Understanding the Fear of the Lord
The book of Proverbs makes the following statement:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (New King James Version, Proverbs 1.7)
The book of Proverbs is just one of the many books in the Bible in which the fear of the Lord is mentioned. As Christians we are called to have fear of the Lord. But what does that mean? Does it mean that we should be afraid of God? That one day as we are going about life He is going to pop out from behind a cloud and say “BOO!”
No. That is not the kind of fear the Bible is talking about. Then what is fear of the Lord? According to the Bible, fear of the Lord is:
All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. (Prov. 8.13)
Having a strong confidence
In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Prov. 14.26)
Keeping His commandments
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. (Ecc. 12.13)
Being in awe of Him
Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him (Ps. 33:8)
Loving Him, pleasing Him, and serving Him
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. (Deut. 10:12)
Fear of the Lord in its simplest form means having a submissive spirit towards God. It means being obedient. It means having so much respect and reverence towards Him that we listen when He tells us to do something. It means taking His word as a commandment, not a suggestion. It means trusting Him, loving Him, and living life with Him. When we realize that God wants better for us than we want for ourselves, having fear of the Lord becomes easy. It makes it so that when God directs our steps we obey because we know that what He leads us to is not only always GOOD but it is always BETTER than what we had planned.
Fear of the Lord means living your life for Him, it means wanting to please Him above anybody else. Many times it will mean walking in the opposite direction of the world, but that is where our strong confidence in Him comes into play.
Do not be afraid of the Lord, but rather walk in fear of the Lord by loving Him, worshipping Him, and serving Him. Living life for God means living life to the fullest.