians-particularly the weak ones for the enrichment of some pastors in the land. There is greed and covetousness among Christians and pastors alike. There is cover up and endorsement of evil by Christians and many church leaders alike
All of these evil practices are the indications of the lack or dearth of the fear of God in our hearts. And God is not going to bend his standard. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:19,
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”.
What then are we supposed to do to return the church to the fear of God?
The few church leaders and remnant of believers who are still walking in the fear of God must increase their tempo of prayers for the Church-asking God to rain down righteousness and repentance on the Church.
The few church leaders and remnant of believers who are still walking in the fear of God must also pray the judgement of God on the church-specifically asking God to cleanse the Church.
The Church must go back to preaching sound and balanced doctrines of the bible such as discipleship, sanctification, eternal rewards, holiness, balanced prosperity messages, salvation, etc
The focus on discipleship classes must be astronomically increased in the church
Church leaders that have compromised must repent and come back to Christ before it is too late
No generation has dishonored God like our present generation. Nations are rejecting him. Cultures are demoting him. And sadly, many in the church are desecrating him. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of honor. God wants us to honor him, above everything or anyone else. To honor someone is to revere, esteem, respect, and make weighty. In fact the Hebrew translation of the word, “honor” is weighty. In other words, to honor something or someone is to make that thing weightier than others. Simply put to honor is to prioritize. All through the bible, God places demand on mankind to honor him-which is the same thing as to fear him. The God of the bible is a jealous God who would not share glory or priority with any other. All through the bible, we see God emphasize this principle of honor time and again. And also in the New Testament, the principle of honor is foremost. Now, the question is this: How do we honor God? A lot of people honor God only with their mouths-but their actions don’t ever validate that they truly honor God. The fear of God has died in their hearts. God said, ”
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 5:18).
God is calling all us back to genuine fear for him that will produce genuine honor for God in our homes, careers, churches and ministries and personal lives.
“Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith,” Proverbs 15:16.