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The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). This is the first lesson in the school of wisdom. ¬ďTo fear the Lord is to hate evil¬Ē (Prov. 8:13), because God Himself hates evil. When we have heard the call of God to be holy because He is holy, and are gripped by that call, we shall hate sin.
Many believers find it quite easy to overcome some sins (such as anger, lust, etc.) when in the presence of other believers for they are afraid of losing their reputation before them. Yet they sin in the same areas quite easily when alone. They value man¬ís opinion more than God¬ís.
Such Christians need to mourn and weep for worshipping the creature (man) more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). They need to cry out to God with all their hearts that God will teach them His fear.
The promise is that if you cry out and lift up your voice and seek the fear of the Lord as you would hidden treasures, then God will teach you His fear (Prov. 2:3-5). He will be found only by those who seek Him with all their hearts (Jer. 29:13). Those who mourn over their failures will be comforted (strengthened and helped) by the Comforter (Matt. 5:4).
We need to develop the habit of living before the face of God alone. A reason why God has given each of us a private area (our thought life) is so that He can test us to see whether we fear Him or not. If we are concerned only about our external reputation before other men, we shall be careless about sin in our thought life. Thus God makes a separation between those who are desirous of total victory and those who desire only an external victory over sin. If we mourn over sin in our thought life as over external sin we shall enter into victory quickly.