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What Is The Fear of God? – by Benny Shobo

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The bible tells us that the fear of the Lord, is the beginning of Wisdom, “Proverbs 9:10”. So, what is the fear of God? I would define the fear of God as our reverence to God, His word, power, love and His work. The fear of God, is not fear as we know it, rather, it is a reverential fear that is born out of deep respect, pure love, total trust and a healthy relationship with God. The fear of God is not the same as the love of God. Where the love of God is born out of gratitude and deep relationship with God, the fear of God on the other hand, is born out of our recognition of God’s attributes, character and divine powers. 

One major way for us to develop a healthy fear for God, is by getting acquainted with the bible; both the old and the new testaments. Through reading the bible, we can learn about God, His power, laws, love, will and how much He detests sin. An excellent example of one who feared God in a healthy manner, is king David. The bible tells us, that although David loved God dearly, He feared Him greatly. This was because David knew and understood how powerful God is; and how much He hates sin. David’s deep reverence of God enabled him to seek God’s face in most of what he did. This deep reverence and respect for God and the things of God, made him one of the greatest examples of a person who loved God immensely, but feared the powers of God greatly. 

In “1 Samuel 24-28”, we can clearly see how David refused to kill King Saul twice, though it seemed right for him to take his revenge on Saul, for seeking to harm him. David refused to kill Saul even with the encouragement from Abishai. He stated very clearly, “who can lift a hand against the Lors’s anointed and be guiltless?” 1 Samuel 26:9. Therefore instead of killing King Saul, David proceeded to take only the jug and spear near Saul’s head. While at another time when he had an opportunity to kill Saul, though encouraged by his men, bluntly refused and proceeded to cut off a piece of Saul’s garment instead. David’s action did only demonstrate his fear of God, but he also demonstrated that God’s word was complete law to him. 

Another good example of a person that greatly feared God in the bible, was Job,” Job 1-2”. We see that although Job experienced his worst nightmare and more, Job continued to reverence God in spite of his great pain. He was prepared to die but bluntly refused to curse God; rather, he blamed himself and not God for the terrible things that happened to him. The reason Job refused to curse God, despite being encouraged by his wife to, was down to the fact that he had a matured love and utter reverence for the Supreme God Jehovah. Job understood that God had the absolute power to govern as He willed. 

One major way for us to ascertain how much we fear God, is through our obedience to His commands(word). We have to ask ourselves this simple but powerful question sincerely; “Is God’s word complete law to us?”. Our answer if sincere, will give us a clue of how much we really fear God. 

The fear of the God does not necessarily always come from our experiences with God, rather it is the gift of God. The thing that I love most about the fear of God, is how quickly it deters me from sinning. It guides us in to true and Spirit led worship with the Lord. It is wisdom to put the fear of God before us in everything and in any circumstances, because it will enable us seek after the things that really matters and that are heathy to our souls. To fear God, is to honour Him with your life, possessions and relationships. The fear of God will establish our steps and propel us to live our lives the way God intends for us, as His dearly beloved and obedient children. 

We cannot fake the fear of God because although it is not tangible, it is clearly seen and it will affect all areas of our lives, including our attitudes, mindsets, behaviours, characters, communication, worship, finance, relationships, beliefs, trust and hope. 

Ten Benefits of Having the Fear of God 

1. It will guide us, our path and the manner our lives.  

2. It will enable us serve God the perfect way.  

3. It will keep us humble and firmly rooted.  

4. It will improve your relationship with God.  

5. It helps us not to become overly familiar with God and His word.  

6. It will make our way prosperous.  

7. It will cause God to act on our behalf always.  

8. It will fill our lives with love and gratitude to God.  

9. It creates an assurance of our rightful stand with God. 

10. It will enable God communicate with us fruitfully.  

I for instance, love God dearly, but I cherish the fact that I fear Him more; That way, I cannot take His love for granted. God is a good God, but if you mess with Him, you will have only yourself to blame. In “2 Samule 22:26-27”, God made it known to us, that He will respond to us, according to how we act towards Him. God’s intention for us as His beloved children, is to love, and have fellowship with Him; and to respect and obey Him. But, if we choose to disregard and disobey Him, He will discipline us. He disciplines us because He loves us and He does not want us to fear His rebukes, but to appreciate them and stay corrected.  We have to bear in mind always, that God rebukes and corrects us because He loves and cares for us, “Hebrews 12:6”. Just like the Israelites who took God’s love for granted and forgot what it meant to fear God, which resulted to them suffering with the consequences; we too must learn to create a balance between loving God and fearing Him. Having that perfect balance is what will create a perfect atmosphere for loving and fearing God through our praises, worship, prayers and services. 

Praise God!

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