I have seen men mightily used of the Spirit who were later put on the shelf by God. The Lord told them, “I’m sorry, son—I love you, I forgive you, and my mercy will come through for you. But I can’t use you.” To me, this is one of the most dreadful things that could ever happen. Yet it happened to Saul, the king of Israel. “Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commands of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue…” (1 Samuel 13:13-14).


What sad words. God told the kind, “Saul, you could have had my blessing in your life continually. I had great plans for you, plans to use you mightily. But you wouldn’t deal with your sin. You became bitter and hardhearted.” From that moment Saul was no longer of use to the kingdom.


That’s where it all ends when you continue in sin: You become absolutely barren and fruitless.


The Word declares that the fear of God is a fountain of life (see Proverbs 14:27). In the same verse we read that this fear helps one avoid the snares of death. In Proverbs 3:7 we read, “…fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” And in Hebrews 12:28 we are instructed to “…serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Those who desire to walk in the fear of God will soon be led into the full revelation of the promises and provisions that God has made available for us.


Perhaps God is dealing with you about your sin right now. He has shot his arrows of conviction in your heart, and you’re feeling a sense of guilt over your sin. Don’t panic! That is the gift of God. He’s planting his divine power in you, teaching you, “Only through my holy fear will you depart from your sin.”


Once you’re convinced of the exceeding sinfulness of your sin, you’ll be ready for the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts tells us, “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). Do you see the writer’s point here? As these first-century Christians walked in the fear of God, they received the comfort of the Holy Spirit.


Yet, what exactly does it mean to walk in the fear of the Lord? In short, it means reminding yourself of his warnings. And it means allowing the Holy Ghost to bring your sins out into the open for you to acknowledge and cast them far away from you. In doing this, he’s laying the foundation to fulfill every one of God’s promises to you.