“Fear the LORD… for those who fear Him lack nothing.” (Psalm 34:9)
If you’re a little confused by this whole “fear the Lord” thing, you are not alone. A lot of people really struggle to understand what God is seeking when He admonishes us to “Fear Him.”
“Fearing God” is a popular Biblical theme – with some wonderful benefits…
Those who “fear the Lord” enjoy a long, full, and blessed life (Dt. 6:2, Ps. 34:9; 115:13); God’s Own Personal preservation and protection (Dt. 6:24; Ps. 115:11); are blessed by God (Ps. 115:13); receive wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 9:10; 1:7); are privileged to know God, and receive His Personal instruction (Prov. 2:5-6).
All these things are tremendously beneficial in life. And all are dependent upon “fearing the Lord.”
But how do we properly fear Him?
Let me draw from examples learned from our household pets…
As we talked about yesterday, “Frosty,” our kitten, is AFRAID of me. That manner of fear drives him from me – it keeps him from wanting to be close to me. Whenever he is around me, he is dominated and motivated by his fear of me. Frosty’s fear prevents him from really knowing me – it keeps us separated and disconnected.
Whenever we are afraid of God, our fear does not allow us to know Him as He really is. Our fear is a barrier we cannot ever seem to breach. Though God is there, willing to love us, we cannot approach Him because our fear prevents relationship.
On the other hand, we have our two dogs… Daisy and Cody. Above all else, they know that I am the master of the house. I only need to verbally get their attention to correct them, or to get them to do what I want. It is important to them that they please me. In many cases, I am the only one to whom they really listen. They respect that I am the master of the house – and that my voice should be heeded at all times.
But here is the important part. Their respect for me draws them to me. They are always crawling up on my lap, or seeking affection from me – because they know that I love them, care for them, and watch out for them. They FEAR me, but they are not AFRAID of me – and their respect for me, as their caring master, causes them to want to be near me. They value my presence. They long for my favor. They want to please me in everything they do (most of the time).
It is meant to be this way with God. He deserves our utmost respect. He merits our earnest longing to keep the “ways” of His House. He should receive our attention at all times and in all things.
We do not obey God because we are terrorized by the thought of His wrath – we obey God because we are enamored with His love, awed and respectful of His Majesty… and we want to please Him with what we do. Our every motivation is to honor Him as He deserves to be honored – as the King of the whole universe.
“Fearing the Lord” simply means that we treat God as God – at all times, with every bit of awe and respect that He so rightly deserves.
Prayer Focus: God, I seek to properly fear You all the days of my life. Lead me to always be mindful of honoring You with every choice that I make.