No one likes fear, especially those who have been tormented by it.
Thank God that He has not given us the spirit of fear. That kind of fear comes from the devil. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)
If you have ever been troubled by this kind of spirit, you know the anguish it can bring. It paralyzes us spiritually and keeps us from being effective in the Kingdom. God does not want us to be bound by fear, that is why He continually commands us: “fear not,” or “do not be afraid,” throughout His Word.
The fear of the Lord is a good kind of fear. It is a reverential fear, that makes us want to please God. We do this because we love Him, not because we are afraid of Him. If we were afraid of God, it would cause us to shrink away from Him, but when we honor and respect Him, it draws us toward Him.
When we fear God, it causes us to worship, praise and adore Him. The Psalmist wrote:
“You who fear the Lord, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23 NKJV)
When we fear the Lord, it also causes great joy to rise up within us, so that we want to rejoice in Him!
“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11 NKJV)
Many of us remember the famous words of King Solomon:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10 NKJV)
It is wise to fear the Lord! It is through God’s wisdom that we receive His blessing in our lives:
“For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.” (Proverbs 9:11 NKJV)
Throughout the Word of God, we can find blessing after blessing promised to those who fear the Lord. For example, God promises health and strength to those who fear Him:
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8 NKJV)
In another example, He promised to meet their needs:
“Oh fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” (Psalms 34:9-10 NKJV)
This means that those who fear the Lord have learned to make Him their source for every need they have. He said that they would not lack any good thing. That is a wonderful promise!
As we can see, the fear of the Lord isn’t something to despise or to avoid. It is something we need to develop it in our lives, so that we can learn to please the Lord.
It is also essential for perfecting God’s holiness in our lives. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV)
If we have learned to fear God, we will be careful to shake off any sins of the past that would defile our flesh or spirit. We will also be quick to obey God, and quick to repent whenever we don’t. This is how to live a holy life before God!
Of course, there are some who constantly sin, run to God for forgiveness, and then go back to do the same thing again. These believers have not developed the fear of God in their lives. The result is that they will always be weak in their faith, a constant target for the devil, and wide open to fall into greater sins. Sadly some end up falling away from the Lord altogether. It pays to live a holy life!
The Apostle John wrote:
“We know that whoever is born of God does not (practice) sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” (1 John 5:18 NKJV, word in parentheses mine)
This means that it is our responsibility to keep ourselves from the devil, so that we do not practice sin any longer. If we have been saved for any length of time, all the major sins we used to do should have dropped from our lives. Our focus should now be on the attitude of our heart and being obedient to God’s voice. When we miss it, we should be quick to repent and confess that we have sinned. We can keep ourselves pure, clean and spotless in God’s sight, through the blood of Jesus. This is what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord.
You are holy, dear saint!
P.S: What has the Holy Spirit taught you while reading this post?
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1082, Thomas Nelson Inc.]