People are afraid in lots of ways. Based on research, some of the most common fears people express are…
Arachnophobia: Fear of Spiders.
Acrophobia: Fear of Heights.
Claustrophobia: Fear of Closed Spaces.
Mysophobia: Fear of Germs.
Aerophobia: Fear of Flying.
Glossophobia: Fear of Public Speaking.
Perhaps you can relate to something on this list. For me it’s a fear of heights (I pay people to clean my gutters!)
Fear is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. We are familiar with and cling to verses that seek to address and alleviate our fear.
Ex: Joshua 1:9, Psalm 23:4; 27:1, Isaiah 41:10
Jesus often used the phrase “do not be afraid” during His earthly ministry.
In spite of the promises of Scripture that call on us to “not be afraid”, we must also acknowledge that we are commanded to fear God.
So what does it actually mean to “fear God” and do we really fear Him?
When describing how believers should fear God the most common explanation is the idea that we should have a reverential awe and respect for God.
While respect and reverence are part of our fear of God there is much more associated with this concept.
A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment on sin—even in the life of a believer. God does take notice when we disobey Him and He is not pleased.
Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing.
As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.
Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives.
The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.
Should I fear God? Yes… But based on the way we approach sin I am not convinced we understand its implications.
I believe that we as believers will live more godly lives if we realize that the holiness of God as portrayed in His children still matters to Him!
If you can only live out one fear today, Fear God!