March 27, 2023

What exactly is the fear of God?

The fear of God is not the “fear” that makes you hide because you are trying to hide your sins or wrongdoing from Him. It is the “fear” that makes you terrified of being away from Him.

The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross has removed the guilt of sin from us, so, the fear of God that would have made us hide from God has become the fear and awe of a God who paid the price for our sins.

How does one get to truly fear God?

We cannot truly fear God unless we know Him. It’s the knowledge of God that births a deep level of reverential honour and adoration for Him in us. Knowing God precedes fearing God and to know God, we need His Holy Spirit.

The fear of God is an experience that is worked in us through our total submission to the power of the cross and to the Holy Spirit.

The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God. Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight. He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.

Isaiah 11:2&3, MSG

Fearing God is adoring Him, respecting Him, honoring Him, reverencing Him, saying “YES” to Him, because I/you have experienced Him. It runs deeper than outward performances or behaviour, it drives what we do.

From a place of longing to be with Him, we become like Him. There is beauty in fearing God, and I’ll tell you some of the blessings/benefits that come with having the fear of God;

1. Abhorrence for sin: When you truly fear God, you care so much about Him that all you want to do is please Him. You love what He loves and hate what He hates. The experiential fear of the Lord is the cure to every form of sin and indiscipline. The fear of God makes you despise sin and never desire to live life in a way that separates you from Him.

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin.

Romans 6:6-7, CSB

To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.

Proverbs 8:13 CSB

2. Divine wisdom that births precise decision making: The holy fear of God helps you make wise decisions. The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10, that the fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins. That means any wisdom gotten outside the fear of God is not true wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10, CSB

3. Having the fear of the Lord is what makes Him trust you with secrets and with the intentions of His heart: After all, He is the only one who knows the end of a thing from the beginning thereof, therefore, He is the only one who can show you things that are yet to come just like He showed Abraham and Moses. Lot didn’t fear God, he was not a friend of God, this is why the nation he dwelled in was to be destroyed and he was clueless about it.

Abraham was righteous, feared God and God shared secrets with him; God also listened to his request while he interceded for the righteous. Lot, a supposedly righteous man who didn’t fear God, was as clueless as the world. He only knew God by how well God answered his prayers.

It is not enough to desire to be a forecaster, to have foresight about situations even before they occur; there is a posture required. A heart that honors God and adores Him, a heart that worships Him in spirit and, in truth, a heart that daily submits to His will. All these are characteristics of a heart that truly fear God.

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

Psalms 25:14, NKJV

4. A Solid Identity: Knowing God precedes fearing God. In knowing God, you know who you are in Him, and you are assured of your lot. You won’t be neck-deep in comparison, you won’t be neck-deep in insecurity, you won’t be easily swayed by the standards of the world because Christ would be your standard. Your consecrations are clear, you understand that though others may, you can not. There is a peace that comes with knowing that you are here to please God and Him alone.

Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.

Romans 12:4-5, CSB

5. Congruence: Who you are in private is who you are in public. The fear of God produces integrity; you are truthful in your ways, you don’t need supervision to do what you’ve committed to do. No room for hypocrisy! You don’t do things for the approval of people but for the approval of God. In the same vein, you don’t do things that people approve of but things that God approves.

He also said in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who want greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honour at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.”

Mark 12:38-40, CSB

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Psalms 19:9, NKJV

6. Power with God and with man: While God loves every man, God cannot trust a man who doesn’t fear Him. Without the fear of God, there are certain things we cannot access in the spirit. A man who fears God has access to the supernatural and can be trusted.

I offer thanks and praise to you, God of my ancestors, because you have given me wisdom and power. And now you have let me know what we asked of you, for you have let us know the king’s mystery.

Daniel 2:23, CSB

7. Preservation: Those who fear God are always preserved from evil.

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Malachi 3:16-18, NKJV


When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, God didn’t give him any reason, just an instruction. But we see that Abraham obeyed God immediately. He set out and began the journey to the mountain. Many thoughts would have been going through his mind, I mean, he waited to have this child. This is the child he prayed for, the child of promise. It wouldn’t have made any sense logically from where he stood looking at the situation, but he trusted God.

The journey to the mountain must have been longer for Abraham because of the weight of what he was about to do, he could have turned back on the way and claimed he couldn’t go through with it because it was not reasonable. He could have even negotiated with God with solid reasons, holding God to his word and his promise, but he didn’t. He chose to trust God and obey Him completely because he knew… He knew God and knew the nature of God.

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “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.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
And He said, “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 22:1-3, 12, NKJV

Looking at the story of Abraham, the fear of God produces the character of obedience. When you fear God, you’ll naturally find yourself doing the following:

  • Obeying instantly.
  • Obeying even when it doesn’t make sense.
  • Obeying even when it hurts.
  • Obeying even when you don’t see a benefit.
  • Obeying every single instruction, leaving nothing out.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said in the book of John 15:14 that those who are His friends are obedient. So, to truly walk in precision, the fear of the Lord is important.

You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do.

John 15:14, ERV

As a Christian and especially as a WILD woman, the only fear permitted to dwell in your heart is the fear of God. Not the fear of man, and definitely not the fear of the bully that is Satan. You are a victor whose Father is able and capable. You’re not a victim. Your Father is a responsible Father, He is not a deadbeat dad, so, you shouldn’t fear anything or anyone that is beneath Him.

For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

Colossians 2:9-10, CSB


Temitope Olumide

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