What is “the fear of the Lord?”
The Bible has a great deal to say about this concept. In fact there are many, many wonderful blessings promised for people who have the fear of the Lord.
But for many of us, this phrase is hard to understand and causes us to question.
“Does God want me to be afraid of Him?”
“I thought fear was a bad thing.”
“Doesn’t the Bible say God’s not given us a spirit of fear?”
Here’s the key: the fear of the Lord is not the same as what you feel when you watch a scary movie or ride a rollercoaster, when you’re in a life-threatening situation, or when you’re tossing and turning worried about the uncertainties of tomorrow.
When you fear the Lord, you take God seriously. You give God the appropriate respect, reverence, honor and awe for His person and His position.
It also means that you live your life understanding that because God loves you, He will hold you accountable for your actions. In other words, you know that God is God and you’re not.
Over and over the Bible promises great blessings to the man or woman who walks in the fear of the Lord. Psalms 128:1 says, How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.
How blessed? Let me tell you. The rest of the psalm goes on to promise blessings over our work, our family and our community.
When we have a proper fear of God, He promises to bless our finances, our family and our future.
All of us have reverence and respect for something, and there are certain things that we take really seriously.
I know a lot of men who have great admiration for football (I bet you do too!). When the game is on, it has their undivided attention. They don’t care how long it lasts; they’re not going to miss a single moment! And if they were lucky enough to meet one of the team players, they would be so excited and honored they would call everyone to share the good news.
I know women who have a favorite television program. When that show is on, they won’t let anything disturb them. They’ll call their friends when something significant happens, because they care so deeply about the characters and the plot. Given the chance, they’d wait in a long line to meet and visit with the show’s starts for just a brief moment.
Now here’s my question: Do we have that kind of respect for God?
Professional football players and celebrities don’t know us. They didn’t lovingly create us with a purpose. And they certainly didn’t die and rise again to have a relationship with us.
When we walk in the fear of the Lord, we live in a constant state of respect and reverence for God. We are filled with gratitude for His goodness. We treasure the amazing privilege of knowing and loving Him.