My heart has been burning. The Lord is at work in me and I believe it’s not only in me, but in His church as a whole. This work is cleansing, purifying and a returning of the body of Christ back to the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart. It’s a returning to the fear of the Lord.
After all that’s taken place over the number of years, there have been many people who’ve left the church, some who are searching the purpose of church, their life in Christ and what it’s all about. Sometimes, we look at the frill in our lives and determine if it’s really necessary. Is what we’re experiencing what we’re designed to experience? Have we made life something it’s not? Does our life speak of worshiping the Lord or perhaps our desires, giftings and callings rather?
The fear of the Lord isn’t spoken about widely, probably because it’s more-so misunderstood or not understood fully.
The First Mention Of The Fear Of The Lord
To help us understand the fear of the Lord, we need to review when it’s first mentioned in the Bible and the context around it.
Let’s look at Genesis 22.
The Lord tests Abraham (Genesis 22:1) by telling him to,
“Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:2)
So what does Abraham do? He obeys the Lord. The next morning, he arose early and began preparation and the journey.
Wow. It’s almost unbelievable to think that the Lord would ask Abraham to sacrifice His son. Was it a test of obedience? Was it because Abraham was forming an idol in his heart that wasn’t the Lord? Isaac was a promise of the Lord at an old age after all.
The only thing we know is that it was a test for Abraham. Often tests come to test our hearts and our loyalty to the Lord. The Lord knows our heart better than we do and the test will surely expose what’s really there.
And so, Abraham obeys the Lord fully. He built an altar, placed wood on top, bound Isaac and placed him upon the altar (Genesis 22:10). As he’s stretching out his hand and taking the knife to slay his son, and Angel of the Lord called to him saying,
“Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Genesis 22:12)
The Angel states Abraham’s obedience. Abraham did not withhold his one and only son from the Lord. And it also says why… it was that Abraham feared God.
Was Abraham afraid of the Lord and the consequences? Maybe that could be the case. But true obedience doesn’t come from be afraid of God. No, this type of fear shows a holy fear of the Lord which is different than being afraid of Him.
What Is The Fear Of The Lord?
The fear of the Lord is not to be afraid or terrified of the Lord; it’s to be terrified to be apart from Him. It is to venerate, to revere, honour, respect and stand in awe of the Lord.
Isaac feared the Lord. i imagine he wanted to please the Father, yes, but what causes one to do what pleases the Father? It is holy fear.
Charles H. Spurgeon says, “Holy fear leads us to dread anything which might cause our Father’s displeasure.”
Anything that is not the fear of the Lord, is a fear centered on oneself. What you fear, give your attention, strength and affection to can become your god, so we must be watchful.
If Abraham chose not to do as the Lord said and instead preserve his son, Isaac’s life, Abraham would have been his own god. To be your own god is to make your own decisions based on your desires, wants and outcomes; it eliminates the need for God because you are your own god.
How To Develop In The Fear Of The Lord
The fear of the Lord can be developed within us. If we read Proverbs 2:1-5 (emphasis added), it helps us to understand fearing God:
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
FREE The Fear Of The Lord 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge Printable
Spend some time in the Word seeing what the Lord says about fearing Him with the free printable below.
There are so many scriptures about the fear of the Lord in both the Old and the New Testament. I pray that we’re able to as a church body recognize our need for the Lord, to be in awe and wonder of Him and to be afraid of being apart from Him.
Anchored in Jesus,