“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (II Timothy 3:1- 4).
The world is upside down and we are experiencing chaos. What Paul spoke about is happening today. The perilous times have arrived. Irreverence and the lack of the fear of God are the cause of the disasters we are experiencing today. The closer we are to the coming of our Lord Jesus, the more struggles we will face. Have you noticed how hard it is to bring the good news to people? Even worse is the fact that everyday more people are turning their backs on God.
That’s why we must be prudent. We can’t distract ourselves at a time when the lack of the fear of God is fading away rapidly. For instance, even the way we treat elderly people is important. Nowadays, many people treat them with contempt. However, when we fear God, we treat them with the utmost respect just as the Word of God teaches us to (See Leviticus 19:32).
But what exactly is it to fear God? “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27). Put simply, the fear of God is not to be afraid of God. On the contrary, the fear of God is to have a deep sense of respect for Him. It is to understand that God is everywhere; and because we know that His eyes are on us, we honour Him, especially when we are alone. For this reason, we abstain from doing things that can take us far from God such as watching pornography, lying, deceiving, cheating, etc. We must also realise that we are in God’s presence every day. He is omnipresent! That means even when people entice us to indulge in worldly affairs, we categorically refuse, because nobody may see but God sees.
When we don’t fear God, we easily start planning what is wrong and that’s when iniquity develops. When iniquity exists inside of us, God doesn’t work in our lives. Imagine a heart filled with negative thoughts, ideas, malice, etc. It will be impossible for God to find room to work inside of that person and that’s why many lives are stunted. The lack of the fear of God impedes God’s light from shining through us.
What saddens God the most is seeing Christians moved by iniquity, dishonouring Him. He sees when people touch their tithes, look lustfully at others, have bad eyes towards authorities, the church, etc. How we treat the things of God says a lot about who we are. We have to be careful and strive to treat God’s things with zeal because the truth is that if we sow seeds of honour, we will reap fruits of honour, but if we sow seeds of dishonour, we will reap fruits of dishonour.
That’s why we have to examine ourselves not only on the outside, but especially on the inside. We may not be committing so called “big sins” such as killing or stealing but what is inside of us, is testament to who we are. Remember that God doesn’t see as man sees (See 1 Samuel 16:7). He looks at us from the inside out. Ask yourselves: what have you been saying in your mind about others? What are the intentions of your heart? Have you been seeing the directions as coming from God or from men? Have you been striving to cut off iniquitous thoughts or have you been entertaining them?
In order to conquer and maintain our salvation, we must keep the fear of God inside of us, because this is what sustains us. If we don’t when we least expect, the devil will set a trap for us and we will fall. That’s why until the end of our journey, we must watch, remain focused and connected!