Have you ever flipped a horrible situation and turned it around, or a great situation and made it seem bleak? We’ve all heard of the “glass is half full not empty” view on life. What about your view on God? Who (or what) is God to you? How do you view Our Creator? Believe it or not but your perspective on God will affect your Walk with Him; and for nonbelievers, it may be the prime reason why you don’t believe. Sometimes, we view God incorrectly.
The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
– Proverbs 19:23
Okay, okay! I’ll admit I once had the wrong view on God, my specs were dirty and scriptures like these made me both uncomfortable and confused. That word: FEAR is a different meaning to us. Am I supposed to quake and hide whenever I feel God’s Presence? NO. Definitely not. In fact, the word we used to translate the Bible into English holds different meaning – a different kind of “fear.” We are told to “fear God” at least 100 times in the Bible, yet when He has appeared in some shape or form to people what would He say – yes, “fear not.”
Here are four different CORRECT PERSPECTIVES of what it means to “fear” the Lord:
1. Have you ever been to Niagara Falls or climbed a mountain and when you reached to the top you are amazed by it’s beauty. You hear the roar of the water, or see how small everything else got when you looked down over the cliff of that mountain. You are in awe, but you’re also not going to hang over the safety rails or step too over the cliff out of fear. In this perspective, we are “fearing” God by being in AWE of His Magnificence, His Power, and all that He is!
2. If you’re familiar with the Book of Proverbs you can recall that the fear of God is connected to wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) Some translations have “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” while some substitute “beginning” for “foundation.” The “knowledge” the Bible speaks of is not textbook knowledge, nor street know-how but rather wisdom. The foundation of a house determines its longevity; a house with a strong foundation can weather a storm. If wisdom is our foundation then our perspective on everything is changed, including God and the world.
3. Fear can also mean our ability to trust in and respect God. For some of us God is simply our Consultant, He “advises” us to do certain things and His Word is simply a Book of “advice” not commands, not instructions. In this case we’d only follow parts that we agree with, commands that personally doesn’t require us to give up much. God is NOT a Consultant, He IS Our God. Consequently, we must fear Him in His instructions and follow them, all of them.
Continue to remind yourself who God is and what He has done for us. The future He holds for us is always bright, no matter what adversities may arise!
Sinclair Ferguson defines the fear of the Lord as,
“That 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.”