The Fear of God Produces Change

Some people fear change. They love the normalcy of life. They look at life and hope that everything will always stay the same. They do not embrace the many changes in life. After all, if things are good, why would you want things to change?

I heard a wise person say once that the only certain thing in life is uncertainty. Or another way of looking at that is that the only thing in life that stays the same is change. Change always happens around us. We grow older, we get married, we have children, our children grow up, we retire — things change.

Change is a healthy part of life. We enjoy the benefits of new seasons in our life because of change. For example, when my wife and I first got married, I wasn’t sure it could get any better than those first few years! We lived in a condo on the water and we spent our evenings taking walks down by the water with our little dog. It was very picturesque. And even though we both worked a lot, when I was home, it felt like we were on vacation together.

But change is inevitable. We knew we couldn’t stay in the place forever. We wanted to own a house and have children. So we moved and had four wonderful children and they brought us even more joy than we could have imagined. So things changed around us, but God was good to us in the change.

Now external change is one thing, but internal change is another. Internal change, or change in the heart, is much harder to come by. I’ve known people will a lot of self-inflicted problems get fed up and decide to move to a different city. What they soon find is that their problems have followed them to their new destination! They never addressed the internal issues, so the change in external situations didn’t result in the happiness they were seeking.

Now in church, we are no different. Many people hop from church to church and are full of complaints. They leave one church because of some minor issue that they have blown out of proportion when in reality, the real problem is not in the church, it’s inside themselves.

You can change your surroundings, but if you don’t change your heart, you won’t find peace. “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence…” is one of those sayings that I love. One of the reasons I love it is because of the comparison. Grass is on both sides of the fence! If the grass on your side is a slightly less rich shade of green, then go grab some fertilizer!

The fear of the Lord is like fertilizer for your soul. When we put ourselves in proper position to God and His Word, then He will produce godly change in our life that will have long lasting results. If this type of change happens in your life, then you will find that no matter what your external surroundings look like, you will be satisfied in Him.

“God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, because they do not change and do not fear God.” Psalm 55:19

David was a man after God’s own heart and that is mainly due to the fact that David understood repentance. He understood the power of changing your heart. And here in the psalm, David is saying that internal change and the fear of the Lord go hand-in-hand. And the scary part is that God was judging these people because of these two things. God will humble them that do not change and do not fear Him, that is essentially what David is saying here.

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather humble myself before God than to have Him humble me. I want to see change in my life. I want to become a better person. I want to be more like Christ. The fear of the Lord is key.

When we fear Him, we treat his Word with reverence and respect. When we read his Word, we allow it to change us. We allow it to wash over us and get the dirt out. Fearing God and seeing Him in his rightful place — on the throne — really does produce changes in us.

I would go as far as to say that if you aren’t seeing changes in your life, changes to being more Christlike, then you are really struggling with the fear of the Lord. You need to pray for a new revelation into who He is and the power that He holds in His hand.

Notice that this verse says that God will humble them. The reason this connected to change and the fear of the Lord is because pride makes us think we don’t need to change and so we put ourselves in God’s seat and start making moral judgments on our life. We happen to like the way that we are. We are told by the world that we don’t need to change. We just need to accept ourselves and all of our imperfections. No need to work on yourself, just embrace yourself. Pride. That’s all that is. The world deceives you. There is no fear of the Lord in them, only pride. And God humbles the prideful and gives grace to the humble.

Today it is my prayer that you will examine your heart and that you will find the fear of the Lord that produces change in humble hearts and embrace it.

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