A pastor and friend of ours closed a recent sermon by asking the congregation to mediate on the following for the upcoming week:
We had just gone through Psalm 128 which begins in verse 1 by saying:
In the short, six-verse Psalm “bless” is used four times. 2/4 of those times blessing is connected to “fearing God.”
What does it mean to "Fear God"?
So what exactly does it mean to “fear God” or “fear the Lord?”
Scottish Theologian Sinclair Ferguson says the fear of God is “the indefinable mixture of reverence, fear, pleasure, joy, and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what he has done for us.”
The Pastor went on to say, “The fear of God takes your breath away. It is what you’re both attracted to and a little bit nervous around. It’s when you have to get closer but it’s not casual. We’re not going to approach the throne of God casually (just read the throne room scenes in Revelation 4 & 5!), we don’t approach casually.”
If I am being completely honest, I approach God far too casually at times.
It’s just easier to move more quickly through prayers instead of pausing to meditate on who God is and the infinite grace given to us - to even be able to talk with Him.
But why settle for what’s “easier” when the greatest joy of life is to know God more and more each and every day?
The fear of God leads to a greater dependence upon Him and a more obedient heart.
When we truly fear God it is shown not just in our hearts but in our actions as well. In fact, you can’t have one without the other.
This is why the closing question was: “Do you fear God? If so, what does that look like?”
Jesus himself said, “If you love me you will obey my commands.”
I encourage you to join me in taking time this week to consider the question above and I pray God would reveal himself to each one of us in doing so.