Although most would answer the question with a resounding yes, the real proof is evidenced in the tone and tenor of your life. Your true level of respect for the Lord is revealed through your attitude, your words, and your actions. Respecting God is a critical step in living a powerful, faith-filled life.
Respect for the Lord is more than sentiment or philosophical concept; it is a deep regard and reverence that leads to trust and obedience. The Bible uses the phrase, “the fear of the Lord,” to convey the deep meaning of the respect that is required for successful spiritual living.
Job 28:28 declares that the fear of the Lord is wisdom. So then, in this case fear should be considered synonymous with respect. Respect or reverence for the Lord produces biblical wisdom. This wisdom serves as the catalyst for you to live a successful spiritual life as well as reproduce it in others. So, I ask again, “Do you really respect God?”
Respecting the Lord produces true wisdom which, in turn, creates the momentum for living a life that continually glorifies God. You will live an authentic life consistently and purposefully using your gifts, talents, and abilities to positively impact the kingdom. Ultimately, you live the life God designed for you, full of fellowship with him and accomplishing purpose. Your respect for God should be more than mere verbal sentiment but should be clearly and consistently revealed in your life. Take a moment and consider your answers the following questions:
1. Does your attitude reveal respect and faith? Respect for God is a heart issue and the issues of your heart are revealed in your attitude. Your attitude is the position of your mind on a situation based on fact or circumstance. It is the decision you make on how you will think, act, or feel about something and the actions that result from that decision. As Christians, we are to base our attitudes on the facts of faith and not temporary nature of circumstances. When your mind truly agrees with the facts of faith and the word of God, you will maintain a proper attitude. You will not live as someone who has no hope, feel defeated or alone even when the circumstances of life seem to reflect that. Your attitudes must be based on the sovereignty of God. You have confidence that God is aware of your situation. You are certain that the good work He started in you He is faithful to complete. You have confidence in the fulfillment of the promise or vision even if it is delayed. Poor attitudes reflect a lack of respect for God and typically result in diminished faith, confidence, and overall victory. You can see this best when things aren’t going according to your plan or there is delay or in the face of dwindling resources. Again, I remind you that God is not surprised by any circumstance or situation you face. He wants you to learn to keep a faith-filled attitude no matter what. Remember that your attitude in any situation should be based on the truth of what God has declared, not in your circumstances. When you do this, your attitude will always reflect that your hope is in God.
2. Are your words consistently full of reverence and respect for him? How and what you speak as important as life and death. Consider, Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. God has given you the power and ability to speak. Your words shape your life because your words reveal what you really think and believe. Your words even have the power to block the move of God in your life. For example, consider the person who will not say that they are in some type of pain because they think it might be a negative confession. This is faulty thinking. Having pain is not problematic for God. He is our healer. Denying pain is equivalent to lying which opens up a multitude of problems. One of the problems of lying is that you can not see, let alone experience, the kingdom of God. Acknowledging a situation or having a challenge is not the problem. God knows this will occur in your life. Refusing to submit the situation to the authority of God is a problem. Let’s continue with the same example. You go to a doctor’s office in pain but say nothing about this pain when asked what’s wrong. The doctor then finds no abnormalities and sends you home. You can not complain that the doctor did not treat you for pain. You didn’t tell him specifically what you needed. In the same manner, failing to declare truth in the presence of God does not open you up to the magnificent power available to you. To deny the truth locks out the power of God to move. Your words are the evidence of the persuasion of your mind. They reveal the faith that lies within you. They show that you believe and respect God. As you increase in this area of respect, be sure your words are full of faith and reverence for him as you walk according to his will.
3. How much respect for God is revealed through your actions? Actions are the final frontier because those things that are revealed through the body are really only a demonstration of what we have already believed and spoken. Action does not occur independent of belief. When you respect God your actions are not contrary to the word or the will of God. When you respect God your actions are in line with what He has commanded. You should consider the fact that actions that are not motivated by the Holy Spirit, however good or well-intentioned do not please God. God always examined the heart and motives that precede the action. A lack of respect for God can be shown in actions as simple as looking for a job when He has told you to stay home and focus on your children or as complex as failing to maintain a prayerful life while making every possible excuse for your prayerlessness. Your actions truly reveal how much you respect God. If there is incongruity between what you say you believe and what you actually do, you should check the source of your unbelief, repent and allow the Holy Spirit to refocus you. Make a commitment to keep your actions in line with the motivation and agenda that comes from the Father.
Finally, remember respect or reverence for the Lord is found in how you honor and give proper place to his authority in your life. It is revealed in your attitudes, words, and actions. Increase your respect for God and you will have good success.
Spiritual Development Plan: Set aside 5 days to really contemplate the concept of respect.
Day 1 Read Job 28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 4:5-7.
Day 2 Review point 1; journal your answer to the following questions: Describe your attitude in these situations: work, home, church, relationships. How can my attitude reflect my reverence for God more consistently in these areas?
Day 3 Review point 2; journal your answer to the following question: What can I do to ensure my words demonstrate faith and not frustration? Write down 3 promises from God that might help tame your tongue.
Day 4 Review point 3; Imagine your life being secretly recorded for 24 hours then journal your answer to the following question: What would a Jesus say about your level of respect upon viewing the tape?
Day 5 Spend an additional 15 minutes in prayer. Focus on your attitude, words, and actions truly and consistently demonstrating the level of respect you have for God in your daily life.
“And unto man he said, Behold the fear of the Lord is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28