“... when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.”
— James 1:15 (NRSV)
The desires are very sneaky things. And whilst not everyone is given to a loose sense of control, the desires, which leak upon leniency, especially when we are weak, lead us through the doorway into the corridor of sin. That corridor leads us only one place: spiritual death. Yet we rummage in our desires, tempting fate regarding our sin, not fearing that Gehenna of God’s spiritual absence.
What is behind this lack of spiritual vision leading us into a place God cannot go with us? It is folly—wisdom’s nemesis.
Folly leads us to be foolishly fearless. Many are they venturing down that road of ruin. Indeed, we’ve all been there; all of us have tasted the sour and rotting fruit borne of sin. The wise do learn. But most of us in most ways are not wise enough to learn quickly. We characteristically learn slowly. When pain reaches such a point where we are very seriously admonished, we do learn, most of us.
But sin is a very slippery slope, outward of the extraneous desires. Where we continue, we goad death. And death, if we are wise, is never to be goaded.
Where the Fear of the LORD Fits in
The concept of the fear of the Lord is an old one, but it is of eternal, and therefore contemporary, importance to the person chasing after a Christian spirituality. We are benefited by a thorough study on this concept of the fear of the Lord, because it will, of itself, compel us and motivate us to truly fear where our desires are taking us.
This concept of the fear of the Lord is not about scaring us. It’s about warning. Such warnings are written in neon and spoken in the language of wisdom.
We do not ever tempt fate with sin, allowing the desires a very free rein.
This fear of the Lord is a salubrious concept. It is healthy to our body and bones; to our soul and spirit; it goes before us and is our rearguard (Isaiah 52:12).
This fear of the Lord concept will save us from ourselves; from the laxity of our waning spiritual diligence; from the pride devoid of sufficient spiritual prudence.
When we hold in front of the eyes of our hearts the realities of sin’s slippery slope to sedition (treason against God, others, and ourselves) we never get ahead of ourselves too much.
The fear of the Lord leads us to sufficient wisdom in our situations to warn us of our loose desires, saving us from wanton sin, which would lead us inevitably to spiritual death. This fear of the Lord is crucial in our spiritual walk along the Jesus path. This fear of the Lord leads us to life.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.