: "What does it mean to fear the Lord? And why on earth would anyone want to fear Him?"
I was asked this question a little over a month ago and if I'm being 100% honest, I didn't have a clue how to answer it.
I mean that question was one of my own at the time. I struggled with the thought of having this loving Heavenly Father commanding us to fear him. Love and fear didn't go together like bread and butter. To me it sounded like spaghetti and eggs: incompatible and just plain wrong.
This challenged me to a point where I even stopped praying about it. Sometimes when I don't understand things, I stop searching for answers. HUGE flaw of mine, I know.
When we hear the word fear, we tend to think of things like crime, car accidents, mass murders, terrorists, demons or even Satan himself.
But what I am just recently understanding is that the kind of fear God tells us to have isn't that paralyzing and terrifying kind of fear. It's a fear that recognizes God's greatness.
The word "yare" in Hebrews means "reverence." And the word "reverence" means to show deep respect for someone or something. So, as I was sitting in my bed with a pen in my hand and an empty page underneath, I wondered what it looked like to revere God, the importance of it, and why His word tells us over and over again that fearing the Lord is what makes us grow to become more like God.
This is what I've got so far...
Fearing the Lord is recognizing who He is and who we are in comparison to Him.
When I first became a Christian, I didn't appreciate what Jesus did for me on the Cross as much as I knew I should have. There, I said it. Wow, that felt good to get off my chest.
I was hesitant to share that with all of you because sometimes in society, Christians tend to have a "rule book" of what you can and can not say. But today, Im going to be completely honest with you and tell you that it wasn't until this year that I felt truly humbled, amazed, grateful, and awed over what Jesus did for you and me.
Sometimes we can't wrap our minds around the fact that we were literally on Jesus' mind while He was on that cross, or how much He loved us to take OUR place there. The place where we should have been. And when we can't fully understand that, we tend to forget about it. We tend to shove it in the back of our heads when it should be at the center of our hearts.
When I came to a place where I fully understood and accepted the story of what Jesus did for us, I understood why His word says,
"The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love."
I now know that our reverence of God is designed to help us grow to become more like Him.
And once we come to a place where we are in complete awe and wonder of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we will never lose respect or appreciation for Him. And we won't be motivated to grow solely because of fear, but because of His love for you and me. So when His word tells us that,
"The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil."
....we know that fearing God is good and isn't something we should be afraid of because it saves us from giving into our own sinful nature.
But He also revealed His love by laying down His life for us, and with a love like that, there is nothing else to fear but God.
Sharing your past, your failures, and all your junk doesn't only bring you the freedom and healing that the Lord is so clearly offering us, but it reminds others that they're not alone in this broken world.