Psalm 36:3, “The words of his [the wicked man’s] mouth are wicked and deceitful;”
[Such a person deceives himself, as well as others. He is good at giving a positive spin on whatever he desires to do. Just as Satan deceived Eve by making himself look good while implying that God was withholding something good from her (“when you eat of it…you will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5), so a person without fear of God can convince himself that, doing the opposite of what God commands, is good.
We see this every day around us, as people attempt to use Scripture to support abortions, unbiblical forms of marriage, living together, or putting unqualified people into church leadership–to name a few of many such examples. They are actually using culture as their measure rather than God’s Word. Their desire to fit in and be accepted, to be up-to-date and sophisticated deceives them into rejecting God’s wisdom for that of the world.
In contrast stands the one who fears God, spends time in His Word, learns to think God’s thoughts and puts them into practice. He knows that God’s perspectives are consistently the opposite of our natural ones (“Love your enemies.” “Do good to those who persecute you.” “Forgive as you have been forgiven”). We could never come up with such beautiful and supernatural ideas on our own. Each command is God protecting us from unnecessary negatives and uncalled for harm, such as bitterness, worry, anger and fear.
A “God fearer” will check his desires and plans before God and in relation to His Word, rather than trust in his own devious heart. “Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:25).
One way to do this is to wait on making a decision, taking time to think it through, asking God for wisdom, looking for direction in His Word, listing out the pros and cons., getting advice from godly believers.
George Mueller described “God fearing” as bringing his heart to the place where receiving a “yes” or a “no” to his prayer was the same to him, for he wanted God’s will, not his own.
Fearing God is standing in awe of His majestic power, His marvelous wisdom and His mighty goodness. It is caring deeply what He thinks about each thing in our life, leading us to join Him in His values, thoughts and commands.
Fearing God will protect us from the deception of the world, the devil and our own heart; it will bring wisdom and open the way to His greater working in and through us. Why would anyone ever want to reject such an offer?
Every day we have the opportunity to relive Eden, to choose to fear God rather than give in to the siren call of all around us, which will only lead us off into the swamp of despair, depression and death, instead of the wide place and green pastures God has for us.