Dear Ministry Partner,
Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, summed his life up with three distilled exhortations on how we ought to live life with God. Having led a life of unparalleled wisdom, luxury and wanton pleasure, his conclusion was:
“Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NLT)
To fear God is to have a reverential awe and respect for Him that is so deep that it motivates us to live a life that is pleasing to Him. It is a healthy fear that draws us to God in adulation and loving submission to His will. Sometimes in our spiritual journey, we choose to trust ourselves instead of trusting in Him. As a result, we fear Man more than we fear God. When Solomon was younger, he wrote in Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” The fear of God will strip away our human pride and protect us from evil.
OBEY HIS COMMANDS
The fear of God must result in obedient living. God’s Word is a road map for life and following His instructions will lead to a life of purpose and satisfaction in God. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Wisdom is not only about acquiring knowledge, but applying God’s Word in our lives. Wise is the person who reads and obeys God’s Word.
The surety of final judgment ought to motivate us to live holy lives on earth. We will be held accountable for everything we do, good or bad, on the day of judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). We deceive ourselves when we think we can get away with our “secret” sin. We must come clean with God by confessing our sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). The promise of God’s forgiveness and the fact that there will be “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) sets us free from any guilt.
As God’s creation, it is our duty to fear God, obey His commands and live responsibly. Echoing the words of Pastor Edmund Chan, we live in reference and deference to Him.
Lam Kok Hiang
Photograph by ALEKSANDR KOZLOVSKIII