Do you ever feel you just can’t get your act together? Do you sometimes doubt what you bring to the table? Maybe you think you simply don’t have much to contribute. You do love the Lord and want to serve Him. You want your life to make a difference in this world. However:
- Eloquence – thinking on your feet – is not your native tongue.
- You lack wisdom.
- Blaring in your face is your weakness, not your strength.
- Although you trust God, you find fears nesting in your heart. Fear of failure, pain, what people will think, missing God’s best, exposing unattractive character in yourself or someone else, hurting or letting someone down, your past haunts future progress.
- The task before you is overwhelming. You tremble at what God asked you to do.
Your life contribution does not hinge on any of these fears. God commands, “do not fear,” continually in Scripture. There is, however, one fear that He does command you to have. This fear is missing from the above list. It’s the only fear you should be concerned with. It’s a healthy one. You should put full effort into pursuing and engaging it.
What is this unusual fear? It’s the fear of the Lord.
What Exactly is the Fear of the Lord?
Most people don’t ever think about this concept. They believe fear is only a negative thing. And when they equate fear with God, they are driven away from Him. If this has been your experience, I want to tell you some really great news. The fear of the Lord is a very positive thing. It is super special. Intimate. Inviting. Encouraging. Comforting. Kind and good. The fear of the Lord opens the door to begin to know the heart of God. He only shares His heart with people who trust, obey, and rest in Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Prov. 9:10)
Let’s define the fear of the Lord with some helpful phrases:
- A deep reverence in your heart for God, His holiness, and His opinions.
- A respect for His ways, plans, perspective, and agenda that drives your choices.
- An attitude you daily yield to because you’ve had a peek at God’s love and power. Or perhaps you haven’t had a peek – and you want one.
- Resolve to do life God’s way, whether you like it or not. Whether you agree or not. Whether it’s easy or not.
- Willingness to take care of the Lord’s interests over your own.
- Actively practicing praise and gratitude in every issue or problem. Praise and gratitude do not depend on feelings. They are attitudes of your heart. And you do have control over your attitudes.
- An intentional choice to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. To want Him more than any other person, thing, or aspiration in life. (Mk. 12:30; Phil. 3:7-11)
- A thoughtful, pro-active decision to be a “living sacrifice” for this amazing Person. (Rom. 12:1) To continually align your life with God’s principles. To yield to Him.
Simply put, the fear of the Lord is “agreeing with God.” Completely. Consistently. Continually. Cheerfully.
When you intentionally practice this fear, you begin to see power forming in your heart. This power rises up and begins to affect your daily living. It overflows and touches other’s lives. It connects you to God’s very heart and warms you with His fellowship and love. In other words, the fear of the Lord is the “secret sauce” of a serious believer!
Suddenly, you become very aware that you now have a message of hope to share with others. You know it’s not your own might. Instead, you are experiencing a deeply fulfilling partnership with the living God! You are living in His love continually. By His power, your contribution has eternal value, expression, and impact!
And you? You now have purpose and passion in your daily life! The fear of the Lord is worth going after.
Article developed from 1 Cor. 2:1-5.