“When you vow a vow to God, defer not to pay it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. Do not allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin, nor say you before the messenger, that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities and in many words. But fear you God (vs4-7).”
Fear God when you enter His house. Nothing is more important than God’s word, and we honor Him in His house by the gospel (1 Tim 3:15). The church is not a place for pretended worship; it is a solemn assembly where Christ is glorified, and everything is subject to Him.
We are not out to please ourselves but Him who raises the dead. We are not the lords of the assembly, but under servants, doing as we are told (1 Pet 5:3). God is not moulded after man’s thinking. He is on the throne, so let our words be few, our ears open, and our hearts aligned with our mouths. He says, “When you vow a vow to God”, when you say that you are saved and His child forever, “defer not to pay it, for he has no pleasure in fools (vs4).” Think diligently before baptism and everytime before partaking of the Lord’s Supper. He says, “For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. (1 Cor 11:29).” Confess Christ with fear and trembling.
1 Do not think to worship God your way, but REVERENCE Him in the assembly. He says, “The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall face down and worship God, proclaiming, ‘God is really among you (1 Cor 14:25).” This conviction is passed on from person to person! The preacher has it, as he exalts Christ with fear and trembling, dealing faithfully with the text, and the people have it too. The worship meeting is not a game or a joke, not a place to be seen and heard, but it’s a place where God is exalted in the highest. Then, the unbeliever is helped by the atmosphere and presence of Christ (1 Pet 4:11).
Do not think that anything is more important in the church or the world than giving glory to God. We don’t care what man thinks! 1 Pet 4:11 “If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever.” We make them sit down and worship God His way, so that He can feed them (John 6:10).
2 Do not fear what will happen to you, but fear God instead! It doesn’t matter if we live or die, so long as we’re faithful. Put no man’s face and no personal consideration above faithfulness. John Calvin said, “Whatever may be the amount of danger to be feared, that ought not to hinder the Spirit of God from having liberty & free course in those to whom he has given grace for the edifying of the Church.” Paul said, “On the contrary, after we had previously suffered, and we were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition (1 Thess 2:2).” Paul’s confidence and boldness came from God Himself in the gospel: he saw all that he had in Christ, the promises of success, and he saw God who raises the dead, his Savior.
This indebtedness to Christ – the fact that He died for us in sovereign mercy – is the GREATEST motivation for laying our own life down! We cannot do too much for Him, and He can never ask too much of us. If the door is open, we must speak faithfully because He deserves it, no matter what.
3 This bold, confident faithfulness, is God’s gift. Godly fear is not worked up by man but worked in us by realization that He is among us. We are not worshiping an unseen, indifferent Deity; we worship Christ, God manifested in the flesh, who sees our heart and walks in the assembly (1 Thess 2:4).
It is not enough to be happy, unless it comes from Him. We measure every joy by fidelity to scripture, casting out unbelief and playing church! Castaway the Sunday morning piety for what satisfies, which is daily worship (Heb 3:13). Do not be hot when everyone is watching, but then go back to lusting. When you confess Him in the Lord’s Supper, confess Him truly, taking His life laid down and His blood bought blessings seriously… not just as something He’s done, but as what you possess yourself (Matt 26:26-27)!
Do not get baptized unless Christ is all – you are dead to self and alive in Him. Many want a partial gospel, but they err and deny the truth, trying to act religious but refusing full submission. Our Lord said, “Teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matt 28:20).”
Don’t let irreverence mark you! Fear the Lord, and He’ll make worship pleasing.