We would all do well to redefine the word FEAR in our lives. To most, the word FEAR simply means “to be afraid of something” that potentially may cause pain, harm or death. So, people have the FEAR of heights, FEAR of the dark, FEAR of sharks, FEAR of death, FEAR of cancer, etc., etc. But the Bible confuses our thinking when we define FEAR in this way, because all through its pages it tells us to FEAR the Lord. (Deut. 6:13, Josh 24:14, 1 Samuel 12:14, 2 Kings 17:28, Psalm 19:9, etc.). No, the Bible word for FEAR does not mean “to be afraid of something that may harm us.” Instead, it means “to reverence, to stand in awe, to respect and honor.” So, when I say I FEAR the Lord it is a term of worship and reverence, acknowledging His great POWER and AWE. Because I FEAR Him, I bow in humble reverence before Him.

Now, this is the reason we would all do well to redefine FEAR in our lives. When we say we FEAR heights, FEAR death, FEAR cancer, etc., we are actually saying that we stand in awe of them… that we respect them… that we honor them and bow in their presence. FEAR truly is a word of worship. We bow in humility before the things we FEAR. We give them a powerful place in our lives.

If we FEAR God only, then we have the proper perspective in life. We honor and respect Him, and bow before Him, and Him only. That is FEAR in its purest sense according to the scriptures. Godly FEAR understands that everything is in God’s powerful hands. It understands that if we will FEAR God only, everything else falls into its proper place. When people have this correct perspective and definition for FEAR they become emboldened and say things like:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; WHOM SHALL I FEAR” (Ps. 27:1) and “I trust in God and am not afraid…what can a mere human being do to me” (Ps.56:4)

Yes, a person who truly FEARS God need not have any other FEARS.


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