The Fear Of God

Mike Focht 1/12/2024

The fear of God needed today does more than cause sinners to slink away from a church or frighten us with holiness until we tiptoe through our daily routine. When the Bible speaks of the fear of God—which it does often—it is apparent that the fear of God is a necessity for every godly man and woman. Say what you want, and think what you may; the Scriptures make one thing very clear: godly men and women live with it, and ungodly men and women live without it. 

   The fear of God is a supernatural reality. The fear of God that works righteousness is settled deep in the innermost being of those who walk with God in spirit and truth. Our Father desires to see the fear of God in the hearts of His people. O that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep my commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! 

   The devil has worked hard to counterfeit this godly virtue. He does this primarily by confusing many a sincere saint as to what the fear of God truly is. We will never be able to discern between God’s reality and Satan’s counterfeits if we do not recognize that the spiritual reality God intends cannot be birthed through heated threats of judgment or stern warnings about damnation. 

   Man is always prone to try and achieve in the flesh what only God can give through life in His Spirit. The sheer horror of God’s wrath is what the ungodly will face on that fateful day that only God knows. Shivering horrors are not the fruits of the Biblical fear of God, as evidenced in the life of the child of God. The Father does not want His blood-bought children to be daily groveling before Him because of the realities of wrath or hell. 

   The Scriptures are clear that the fear of the Lord creates a solid foundation for a healthy, clean, and blessed life. The genuine fear of God is possessed when the Holy Spirit—not man’s threats—takes two important realities and reveals them to the hearts of men and women. 

   First, those who possess the fear of God have placed themselves before Him as creation before the Creator. God is not just the name we use for Him; it becomes the reality we live before Him. Satan’s strategy to negate this holy fear is to have men profess God intellectually but then live as practical atheists—acting as if God and all His actions are at a distance. 

   Second, the Holy Spirit places the individual conscience directly before God. Satan works hard to cause men to live with their conscience before human reason, human example, and human comparison. In contrast, those who live in the fear of the Lord make all their decisions before His throne. 

   Though the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah feared Pharaoh enough to lie, their consciences were exercised in the fear of God, and therefore, they could not disobey God’s commands in the end. Thus, despite their lies to Pharaoh, the Holy Spirit tells us that they were blessed because the midwives feared God.  

   Finally, Isaiah reveals Jesus Himself lived in the fear of the Lord. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears, but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth…

   The perfect Son of God always lived in the very presence of His Father. All He did, said and lived was done, said, and lived before God. We, too, need the spirit of the fear of the LORD. We need men and women motivated by the knowledge, understanding, and courage that come through the divine illumination of the Holy Spirit—not merely the fear of hellfire. 

   These men and women will be easy to recognize. They will be humble servants ever-bowed before their Creator. They will live godly lives that shine in an ungodly world. They will judge righteousness and wickedness by more than the cultural, traditional, and standard Christian norms because their souls are saturated in the air around the eternal throne. Also, the fear of God will cause them to be both loved and despised like Christ before them. 

   Let us pray that the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon us in the fear of the Lord that we might truly be followers of Christ Jesus! Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your name.