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The Profound Practice to Fear God and Find Freedom | Get, Do, Be Better

by Daniel Hanson II 03 Feb 2024 0 Comments

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In the bustling aisles of life, a world where every soul composes a unique melody, one refrain echoes transversely across the hymn of human existence—the pervasive theme of fearing God. But before your mind turns away, swayed by negative connotations, let's unravel the true essence of this solemn act.

You see, when I talk about fearing God, I'm not speaking of the knee-trembling, spine-chilling horror you'd feel facing a raged beast in the wild. No, this fear is about awe, it's about reverence.

It's akin to looking up at the vast expanse of the skies, glimmering with stars, and feeling that indescribable sense of smallness—yet, in that moment, profoundly knowing you are a part of this grand tapestry. And let's not dance around the word; fear still has its place. It's a jolt, a wake-up, a reminder to us that our actions here, in this wobbly and sometimes shadow-filled existence, matter beyond what we can see or touch.

This kind of fearing God, it's not for the faint-hearted, believe me. It takes guts to humble ourselves, to admit that, while we can be brimming with bravado, we're not the ones running the show. It's realizing that Jesus Christ—the one who turned water into wine, who spoke of love and grace as revolutionary acts—He was on to something when He anchored His life in this holy reverence.

Maybe, just maybe, when Jesus said "god bless," He was pointing us toward a life where fear and freedom walk hand-in-hand. And yes, it's true that fools are afraid and fools despise wisdom sometimes... but here's the kicker: once you're eye-to-eye with the awesome might of God, you'll feel anything but a fool. It's the moment when every piece of wisdom seems to click into place, and you find yourself smiling, not because you have all the answers, but because you know—deep in your marrow—you're finally asking the right questions...

Fearing God: Not a Command to Tremble

god, marriage, husband and wife

At its core, 'fearing God' is not a command to be quivering with terror before the divine; it beckons something far more profound. The Bible, the blueprint of our faith, holds within its pages the guiding light that illuminates why we, as believers, must 'fear God'. In the book of Proverbs, it's written, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"(Proverbs 9:10).

It means that when we stand in awe and reverence before God, we're embarking on a journey of wisdom that can lead us to true freedom. The latter israel kind of deep-rooted liberation that comes from understanding our purpose and our place in the grand scheme of things.

So, what does it mean to fear God? It means acknowledging His greatness and sovereignty, while also recognizing our own insignificance. It's an acknowledgement that we are not the center of the universe; we are merely a part of it.

But here's where this paradox becomes even more profound - In acknowledging our sin and smallness, we discover our true worth and significance. As we stand in reverence and praise before God, we realize that He sees us as valuable and loved beyond measure.

The Transformative Power of Fearing God

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In a world where self-worth is often measured by accolades, possessions, or social media followers, the concept of fearing God can feel counter-cultural. But the truth is, when we learn to fear God in the right way, it can transform our lives. It gives us a new perspective - one that is not based on external factors but on an internal awareness of who we are and what truly matters.

Fearing God also helps us to let go of our fears and anxieties. When we recognize the vastness of the world and God's power, we realize that we are not in control. And that's okay because we trust that God is in control, and He has a plan for us. As the Bible says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)

Understanding the Nature of Our Fear

woman, sad, portrait

To fear God is to recognize the majesty, divinity, and sovereignty of the Almighty. It is to stand in awe of the One who sculpted the world into mountains and breathed life into our existence. But it's also a call to look inward, to examine our hearts and confront the fear that often holds us back from living fully. The fear of failure, rejection, or disappointment can be paralyzing, but when we choose to fear God above all else, those fears lose their power over us forever.

Clarity Through Scripture

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In the Book of Proverbs 9:10, it states, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." This verse elucidates that our fear of God is not ordained through dread but is a harbinger of wisdom. It propels us into a relationship where reverence and wisdom converge.

