Skip to main content

Should we Fear God?


Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  -Jesus



“The Fear of the Lord” is the outstanding enigma in mainstream Christian culture as we plod on into the 21st century.  It is a subject of teaching largely ignored by our spiritual pezzonovantes on their blogs, videos and in their bestselling books.  Revelations of God’s holiness causes you tremble - and trembling is messy with a caramel macchiato in your hand.

What is “The Fear of the Lord”?  I hardly know.  At least I know when it is - and when it is not - on my soul.  It is not nightmarish.  Demonic fear is confusing and paralyzing.  Godly fear is sobering and liberating.  To fear him is to be in awe of him.

We fear God not because he is cruel and evil but rather because he is good and holy. Fearing him causes us to run to the cross to find his limitless mercy when we sin. Having the Fear of the Lord is standing in the place of holy fire but not being consumed by it. It is the pathway to death-to-self and, therefore, enables us to stand in the power of resurrection life.  It is the true confidence:  fearing God more = fearing men less. 

Do we fear God? Not “Do we think God is hip?” nor “Do we have a popular ministry of writing, preaching, dancing or singing?”  There is perhaps no more accurate measuring stick of one’s greatness in God or of one’s potential for bearing eternal fruit than this one quality which is almost impossible to overvalue.   

What gave the Hebrew women courage and strength to defy the Pharaoh and save babies in ancient Egypt?  Scripture declares it is because they “feared God” (Ex 1).  What gave Paul the power to keep persevering as a missionary even though he faced obstacles of elephantine proportions in city after city? “Therefore knowing the Fear of the Lord we persuade people.”(2 Cor. 5)

One will not know true and lasting closeness to God without it. It was central to Jesus’ relationship to the Father, “His delight will be in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11).  The Fear of the Lord is “The beginning of wisdom” (Pr. 1) and no one is a true theologian without it - regardless of how many degrees one has on the wall or what academic journal’s one gets published in.

It is also through Jesus that we can experience God and not be consumed. He satisfied divine wrath by paying the price for human sin. Apart from Jesus, God is dangerous. He is the secure asbestos suit we put on if we are to safely enter the volcano of God's presence. In him, we are safe. But falling into the hands of a volcano is fearful nonetheless.

Preacher, what is the effect of your ministry upon those you speak to? Are we merely entertaining or boosting self-esteem? Or, do people leave our services humbled and speechless because they’ve had a revelation of the awesome majesty of God?

Christian, are we bored of prayer? Are we constantly distracted by other thoughts in times of public worship? Or, does the Fear of God rest on us to such a degree that we hungry to engage with God in private because nothing else is as satisfying to us?  In all our getting, may we get this! 

Too much is at stake in our generation to go without.
____________________________________________________

If you found this helpful, you may be interested in the author's book on Christian friendships: Forbidden Friendships available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle in the USA and the UK

Please 'Like', Share or leave a comment.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Where I Turn Down a Gay 'Wedding' Invitation

Dear Katie,
I hope this letter finds you well. You’ve been in my mind lately as it’s been a few weeks since we’ve met up. We’re overdue to grab a coffee – I hope we can soon.
I also want to thank you for thinking of me as you sent out invitations for what I know will be a big day for you and Joanna. I’ve known you since before you met her (two years ago now is it?) and I appreciate all you’ve shared with me about how meaningful that relationship is to you. 

I received the invitation for your ceremony. Thank you. It was kind of you and Joanna to think of me, especially since you know that I have a Christian faith. You've never directly asked me my views on gender or sexuality. But I think our conversations must have touched on it enough times to at least make you a bit unsure of my reaction when you sent the invitation.

I have to say 'no' to your kind invitation. You know that I care for you and that I value our friendship. You know I don't reject you because you are gay. T…

Is Jesus Really Silent about Homosexuality?

For non-Christians, this seems an odd debate. After all, mainstream society sees gender, marriage and sexuality as a form of individual self-actualisation and believes that one should be free to express these things however they wish – so long as they don’t hurt others. To people who aren’t Christian the whole discussion seems soooooo last millennia. But we Christians are foreigners to this world. 

Many of us don't have personalities that naturally enjoy debate. But as there are those who – in the name of Christ – are saying we need to adjust our teaching to the new LGBTQ ideology, then debate is upon us whether we like it or not.
In any debate involving people’s lives, points of view need to be expressed both sensitively and accurately - especially this one. Misinformation – however well intended – helps no one in the long run. That’s why it’s important to access popular sound bites that are often used in social media discussions to determine their truthfulness. One such is the lin…

Holy Halloween?

The big ugly debate is upon us.
No, not the Presidential one. This debate involves dwarves and banshees of quite another variety.
As heated as the political scene may now be, it will pale to fervor with which Christians will begin debating if and how they will celebrate what is now commonly called "Halloween". This battle of ideas will be waged from the beaches of church pews to the hills of Facebook. There will be shots fired and people unfriended.
But what cyber surfing culture warrior would be complete without some historical trivia and theological sanity? Here you go...

The Background Story
The devil would love to steal All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) away from Christians. He is making good progress at it too.
All Hallow’s Eve is neither American nor pagan in heritage. The name should be obvious enough. Hallow means ‘holy’ (‘Hallowed be thy name’) and it marks a three-day celebration of the victory of Jesus over the powers of darkness as experienced by departed saints and Christi…