Fear of God, Faith and Deeds

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for also, Our God is a consuming fire. – Heb. 12:28-29

As believers, it’s hard for us to accept the fact that God is a consuming fire! Most of us want to see Him as only the God of love. It’s true that He is a loving God, but He is also a God that judges. So how should we serve Him? With reverence and Godly fear! But first of all we have to know Him. “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge (of God)…” (Prov. 1:7).

In the book of Hosea God expresses His will about the relationships between us and Him: “And I will betroth you to Me forever. Yea, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving- kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth you to Me in faithfulness. And you shall know Jehovah.” (Hosea 2:19-20)

Fear of God, knowing God and of course faith go together, and then our deeds come out of these. The passage of the “Virtuous Woman” from Proverbs 31:10-31 clarifies for us properly that important issue. The description of the deeds of the virtuous woman is very impressive. She is doing and doing and doing and doing… and all those deeds are good and important – but – what is most important – is that she fears God. Many women do well, but only the one who fears God – she shall be praised. And this is the aim of that important passage: “… she shall be praised”. (Prov. 31:30). From here we see how much the fear of God is important in God’s eyes.

All of us want to serve God, to satisfy His will, to find favor in His eyes, to please Him, and to influence our environs… what does He want of us?

He wants that we shall know Him personally and will live according to this knowledge. He wants us to know Him and to obey Him. “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10). He wants us to understand what He loves and what He hates.

What does God love?

The word of God says: “Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good; in brotherly love to one another, loving fervently, having led one another in honor. As to diligence, not slothful, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, steadfastly continuing in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, pursuing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. Rejoice with rejoicing ones, and weep with weeping ones; minding the same thing toward one another, not minding high things, but yielding to the lowly. Do not be wise within yourselves. Repay no one evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as far as is in you, being in peace with all men.” – Rom. 12:9-18

And more – “And finally, all be of one mind, having compassion on one another, loving the brothers, tenderhearted, friendly.” – 1 Peter 3:8

Mainly – God wants us to live with brotherly love – and to serve Him together with one heart (with love and truth). One heart is the key to a right relationship between us and God and that is also the key to spiritual awakening. (Acts 2: 46-47)

And more – “…and what does Jehovah require of you but to do justice and to
love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). And more – “For
I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt
offerings.” – Hosea 6:6

And what does God hate?

These six Jehovah hates; yea, seven are hateful to his soul: a proud look, a
lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked
plans, feet hurrying to run to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and he
who causes fighting among brothers.” – Prov. 6:16-19

Of course God hates the sin, but He hates the most quarrels, meaning disputes and divisions between brothers. A believer who fears God will not do those kind of deeds, because he knows the Lord and knows that those deeds are hated by Him. He knows that God sees the heart, he knows that God wants us to live in peace one with another as every father want his children to live in peace one with another. He wants us to forgive those who hurt us. When we know and fear Him, we shall do it and then we are in His will.

Also the next scriptures clarify to us how much God wants us to know Him: “… Do not let the wise glory in his wisdom, nor let the mighty glory in his might; do not let the rich glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am Jehovah, doing kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these I delight, says Jehovah.” – Jer. 9:23-24

God warns us in His word that we shall not trust our wisdom, our strength and our richness. He encourages us to will to know Him, and out of that to do the right deeds.

In His letter to the church of Laodicea the Lord rebukes the church for her pride in her richness and strength. The pride of that church in her richness and strength brought her to trust in herself, brought her to compromise in her response to God, that what God hates. “…So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth…” (Rev. 3:15-19).

God knew the deeds of that church, which were not out of fear and faith. Of course, it is a warning also for us, God knows the condition of every church even today.

Sometimes, believers do deeds out of their will, but those deeds are not always done as to God’s will. “Jehovah takes pleasure in those who fear Him, who hope in His mercy.” (Psalms 147:11). Those who don’t know God and His will, do good deeds, but if they are not done out of fear of God and true faith in Him He will not accept them. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Heb. 11:6).

“… He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). We might do “good” deeds, but if they are not as to God’s will, they will not bring fruit unto His kingdom. “For not he who commends himself is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.” (2 Cor. 10:18). Abiding in Him will bring us to do the right deeds, which will bring fruit to the kingdom. Our father Abraham acted out of God’s fear and faith when he was required to sacrifice his son to God. He knew and believed that the Lord will raise him from the dead. This was a deed of self-sacrifice. Rahab the harlot was ready to sacrifice her life for saving the spies in her home. When we have those, also we can do deeds of self-sacrifice. Sacrificing of our comfort, our time, our resources and finally of ourselves. It is not easy, but we can do it with the help of the one who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13).

The passage of Mary and Martha demonstrates to us God’s will for us. Martha worked hard, took care and did, while Mary was sitting at Yeshua’s feet and drank with thirst His words. He loved both of them, but Mary had a closer and intimate relationship with the Lord, and He said only on her that she chose the good part which will not be taken from her (Luke 10:41-42).

During persecutions, our persecutors could take everything from us, but not
our close and intimate relationship with Him. In those situations He will talk,
guide and give power to stand in suffer. We need to build that relationship
already now, during persecutions it will be too late. “Yea, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim. 3:12).

We are supposed to be tools in His hands. He could make everything by
Himself, but He wants to use us in His way, in order to fulfill His plan, here on Earth.

For this cause we also…do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every work and increasing in the knowledge of God, being empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory, to all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness, giving thanks to the Father, who has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” – Col. 1:9-12

Glory to God!