When you think about God, what do you think of normally? His love? His grace? Do you fear Him? What does that look like?
The Israelites feared the Lord when His presence descended upon the mountain in a cloud, in fire, and in deep darkness. “We will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer,” they said, and they implored Moses to listen to God for them. Deuteronomy 5:22-32.
Have you ever been afraid of the Lord? That the nearness of His presence might change you into someone you don’t want to be? Or that He will ask you to do something you don’t want to do? Or that if you walk too close to God others will think you’re strange?
It’s a possibility. God had Moses turning water into blood and sticks into serpants. He even glowed. That’s pretty weird. 2 Corinthians 3:7-18.
But being afraid that God will make you feel or do something strange or uncomfortable is not true fear of the Lord. That’s a fear induced by the father of lies who wants you to believe God’s not safe or trustworthy. John 8:42-47.
True fear of the Lord draws you in to the rest and safety of obedience and trust. Psalm 91. In fact, those who walk in fear of the Lord wouldn’t dare make a decision without asking Him what He wants to do first. Proverbs 3:5-7, Luke 22:42. They understand His Sovereignty and are thankful for it. They don’t want to do things their own way because they know the consequences. Instead, they choose the blessings of walking in oneness with Him. Psalm 115:13, Galatians 5.
So, what would it look like to fear the Lord in your own life?
- How would you begin your day? Surrender your schedule to Him.
- How would you make decisions? Ask Him what He wants to do, listen for His answer, obey. Psalm 25:12.
- How long would your quiet times be? As long as He leads.
- How would you respond to your spouse, your children, that annoying neighbor, and the people around you in traffic? In His love. Psalm 118:4, Matthew 22:37-40.
- How would you serve Him? With all your heart. Deuteronomy 10:12.
To know the Lord is to love Him. And to love Him is to obey Him. John 14:15. And to obey Him is to fear Him. Galatians 1:10. To fear the Lord is wisdom. Proverbs 9:10.
“Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate His rule with trembling.” Psalm 2:11 (NIV)
“What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12 (NIV)
“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Psalm 19:23 (NIV)
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)
“Blessed are those who fear the Lord.” Psalm 112:1 (NIV)