The Intricate Dance of a Healthy Fear

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Have you ever met one of those truly god-fearing men or women? The kind who radiate a calm, grounded kind of wisdom that seems almost otherworldly? They carry the air of having looked life square in the eyes and, rather than finding despair, they've unearthed a joyous secret. To fear God means embracing a healthy fear; embarking on a life lived in full color, brushed with strokes of humility and awe.

You see, living god-ly fear, a filial fear, isn't about living in perpetual paranoia, oh no. It’s about recognizing a sanctuary in submission and finding solace in surrender... a sanctuary where the whispers of God's word resonate with the rhythm of our heartbeats.

To Walk in Wisdom, We Embrace the Fear of the Lord

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For them—and I hope, for me too—fearing God means a daily decision to trust that His plans are bigger than my dreams, and His wisdom deeper than the fathoms of my understanding. Scriptures don't mince words on this; take Proverbs 14:27 for example: "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death." A fountain of life... can you picture it? The kind of life that bubbles up from a sacred, unseen spring, relentless and pure, and leads us away from the sting of death's traps.

"Surely this must be an oxymoron," you'd say, "How can fear be the start of wisdom?" I've pondered this too, but think about it—when we understand how daunting the vast mysteries of the cosmos are, doesn’t it humble us?

It's this graceful dance, this paradox of power, where we acknowledge that we are afraid we're not all-knowing and that the Author of life itself holds the quill. That's the type of fear that's a rare and valuable commodity in this age, an era where we're too often swollen with pride and shallow conceits.

Reflection stirs within me, and I find myself questioning... are we, as believers, walking in step with this concept of fear? Surely, to fear the Lord is to edge closer to the knowledge of His workings—both cosmic and personal. Like pilgrims on a starlit path, we hold up our lanterns—lit with the flame of scripture—and navigate through the dense forests of our days.

...And yet, therein lies the beauty, the mystery, the essence of a god-fearing existence. It's not about trembling or cowering; it's about standing firm with a reverential sense of wonder. The Psalmist captures it in Psalm 111:10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding." To follow God's precepts, then, is to walk a path where a healthy, good fear of God clears the fog and sharpens our vision, where awe becomes the lens through which we see our world.

This subtle shift in perception moves us to approach life with godly tentativeness—a canvas upon which our decisions, our relationships, even our very thoughts, are painted with brushstrokes tinged in reverence. A reverence that invites us to dance, unguarded and unashamed, in the rain of God's mercy. For to truly fear God is to dive into the depths of His unfathomable grace, discovering there, amidst the sacred silence of the deep, a peace that surpasses all understanding.

The Goodness in Fear

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But what about the love God so lavishly bestows upon us? Isn't fear antithetical to god and love? Not in the intricate weave of faith.

The Prodigal Son Parable

Reflect on the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. The son came to his father in reverent fear and remorse, yet his father didn't cast him aside. Instead, he welcomed him with open arms. Here, fear of the father and sin and the father's righteous love drew the father and the son back into a sacred bond.

That's the curious grace of a Father's love, isn't it? To fear—not in trembling, but in the profound respect that beautifies the return to His embrace. As I reflect on the strength of God's love, it strikes a cord deep within me. It's a love that invites us into a casual relationship, as easy as breathing, yet as profound as the mysteries of the universe.

It beckons us to sit at the table and break bread, to share in the feast as children, part of His children our own family. For "God is love," so says 1 John 4:8, and in that perfect love, there's no room for the fearful thing that demands we hide. No, this perfect love casts us out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and punishment for whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

The Journey from Old to New

girl, crossroads, choice

But what of the old testament edicts, the thunderous depictions of a God to be feared for our own good? Here's where the story takes an unexpected turn. The New Covenant, sealed by the blood of Christ, opens a chapter where the fear of the Lord becomes not about wrath, but about wisdom; about living in the joyous bounds of grace. Hebrews 8:10 speaks of this New Covenant, promising, "I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Can you see it? The transformative beauty? It's a new dance, one where the fear of the Lord is about honoring the relationship we have with the Divine, learning to walk in the rhythm of His heartbeat, in sync with His boundless love.

