Men often confuse the fear of the Lord, with terror, or phobia, but true fear of the Lord is neither of these things. True fear of the Lord has more to do with reverence for the Lord, and respect for the Lord, than it does fear in the sense we’ve redefined it in our modern age.
When you boil it down to its essence, the fear of the Lord possesses three important components. The first of these three aspects is the selfsame reverence for the Lord we mentioned, and it is a necessary component. What you do not revere, what you do not respect, you can neither obey nor lay your life down for.
Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
Reverence and godly fear are like fingers on the same hand, always found together. Why are reverence and godly fear necessary for us as believers? Because by possessing these two, we are able to serve God acceptably.
Yes, there is an acceptable way of serving God, and an unacceptable way of serving God. There are sacrifices and offerings God receives, and others He does not. We strive not merely to serve for the sake of serving, but to serve acceptably, and in order to serve acceptably reverence and godly fear must be our constant companions.
What troubles me is that some will see these words as radical, even though they are included within the pages of Scripture. Some might even say that they’ve never heard something like that before, which again, is troubling for a different set of reasons altogether.
The fact that some people have written in and said they found this series on the first epistle of Peter refreshing and new goes to show just how out of favor true biblical teaching has fallen among the learned men of letters who call themselves doctors of theology and other grandiose titles.
When we possess reverence and godly fear we go about God’s work cautiously, we do not do anything haphazardly, and we do not seek our own interest but only the furtherance of the kingdom of God.
I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy by asserting the following, but one need only see how today’s average churchgoer dresses and how they act when within the house of God to realize that there is not an ounce of godly fear, nor is there any particular reverence for God.
If you take more time to make sure you are dressed appropriately before going to a concert, or going to a game than before going to the house of God, then your actions betray the reality that you revere those things more than you revere God.
No, this is not about having a dress code in church, or mandating everyone wear the same ankle length dress and three piece suit, it is not about being legalistic, it is about being reverent, and letting everything that you are trumpet that reverence, whether it be your attire, your mannerisms, your posture, or your attention.
When you go for a job interview chances are you don’t show up in sweat pants and an ‘I’m with stupid’ t-shirt, because you want to present the best possible side of yourself, since you are hoping to acquire gainful employment by both your qualifications, but also your appearance.
When we don’t put forth the same effort when coming before the King of Kings that we would going for a job interview, then I’m sorry, fuddy-duddy or not, there’s something off-putting about that.
You are come before the King! You are come before Almighty God! Show the reverence and godly fear the situation calls for, whether it be in your choice of attire, your being on time, your attentiveness, your worshipfulness, or your veneration.
Be in awe of God!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.