What drives your decisions? Is it convenience? Passion? Fear? I’m going to be honest, those things all drive my decisions at some point or another, but fear and convenience often override passion. I’m passionate about God and I love to serve him, but the inconvenience and uncertainty of speaking out against our sinful culture often causes me to keep silent about key issues in our world. Fear minimizes the passion I have for serving Christ, and when I allow that to happen I am not fulfilling my duty to God.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon — the wisest man to ever live — processed through the meaning of his life. He talked about how he had all of the women he could hope for and still he did not find meaning in those relationships. He had all the money and riches a man could want and still it was meaningless. He could drink all the wine that he wanted and it would never be enough. He was famous, mighty, king over God’s chosen people, and yet, all of those things were meaningless and he realized that when he died, all of those things would go away and there would be nothing left to show for his life; he couldn’t take his riches or relationships or reputation into heaven with him. The conclusion of Solomon’s whole life and searching was that the duty of all mankind is to “fear God, and keep his commandments.” He figured out that the only fear that should be driving your life is fear of God.
Now, I want to be clear that fear of God is multifaceted; God doesn’t want us to be petrified by fear of him so that every time we mess up we fear God’s wrath and judgment. God is merciful and we don’t have to fear judgment if we repent and believe that Jesus has taken that punishment for us. Fear of God means respecting God so much that you are driven to serve him with your whole being. It’s to make us think carefully about the words we say so that we bring him glory; to pay attention to what thoughts you’re dwelling on and cast out the ones that don’t please God; to speak out against the culture that discredits God’s laws and standards. Solomon concluded that our duty is to serve God well; that is what God will be looking for on judgment day. Will you be able to say you loved him well?