Why We Must Live in Fear of the Lord
Are you living in the fear of the Lord? Are you seeking God’s knowledge and wisdom? Do you know what it truly means to fear the Lord and how to fear Him? Living in the fear of the Lord does not mean that we should be afraid of Him. The fear of the Lord differs from the spirit of fear which He does not want us to be beholden to. Instead, the fear of the Lord means to reverence God, to be in awe of Him for who He is: the Holy One, the righteous God; the sovereign God with the power, control, and authority over all things, over the universe. The ONLY living God!
Living in fear of the Lord takes living a life of complete surrender to Him. When we live in surrender to Him, His Holy presence will always be with us, leading and guiding us through life. With the fear of God in us, we are covered under His blood; we get the confidence to trust Him to handle everything that concerns us in life. The fear of the Lord encourages us to abstain from all unrighteousness and sin; we have such reverence for Him that we will love the things that He loves and hate the things that He hates and gladly live in His will.
What Does it Mean to Fear the Lord?
“Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”
The above scripture tells us that we are to serve God with “reverence and godly fear.” Therefore, we must hold Him in the highest esteem because He is a Holy and righteous and sacred God. And because He holds the power, control and authority over this universe, only He can affect change in our lives for good or for bad. When you align yourself with someone in a high position, who holds the power to benefit you in some way or the other, you have a special type of respect for that person that you won’t have for others who don’t have the same level of power in your life. While God is not to be compared with another person in our everyday lives who has the power to affect our lives, the concept remains the same. We give reverence and respect to people who can do things for us. It’s in our human nature and a social norm.
To fear the Lord means we acknowledge that God is a holy and righteous God. Living in fear of God enables us to strive to live our lives in accordance with His Word and serve Him righteously. When we live in fear of the Lord, we only want to do what pleases Him and what honours Him.
Our fear of the Lord also lies in His power and His wrath when we live in sin while serving Him. We know He hates sin, and if we truly live in fear of Him, we will be afraid to live sinfully and have His wrath fall upon us. The fear of God is necessary to keep us on a path of righteousness and make us abstain from sin.
“And the post of the door moved at the voice of Him that cried and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, woe is me! For I am undone; because I was a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.”
The Prophet Isaiah had an encounter with God and the angels, and he was instantly instilled with fear of the Lord being in His presence. He thought he was undone because he was unworthy of standing in the presence of God. The angels took the coal and cleansed his lips making him worthy of being in God’s presence.
Like Isaiah, when we have an encounter with God, when we come into His presence it makes us reverent and respectful of Him. We judge ourselves unworthy to be near Him because he is holy and sacred and righteous, the opposite of what we are. However, having an encounter with the Holy Spirit changes us from within. I can attest to this. With His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh anymore, in fact, we reject sin and unrighteousness, and strive to do what pleases and glorifies God. This is the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
When you begin to fear the Lord, through the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of Him, and surrender your hearts and lives to Him, then you will experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all they heart and with all thy soul. To keep the commandments of the Lord, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave and swear by His name.”
How To Live in Fear of the Lord?
To live in the fear of the Lord, we must live righteously, refrain from sin, obey His Word and keep His commandments. This takes knowing and acknowledging who God truly is; and His power, control and authority over all creations. When we truly know who He is, we will reverence, respect, and be in awe of Him. We will want to live in daily surrender to Him, under the control of His Holy Spirit; and we will always seek to draw closer to Him.
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine and sound wisdom. I am understanding; I have strength.”
With the fear of God in us, we are always conscious of His Holy presence in our lives. We keep His Word in our hearts to help us refrain from sin. We hate all unrighteousness and sin because He hates it all. We seek His godly counsel and His wisdom and His understanding to help us make just decisions for our lives. Because we know His ways are perfect and His thoughts are higher than ours. We get strength from living in fear of God.
