Do you fear the Lord? The fear of the Lord does not mean to be afraid or scared of God. God is not unapproachable or a distant, stern father. The Bible states in Hebrews 4 that we can boldly approach the throne of God because of His grace and all that Jesus has done on the cross for us. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we have a restored relationship with our Heavenly Father. God loves us and wants us to have the boldness to come to Him with every need, desire, conversation, or prayer.
It is in that boldness to approach God earnestly and freely that we realize that we are children of a holy God. We acknowledge His Lordship, reign, and majesty. Thus, the fear of the Lord is reverent awe and respect for God, where we realize our insignificance and God’s overpowering greatness and sovereignty.
Proverbs 10:27 AMP “The [reverent] fear of the LORD [worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect] prolongs one’s life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.”
When we fear the Lord, we are placing the will of God above our own. We please God in obedience because He and His ways come first. We choose a life of surrender, service, and trust in Him. To fear God is to worship Him, above all. True worship is expressed in a lifestyle of holiness, being set apart in pleasing God in all that we do. Being different from the world and not aiming to please the expectations of the world and people but pleasing God even if it makes us different, or an outsider. We choose God’s standard of living and His precepts.
The fear of the Lord is such an important topic, which I think is very much neglected in the church today. It calls for further writing in upcoming posts. The Bible is full of stories, like in the book of Judges, of the Israelites, not fearing God. They frequently reverted to worshiping idols and did what was right in their own eyes.
Fearing God means worshiping God as the only God and no other gods or idols.
We do not have a lot of carved idols or statutes being worshiped in the modern world today. Idols come in very different forms. An idol is an object of extreme devotion. An idol absorbs your heart, your imagination, and is anything that you draw your strength from. In today’s world, we have idols in the form of celebrities, entertainment, social media, money, material possessions, our careers, etc. It is anything that takes top priority in our lives. It can even be your spouse or your child. Where does your devotion lie? Where or what do you spend most of your time, energy, and resources on?
Daniel and his friends are good examples of people who chose to fear God while living in a foreign, strange, affluent society, where they held important positions. They chose daily to fear the Lord, spending time in habitual prayer and worship. They did not obey the culture of the day, but God only. They chose to go against what was popular, trendy, and the norm in society by not eating food offered to the pagan gods. They did not bow to an idol, even though it meant that they could lose their lives. Over and over, we read how God honored them for their fear in Him. They were rescued and protected from the furnace, the lion’s den, and evil plans from their enemies. God gave them favor and promoted them to positions of influence. They made the hard, maybe unpopular choice to revere and worship the One true God.
Romans 12:2 AMP ”And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].”
Are you being a Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, or Abed-nego? Or are you compromising? Following what society treats as normal, good, appropriate, acceptable, or trendy? Are you cheating on your taxes? Are you downloading content without paying the royalties? Are you spending most of your time and money on entertainment like games, movies, streaming services? Are you spending more time on social media than in the Word of God? How many trends and celebrities are you following on social media and researching their lives, compared to spending time with God in prayer?
Do you have idols in your life that you are not aware of?
To fear the Lord is pleasing in His sight. It means making the hard but Godly choices to be obedient to God and His Word. That is our standard of measurement. Do not compromise, do not conform, do not follow the trend or the masses. Right, does not equal the number of people doing something. Right equals obeying the Word of God. God needs to come first, always.
I pray that God will give you a fresh resolve to make Him your first priority and only God. May the Holy Spirit convict you of any areas where you need to surrender to His will and way. May you earnestly seek to worship Him wholeheartedly every day and experience the joy, fulfillment, and strength of fearing the Lord.
Stay resolute my friend.
VERSE IMAGE OF THE WEEK