As you get to know God better, you will also develop reverential respect for His holy nature. It’s possible for us to have a love relationship with God, but to not give Him the respect that He is due — the respect that He demands.
We can’t live the way that God wants us to live apart from really understanding what it means to fear God. We can’t really learn what God wants us to learn apart from having that kind of attitude. And we certainly cannot worship Him the way that He deserves to be worshiped.
What does it mean to fear God?
The term for fear can describe everything from dread, or being terrified, to standing in awe or having reverence. When used of the Lord, it applies to both aspects of the term, a shrinking back in recognition of the difference or holiness of God and drawing close in awe and worship. It is an attitude of both reluctance and adoration that results in a willingness to do what God says. The fear of the Lord, then, is absolutely necessary if we are even to begin on the right foot in learning, living, or worshiping. (From Hard Sayings of the Bible)
Do you revere God’s awesome holiness? Moses displayed a healthy fear of God’s greatness when he prayed, “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11, NIV)
Why should we fear God?
- God’s greatness demands our reverential respect.
So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God. He is clothed in dazzling splendor. We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty; but even though he is just and righteous, he does not destroy us. No wonder people everywhere fear him. All who are wise show him reverence. (Job 37:22-24, NLTSE)
- God’s Word demands our reverential respect.
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.’ (Deuteronomy 4:10, NIV)
- God’s works demands our reverential respect.
All mankind will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. (Psalm 64:9, NIV)
We demonstrate a healthy fear of God. . .
- When we treat others rightly.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21, NIV)
- When we live righteous lives.
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Proverbs 8:13, NIV)
- When we obey God’s commands.
Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children for ever! (Deuteronomy 5:29, NIV)
- When we serve Him.
Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. (Psalm 2:11, NIV)
- When we teach others to respect God.
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psalm 34:11, NIV)
- When we worship Him.
Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. (Revelation 15:4, NIV)
Those who have reverential fear of God enter into a special relationship with specific blessings.
Promises for those who fear God…
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. (Psalm 25:12-14, NIV)
How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. (Psalm 31:19, NIV)
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,… (Psalm 33:18, NIV)
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. (Psalm 34:7-9, NIV)
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. (Psalm 103:17, NIV)
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. (Psalm 111:5, NIV)
You who fear him, trust in the LORD–he is their help and shield. The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless those who fear the LORD–small and great alike. (Psalm 115:11-13, NIV)
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. (Psalm 128:1, NIV)
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:19, NIV)
… the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psalm 147:11, NIV)
The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 16:6, NIV
“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.”
Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4, NIV)
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. (Luke 1:50, NIV)
Therefore. . .
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11, NIV)
Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. (1 Peter 1:17, NIV)
Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. (Isaiah 50:10, NIV)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10, NIV)
Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes with renewed understanding to these incredible truths and to help you grow in reverence of God.