The word “fear,” has an predominantly negative connotation in today’s world. And what I mean by that is that if someone was to randomly scream the word, “fear,” in a room with people, some negative image will come to the minds of every person in that room. But then, what does it mean to fear God? And how to fear God? This question will be the focus of this post, so continue reading.
Who is God?
Does the fear of God mean to be terrified by Him? Before I tackle this question, let me clarify some things as I don’t want to cause any confusion in this post.
The God I’m talking about is the God of the Bible. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God who came down to Earth 2000 years ago as Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus Christ healed the sick, freed the demon-possessed, and performed miracles, too many to count.
John 21:25 King James Version (KJV)
25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
And how did the people of that time treat Lord Jesus Christ? Well, the religious leaders got jealous of Lord Jesus and they used the people’s herd mentality to pressure the ancient Roman government of that time to crucify Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 23:23 King James Version (KJV)
23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
But, do not think for a second that this event was unforeseen by God. No, on the contrary, God knew that people are corrupted, and He allowed Himself to be tortured and crucified by His own people.
The reason for this is because you and I have all sinned. We’ve all messed up somewhere in our lives. And since God is holy and perfect, He cannot let us into Heaven because we are imperfect.
Thus, we need atonement. That atonement is Lord Jesus Christ dying on the cross for you and me. When He bore hell on Earth at the cross of Calvary, we can accept His sacrifice, and forfeit the destruction awaiting us in our afterlife. He is the God I am talking about and the only God who I know. So, if you haven’t already, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
John 14:6 World English Bible (WEB)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.
Terrified by the Lord?
Now, to actually deal with the question, what does it mean to fear God?
Genesis 20:10-11 World English Bible (WEB)
10 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you have done this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely the fear of God is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife’s sake.’
Well, it certainly doesn’t mean to be terrified or petrified by Him! I mean, look at the first time this phrase is used in an English translation of the Bible.
The first time this phrase was used in the Bible was in the above verse, where Abraham hid the fact that he was Sarah’s husband to Abimelech since Abraham thought there was no fear of God in Abimelech’s domain.
Does this mean that Abraham was scared to tell Abimelech that he was Sarah’s husband because Abimelech was not terrified by God? No, it means that according to Abraham, Abimelech did not care about God’s laws or respect God.
But, let me get this straight. If there’s anyone you should be terrified of, it’s God, and God alone. Now, I want you to read this slowly, otherwise, you will get really confused.
God does not want you to be terrified of Him. God does not want you to see Him as a danger. But, if you should be scared of anything or anyone, God is at the top of the list, not the devil. And that is because God is the most powerful being to exist.
So, if you’re thinking of going against God or doing something evil to another person, prepare yourself for the consequences. God looks for everyone’s best interest, and He will stop evil through whatever means necessary.
Matthew 10:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 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.
This should give you confidence because if God is on your side, then there’s absolutely no one to fear. Even after death, Heaven awaits you.
Continuing on, the fear of God is when you respect Him as your God. When you respect Lord Jesus Christ as your God, you will have convictions that restrain you from doing things He does not like.
Deuteronomy 10:12 World English Bible (WEB)
12 Now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God require of you, but to fear Yahweh your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, and to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
How to Fear God
So, how do you fear God? You fear God by respecting Him and obeying Him.
Psalm 33:8 World English Bible (WEB)
8 Let all the earth fear Yahweh.
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
To fear God means to stand in awe of Him. By standing in awe of Him, I mean to be in a state where you marvel at the goodness and love of God.
To fear God means to honour His love for you, and turn away from evil. Don’t do bad things because they benefit or pleasure you, turn away from them because God loves you!
Proverbs 3:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Furthermore, God blesses those who fear Him. When you decide to respect God, God will make sure that you lack nothing in your life.
Psalm 34:9 World English Bible (WEB)
9 Oh fear Yahweh, you his saints,
for there is no lack with those who fear him.
And another thing that comes with fearing Him, is wisdom. Once you commit to honouring God above all else, God will give you the wisdom that is relevant in your situation.
Psalm 111:10 World English Bible (WEB)
10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.
All those who do his work have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
So, what’s the conclusion? Fear God by honouring and respecting Him. And turn away from ways which you know aren’t right because ultimately, God loves you.