NEED HELP WITH FEARING GOD?
The sermon on Sunday deliberately did not attempt to explain away what it means to fear God because the passage doesn’t do that. However, the whole Bible naturally offers more depth and breadth on the subject. Here are a few resources to help you think through the topic with an excerpt from each to give you an entrée:
Excerpt: “John [in the book of Revelation] did not follow up on these threats by assuring his hearers that they didn’t really apply, weren’t really severe, or didn’t mean what they seemed to mean. He doesn’t seem worried about potential emotional discomfort; fear producing threats were necessary to wake up and shake up the Christians and motivate them to repentance, perseverance, and faithfulness.”
Excerpt: The fear of the Lord is the fear of straying from him. Therefore it expresses itself in taking refuge in God. That’s why two conditions are mentioned in Psalm 31:19—fearing the Lord and taking refuge in him.
A 6 minute podcast on the topic.
Excerpt: I don’t think you can have a true biblical understanding of our own sin until you see God in his holiness, otherwise it’s “Oh, I’m just a terrible person,” or “I didn’t do that well.” But when you see God for who he is, you would never think of trying to solve your sin problem yourself. And so the fear of the Lord is one of the great needs in the church today…
Excerpt: When it comes to this kind of fear [fear of clowns, or fear of losing loved ones], the Bible says to abandon it. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Yet there’s another fear that the Bible speaks of, one that we must have. This kind of fear is good. It stands up to all our other fears. It brings wisdom, joy, rest, and life. It is a holy fear — the fear of God.
This article does well to set fear of God in the context of our everyday struggles.
Excerpt: At this point you are thinking “I’ve always felt bad about myself and now I feel even worse. I had no idea so much of my personality and idiosyncrasies were mixed up in sin.” But cheer up, if our problem is sin and not personality, at least we know we can be forgiven and God wants to help us change. And how do we change? Well, the biblical remedy is not easy, but it is simple. First, we must fear God. This is the famous conclusion at the end of Ecclesiastes. After going through all the world’s options and declaring them vanity, a chasing after the wind (all of them, sex, money, power, pleasure, work), the Teacher gives his final verdict: fear God and keep his commandments (Eccl. 12:13).