Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning. Exodus 20:20 NIV
(3) Godly fear will keep you from sinning
These words were spoken by Moses at Mount Sinai. When the presence of God came down, smoke covered the mountain. Fire erupted from the smoke and the whole mountain shook. Even Moses was trembling with fear.
But Moses said to the people: “Do not be afraid.” In other words, “The fear you know in the presence of God is a good thing. It is a gift, and as long as the fear of the Lord is with you, it will keep you from sinning.”
Moses was saying, “When you are tempted, remember the fire and smoke on the mountain, remember the terror you felt in the immediate presence of God, remember who God is, and the fear of the Lord will keep you from sinning.”
Love for Christ and joy in Christ are good motivations too, but the power of temptation is so strong, we need every help we can get in our fight against it. Fear is your friend in your fight against temptation. We need more than godly fear, but we can’t get away with less.
The fear of the Lord acts as a brake on the impulse to sin that remains in the flesh of a Christian believer. A car without a brake is heading for disaster, and a believer without the fear of the Lord is heading for disaster too.
When Joseph was tempted, it was the fear of the Lord that protected him. “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9).
Can you think of a time recently where godly fear prevented you from acting out the desires of your flesh?