The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom
Wisdom is a gift from God. Seeking the wisdom of God pleases Him because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. When we fear God, we begin to gain knowledge of Him and His wisdom; and then we get an understanding of Him and His place in our lives. With the understanding of God, we can live our lives according to His will.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy one is understanding. For, by me, thy days shall be multiplied and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.”
Moreover, our understanding of God, through our knowledge of Him and His wisdom, teaches us what He stands for and does not; so we live our lives accordingly. We know that God, with His infinite wisdom, created the heavens and the earth. And this same wisdom He has given us, allows us to use our discretion to make sound judgments and good decisions for our lives. His wisdom is everlasting and we can always call upon Him for His wisdom to guide us through life. Then, we will truly understand what the fear of the Lord is and how to apply it. Continually seeking God’s wisdom will keep us living in fear of Him.
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge and liftest up thy voice for understanding, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. When wisdom entereth into thine heart and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee; understanding shall keep thee.”
“He that getteth wisdom, loveth his own soul, he that keepeth understanding, shall find good.”
Why We Must Live in Fear of the Lord
There are many reasons to live in the fear of the Lord. Living in the fear of God enables His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and lead and guide us through life. In our trials and tribulations, He will be with us to give us peace and comfort; as well as work out things for us. He will be our anchor and refuge in the times of storm in our lives. Our provider, healer, restorer. All these blessings should make us reverent and be in awe of God and respect Him for who He is: The Omnipotent – all powerful God, the Omnipresent – everlasting present God, the Omniscient – the all-knowing God. Creator of the universe.
“When a man’s ways pleases the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Living in the fear of the Lord gives us protection from those who seek to harm us. God has the power to change hearts; therefore, He will cause our enemies to stand down and leave us alone; instead, make peace with us.
“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them. O, fear the Lord, ye saints, for there is no want to them that fear Him.
Living in the fear of the Lord allows angels to be with us and watch over us at all times. When we face danger, God activates His angels to deliver and protect us from harm.
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, speak thou with us and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, fear not, for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces that ye sin not.”
The fear of the Lord helps us refrain from sin. When we know that we can face the judgment of God for our sins, we become fearful of Him. Considering the above scripture, the people knew they were sinful and immoral and unworthy to face God in their conditions, so they asked Moses to be a mediator between them and God for fear of experiencing His wrath upon their lives. But Moses assured them that God did not come to punish them, but to instill fear in them that they would not sin against Him anymore.
“In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and His children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
We get strong confidence and a place of refuge, living in the fear of the Lord. Confidence to trust in Him to carry us through life and sustain us. A place of refuge in Him when we need peace and comfort and protection. Living in the fear of God prolongs our lives according to His will and plans for us. Living a god-fearing life keeps evil away from us.
Living Without the Fear of the Lord
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. For they hated knowledge, and they did not choose the fear of the Lord. Therefore, shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own devices. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”
On the other hand, if we reject living in the fear of the Lord, it will be to our own detriment. When we live without the fear of God in us, we are not covered under His blood, His protection. We do not live by any measure or standard by which to judge or hold ourselves accountable for unrighteousness. We live our lives by our own will and understanding and fall out of the will of God.
As a consequence, when we live without the fear of the Lord and choose to be disobedient and engage in wilful sinful behaviours and unrighteousness, we will lose His grace and mercy upon our lives. He withdraws His hand of protection from us. As well as, the blessing of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, leading and guiding us. In addition, we leave ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s attacks of spiritual warfare in our lives.
To that end, living with the fear of God in us is rewarding. It ultimately keeps us on a path of righteous living helping us to refrain from sin. We’ve seen many ways we are blessed by fearing God, as well as what happens when we reject the knowledge and wisdom of God. We bring the wrath of God upon our lives when we wilfully disobey His Word and live in sin and unrighteousness. When we know better, we do better. When we gain more knowledge and understanding and wisdom of God, it is to our own benefit to apply them to live a fulfilled life in the Lord under the power and control of His Holy Spirit.