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“Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.” (Proverbs 28:14 NIV)

Trembling before God keeps you out of trouble.

“Fear of God” was a term my siblings and I often heard growing up.  Usually, the phrase had something to do with punishment for some childish mishap.  My parents were devout Christ-followers, their actions speaking louder than their words.   Only in the last few years have I realized the depth of their convictions.   Because of them, I tremble before God, more concerned about His consequences than man’s.

We tremble before God by recognizing His Sovereignty.  When we understand He is truly in control, we can trust fall into His arms, no matter what the situation.  No one knows what the future holds, no matter what they say.  What we do know is God’s commands found for us in His word—respecting God in the utmost means obeying Him, no matter what.

Start with truth.

Facing the truth of our lives causes trembling.  Admitting our sinful nature, laying it before God’s feet, is not easy.  We deceive ourselves more than we deceive anyone else. Confessing to God can feel like a kid caught with their hand in the cookie jar.  Fear of His punishment causes us to tremble.  But God’s response is never what we think:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

God meets our sin with His grace.  As we lay our misdeeds at His feet, He folds us in His arms with love.  Does that mean you won’t suffer consequences?  No, actions still have effects.  If you spend too much money, you have to pay it back.  Lying is always exposed.  Thieves eventually get caught. Hardened hearts ignore what God says; trouble always follows—trembling before God means avoiding negative consequences.

God always sheds His truth.  What is unseen becomes seen.  He knows all.

Hardened hearts cause disunity.  God reminded me of that when I was Groups Coordinator at a local church, dealing with an issue in one group.  As I searched for the truth, I found the lie.  Another staff member counseled the leader to lie to solve the problem.  But God never commanded us to lie, in all things we are, to tell the truth:

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NIV)

Trembling before God means telling the truth.  The lying in this situation created unnecessary drama. As a result of the lie, the group split.  People were hurt, friendships ended. 

Fear God’s consequences more than man’s.  When we tremble before God,  He leads us to peace with man.

Question of the Day:

Are you more concerned about God’s ways or man’s ways?

Further Reading:Daniel 1:1-2:23 NIV, 1 Peter 3:8-4:6 NIV, Psalm 119:65-80 NIV, Proverbs 28:14 NIV

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