Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
Have you ever done something out of fear, only to realize it was the wrong thing to do? We might have submitted ourselves to someone we should not have. Maybe we compromised our integrity, our belief, or our faith due to a situation. Whatever we did, we should know first and foremost that God can, will, and has forgiven us (if we’ve asked Him).
But how do we avoid such mistakes in the future? Well, our text tells us that by “the FEAR [respect, honor, placing above all other things] of the Lord, [we] depart from evil.” Now what is evil? If I had to give one simple definition, I would say that evil is anything contrary to God’s plan. You see, when God tells us to pursue our dream, and in fear we stay in our comfort zone, that’s evil. When God says, “Go minister to that stranger in the parking lot,” and we choose not to, that’s evil. When God says give financially, and we say, “But my bills are due,” that’s evil.
When we operate in fear by putting other people or our circumstances and inhibitions before God, we walk right into evil itself and operate outside of the Lord’s will. But when we FEAR (put first) the Lord and follow His instructions, then we depart from evil and really begin to live. [Note: Have you ever noticed that EVIL spelled backwards is LIVE?]
Today, I encourage you to pursue the message, the mandate, and the mission that God has placed in your heart, knowing that if you avoid evil, you won’t lose anything. Instead, you will gain everything!