All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the spirit. Proverbs 16:2
We are not only to do God’s will, but to also seek to do it with the proper motive. The manner in which we serve God should be considered more than the work itself. Motive is a main emphasis in Scripture. God does not only notice that we pray, but if it is fervent and effectual prayer, and not a drowsy devotion. He notices not only that we hear, but how we hear. He is interested not only that we serve, but that we serve him instantly, and not only that we run, but that we so run. This is the great thing that is put in the balance when God comes to weigh the actions of men; he weighs the heart. We should serve him as the angels in heaven serve him. (1.) Readily – angels immediately hearken to God’s word to carry our God’s errand. We should be ready and speedy in our obedience. (2.) We must serve willingly, cheerfully, and without murmuring – angels are ready to serve the lowest saints. Devils act murmuringly, they come out rending and tearing. Christ’s presence was a burden to them. When we do things reluctantly with murmuring, we are more like the devils than angels. But we are to do them freely: ‘I desire to do your will, O my God’ (Psa. 40:8). ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me’ (John 4:34). (3.) Constantly and not wearily – angels do not rest day and night, but are pleased to praise and serve God. Communion with God is ever new and fresh to them. His face is as lovely as it was at the first moment. No weariness creeps upon them. (4.) We must serve faithfully, not picking and choosing. They hearken to his word whatever it might be. We must serve even if it goes against the natural bent of our hearts. David was a man after God’s own heart because he did all of God’s will. So should our pattern be.
In 1961, A.W. Tozer wrote in The Knowledge of the Holy that the way some Christians think about God is sinful. Dr. Arnold Frank, in The Fear of God: A Forgotten Doctrine confirms that the 21st century church, in the pew as well as the pulpit, continues to regard God as impotent and irrelevant in other words, without godly fear. As such, Dr. Frank, with a theologian’s skill and a pastor’s heart, walks us through the Scriptures, letting the Word of God speak about the fear of God.
In addition to clear, biblical exposition, Dr. Frank also weaves in the wise and timeless counsel of the Puritans to help us see how the fear of God is a most needed and practical doctrine.
Do you approach God with a godly fear? The Fear of God: A Forgotten Doctrine will be a skillful and gracious reminder of how we should regard the holy, sovereign Creator.
“The biblical concept of the fear of God is too often marginalized or ignored by the Christian church and its preachers today. The result is shallow views of sin, easy belief, and antinomianism. With the aid of Puritan preachers, Arnold Frank sounds a clarion call for a biblical and sure approach to the fear of God.” Joel Beeke (President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary)