People often describe the fear of the Lord as simple love or reverence. But the Bible uses the phrase fear at least 300 times in reference to God, but we make an error when we tone it down. The topic becomes even more enigmatic as we read 1 John 4:18 that says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” So how do we unite this dichotomy? How do we worship God, thus expelling all doubt?
The Scriptures are full of reminders of how to worship God positively. For example, in Genesis 42:18, Joseph gains his brothers’ confidence when he reveals that he is a God-fearing man. It’s because the midwives feared God that they would serve him by protecting the Hebrew children (Exodus 1:17). Pharaoh brought destruction upon his people because he did not fear God (Exodus 9:29-31). Moses selected leaders to support him because they have the fear of God (Exodus 20:20). The Mosaic Law mentions fear of God as a justification for the well-being of the poor and the aged (Leviticus 19:14, 32). The basis of Mosaic Law was “fear” and also the principle of the Old Testament. Jesus said in the new testament “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). And Paul says: Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1).
So it is evident from all of these passages that fear of God is key, for it prevents us from caving into our own immoral selves. That’s why knowing someone as being God-fearing makes us feel more positive about such an individual. If they love God, they are more inclined to hold their promise and to treat people with dignity. In truth, Romans 3—a famous chapter on sin — says that our greatest sin is that “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).
How then does the fear of God aids pure love:
Unfortunately, all of us believe that this world is full of threat. How far this is from the biblical view that God is much more terrifying than the universe. When we believe that the universe is the greatest threat, we grant it unwarranted control, when, in reality, the threats to the environment are transient. When we ask God to balance the burden of the universe, we minimize it to the earth’s level. However, note that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but the love of the Lord is the ending of wisdom.
And, of course, Jesus Christ is the best representation of fear and true love working together. At any step, he warned us to worship God, not men — and he reiterated that his life and death are all about him.
He spoke lovingly yet honestly to everyone and did not mince words when people wanted to face their sins and repent. But he also displayed compassion beyond human imagination as he carried out his teachings, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). With such love, what is left to fear but God?
Reverence and respect for God
The fear of God is not the same as the fear of a king or a ruler. Fear of God is utter respect and admiration for the Almighty Father, the Creator of all creation. In the Bible, we get quite a few glimpses of heaven, where we see the divine creatures follow Him constantly around His throne, calling out, “Holy, holy, holy! “And they’re shielding their faces.
This leads them to be fearful of sin.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:14-15)
He wants nothing more from us than to serve Him and give glory to His name. To know how terribly horrible sin is – It give Him pain or grief. God deeply hates sin; alas, it hurts Him when we sin.
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 8:13.
The fear of God is:
To have proper respect and reverence for Him, so that we will do whatever is expected of us to serve Him. (Psalms 89:7; Hebrews 12:28-29)
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:24-25)
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (Romans 7:13)
To love Him with all our spirit, with all our soul, with all our might, and to uphold His commandments. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Without the fear of God:
If we don’t have the fear of Heaven, we won’t take all that surrounds it serious. The effects of sin are profound. Despite the justice of God, (even if we have been forgiven of our sins) we also have to reap the consequences of our actions. (Galatians 6:7-8) It is true that God is immeasurably full of mercy and longsuffering for us, and that Jesus died for our sake so that our sins can be forgiven when we repent of them. We definitely need the fear of God for sanctification and liberation from guilt. This is the very reason why we fear and love God:
“If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. “Psalm 130:3-4.
The lack of Godly desires drives us to do our own will. The lackadaisical attitudes for the things of God have a negative effect on our spiritual growth.
If we genuinely fear God, it takes us into a deep personal relationship of love with God. This friendship we have with Him also last longer.
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:28.
” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13.
We’re in compliant.
If we worship the Lord, we would follow His orders, abide by His Word, and say “no” to sin. One explanation of why God induced affliction on the children of Israel when they were on Mount Sinai was because they fail to resist sin.
One of the final words of Moses to the children of Israel was to fear God and obey His commandment.
According to the Psalmist, reverence of God is equivalent to joy in his commandments (Ps 112:1) and to the ideals of his rule (Ps 119:63).
Training our kids.
Not only does the fear of the Lord have an impact on human lives, but it should also have an effect on our children. God instructs His disciples to encourage their children to worship Him by teaching them to hate iniquities and obey God’s commandments. The bible also teaches that “the reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A Christian’s fundamental goal for his or her children should be to learn to abide by the values of God’s truth (Pr 1:1-6). Teaching them to worship the Lord is the first crucial move.
Evolve in sanctification
The fear of the Lord has an extreme sanctifying influence (i.e., purifying, distinguishing from sin, spiritually maturing) on the citizens of Heaven as found in John 17:17. It compels us to hate sin and to reject evil (Pr 3:7; 8:13; 16:6). It makes us vigilant of our utterances (Pr 10:19; Ecc 5:2, 6-7). It prevents us from losing our consciences and our moral sensitivity to what is right. The fear of the Lord has a supernatural purifying, and healing power that lasts forever (Ps 19:9).
Worship him whole-heartedly
People who truly worship God will praise and respect God as the Lord of all (Ps 22:23). David said that the congregation of worship is the same as “those who obey” God (Ps 22:25).
At the end of history, ” And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Rev 14:6-7).
The promised reward is here.
God has promised to honor all who worship Him. “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.” (Proverbs 22:4). Other promised rewards include safety and assurance from death (Proverbs 14:26-27), provision for daily needs (Ps 34:9; 111:5), and long life (Proverbs 10:27). Many who live in the reverent fear of God know that “it will be easier for God-fearing men,” no matter what happens in the world around them (Ecc 8:12-13).
We have a peaceful Faith
The fear of God brings patience, faith and profound spiritual warmth. The bible explicitly compares the reverence of the Lord with the blessing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). Those that are not afraid of God would have little or no sense of His love and security. Those who worship God and follow His Word will feel a profound sense of spiritual comfort and the anointing (i.e., empowering) of the Holy Spirit. They should be confident that God will finally “deliver them from death” (Ps 33:18-19).
Overcoming the fear of man.
To stop succumbing to the fear of man, do everything you can to enhance your love for God. You can do this by reading the Bible.
Keep in mind many benefits that come by practicing what you hear from the Bible. You will find adequate answers to the essential questions of life. You will gain practical experience in dealing with the challenges of life.