What Does It Mean To Fear God?

Whenever I use the phrases “Fear the LORD” “Seek the LORD” and “Delight in LORD” I am often confronted by confused looks. These words are common in the Bible, yet they are often greatly misunderstood. Today, we’re going to offer brief explanations to each of these terms. This is not comprehensive explanation on what it means to fear God, but hopefully they will will help the reader find comfort in their relationship to the Almighty.

The Fear of the LORD

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
                                                           Proverbs 9:10 esv

Are believers supposed to be motivated by fear? Does this mean we should be preaching fire and brimstone and selling fire insurance from the pulpit? While those are extreme questions, the answer to each one is yes. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. In order to get to a full understanding of God we must approach Him with fear and reverence. As children of God, we have the priviledge of calling God ‘Abba-Father,’ but as sinners we must remember that we are corrupt and depraved beings approaching the holy and righteous God. Like Isaiah, we should become undone whenever we come into His presence. But this fear should not cripple us. This fear should produce love, not intimidation. The fear of the LORD is about reverence, distinguishing God as holy and just.

Seek/Pursue the LORD

“He (God) rewards those who seek Him.”
                                             Hebrews 11:6 esv

In mentoring younger men, I often tell them to seek the LORD. Most of the time I get funny looks that suggest, “I’m a christian in ministry. What do you think I’m doing?” But seeking and pursuing God is not the same as serving Him. Serving, while important is following after Martha’s example, while seeking is sitting at the feet and learning as Mary did. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 esv) The better portion is to long for and admire our savior. This is something we need to be constantly reminded of. The truth is, most people will think that they are seeking God with all that they do: quiet time, church services, ministry, social justice, etc. But while they are doing so many great things with their life, they are not seeing the hand of God in everything they do. Seeking God means knowing him like a tweenage girl know everything about Justin Bieber and gets excited whenever he is near. That’s seeking God.

Delighting in the LORD

“Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
                                                           Psalm 37:4 esv

Is God enough for you? Especially this Christmas. Is God more valuable than all the presents, the times with family, the traditions and carols? Chances are, He’s not. That’s just reality. We are on a constant battle ground for our hearts. Our flesh and bones are so closely tied to this world that it is so much easier to become emotionally connected with what it has to offer. Being born-again means we are brought into a new life with new connections. We have direct access to the throne of grace. But this must be worked at to be maintained. When we truly delight in the LORD, nothing will be described as awful or bad. We will truly be grateful for all that we have.

 

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8 Responses to What Does It Mean To Fear God?

  1. Pingback: Week in Review | Worthy of the Gospel

  2. Kristen says:

    I really appreciated this post. I think I sometimes become so familiar with the Gospel that I forget to fear God, and recognize Him as the creator of the universe. I also think it’s a good reminder that seeking God and serving God are two different things.

  3. Pingback: Top Five New Years Resolutions for 2012: Learn The Fear of the Lord | pamsheppardpublishing

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  5. Pingback: The Wise Fear the Lord | Pam Sheppard Ministries

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  7. Omogiafo Joshua says:

    the fear of God is to recognise that God his Holy, Just and Righteous Deut 10:12,20-21

  8. daniel says:

    Learn a little Hebrew. A more accurate understanding of the words V’yirat YHWH is all that’s needed to put this conundrum into perspective. The word yirat does not mean fear as in “be afraid of” but means “look to, with awe and reverence”. A good translation would be “respectfully look to Yahweh”. Fear is extremely misleading in the common English translation. Hope this helps.

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