A Sanctuary in the Word Fear

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So yes, the fear of the Lord - it's a sanctuary, a holy ground rich with the nutrient of godly wisdom that cultivates soul-growth. It’s in this scared space that we find life's true adventure. In a state of reverence, every act we undertake is an act of worship, every decision a prayer, every breath a chorus in the hymn of existence. James 4:8 whispers a divine instruction: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

Feel the profound truth in those words? It's an invitation, my friends, to step closer not just in body, but in soul - to reside where the fear of the Lord nourishes and does not frighten, where the knowledge of the sovereignty of God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

...In this place of hallowed fear, we find something unexpected - a panoramic view of freedom. The vista stretches out, a landscape painted in vibrant strokes of God's love, and suddenly, the dance doesn't seem so complex. It becomes as natural as the euphoria that rushes through you when you surrender to the rhythm of the waves, or the thrill of the wind's whisper against your cheek as you stand atop the mountain of faith.

It is here, in the awe of the Almighty, where godly fear and divine love are no longer at odds but entwined in an eternal waltz. For, "The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble" (Proverbs 19:23). Can you feel that blessed contentment, that blessed untouchable serenity? It's the fullness of a person whose heart aligned with His will, a spirit drenched in adoration, and a life lived in the breadth of His shadow.

The Dichotomy of Fear and Love

secret, forest, darkness

In 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with sin and with punishment." This verse highlights that a perfect love—a love grounded in Christ—does indeed dispel unwarranted fears of judgment and death from sin and replaces them with a submissive, reverential fear that preserves our souls.

Embracing Holy Fear

milky way, night, stars

So, what does holy fear look like in practice? It involves aligning our lives with God's principles, acting in love, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. It's a fundamental aspect of a believer's walk, a beacon of hope that steers us away from sin and towards the light of God's perfect love.

Embracing the holy fear of the Lord, it's like we're wrapping ourselves in a layer that's both armor and comfort. You see, when the word "fear" finds its way through the pages of the Bible, it's not the kind that makes you want to hide under the covers. No, it's this beautiful, complex thing that has more to do with love than with being afraid. I've felt it... that living God-breathed fear. It's a positive quality, not the kind that leaves you cold but one that warms you from the inside, lighting you up in ways that only the Holy Spirit can.

Jesus Christ | Holy Spirit

cross, crucifix, jesus

In the Bible, even the mightiest figures, those all the people talked about, they feared God, but not with a servile fear the lord of god that cowers. It was a reverence, a recognition of His power and glory, and yet, they were not afraid to approach Him, to wrestle with Him, to question and be questioned in return. Through the fear of the Lord, I’ve found a guide, a compass that turns me ever so gently back to where I ought to be.

It’s in proverbs, isn't it, where it says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"? To me, that sings of a wisdom that isn't about knowing more but about living more... living in sync with the reverberating heartbeat of the divine.

Pause with me for a moment and think about it... Isn't there a kind of holy relief in letting go, in bowing to the awe of a God that is everything? To be so full of that very fear of god, that you're actually free—now that's something. When the Holy Spirit nudges you, whispers to you through that fear of the Lord, there's a courage that bubbles up, isn’t there? It's powerful, it's transformative, and it's something worth holding on to, my friends...

Final Thoughts | Have you Feared God?

question mark, pile, questions

In conclusion, to fear God means to approach Him with the love, respect, and humility that befits a relationship with our Creator. It is through this lens that we seek to understand the words 'fearing God' not as a decree to cower but as an invitation to an awe-filled and fulfilling life.

Remember, may He bless your steps as you journey onwards, not in spite of your fear, for example, but because of it. For it is through this reverent love and respect that we find true freedom in His grace.

To explore further this mysterious and often debated bible topic, join us at Get Better, Do Better, Be Better, where spirituality meets style and substance. Let's delve deeper into the bible scriptures and carve meaning out of the daily walk with our God.

Check out our Reading, Learning & Writing Collection! Want to expand your faith with a new journal? Spend time learning about God's word, or new thoughts and ideas? Or do you just enjoy reading new and exciting books on Christian topics? Check them all out here!

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