The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. –Psalm 25:14
There is a critical aspect to our relationship with God that is severely lacking in many churches and individual believers today. It is the fear of the Lord. We cannot truly have a right relationship with God until we have a reverent fear of Him. This fear is not a terror that He will hurt us, rather it is a respect for the awesomeness, the power, and the authority that He has in our lives. We don’t ever want to be in a position where we are not one of His. We don’t ever want to be outside of our Father’s presence!
When we have a true reverence for the Lord, it changes the way we interact with Him, with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and with the world. The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). When we come to Him with a proper sense of awe, He will reveal the secrets of covenant relationship with Him. It is only when we come to understand the awesomeness of who He is that we can begin to love Him with all our heart, soul, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5). Why is this? It is because you can only love someone to the extent that you know them. Knowledge of God begins with a proper fear of God (Proverbs 1:7). The more we reverence the Lord, the more we know Him, and the more we can love Him. There is no greater transforming power than the power of Love. It was love that kept Jesus on the cross at Calvary. And is that love which transforms our interactions with God and His people!
The Bible says that the “fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27). It is the fear of the Lord that kept Joseph from sinning when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife. He had been discarded by his brothers, sold into slavery and taken to a foreign land. Surely, in such a lonely and discouraging state many others would have fallen to the temptation, but Joseph had a proper fear of the Lord (Genesis 39:9). He did not allow his present situation to determine his actions; instead it was his fear of a Holy God that dictated his behavior. In the Bible, those that God called His friends were those who trembled at His Word and presence and were quick to obey, no matter the cost. In other words those who were close enough to God to be called His friends were those who had a reverent fear of Him!
We cannot serve two masters. Either we will fear God or we will fear the people. If we believe God and rely on His Holy Word the choice is simple. The Bible declares that “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Compare that with the rewards of fearing God. When we fear God we begin the process to knowledge (Proverbs 1:7), wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), and sonship (2 Corinthians 6:18-7:1). Fearing God also brings numerous blessings such as guidance (Psalm 25:12), compassion (Psalm 103:13) and the promise to be happy and fed (Psalm 128:2)! He also promises us long life (Proverbs 10:27) and protection for us (Psalm 115:11) as well as our children (Deuteronomy 5:29).
A proper fear of the Lord changes our relationship to God because it allows us to have a relationship with Him as He intended. It reminds us to remain obedient to Him and it helps to keep us pure and holy before Him. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)!
In His Love,