Fear of the Lord – a gift of the Holy Spirit

On a friend’s wall sits a plaque showing pictures of the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. I have long been perplexed over the one that reads; the Fear of the Lord. I’ve often thought, why do I need to fear the Lord? Isn’t He my Heavenly Father? Am I not His beloved child? Curiosity made me seek my best friend, Google. I had to know more about this. And so I googled and read and then googled some more.

Fear of the Lord refers to reverence and awe of the Lord, where we do not want to engage in actions that displease the Lord because we love Him so. The emphasis is on reverence and not fear, per se – Ah, now I understand, but wait…not totally! How do I explain this better?

I think I can do so with an example we can relate to. My daughter is a ‘daddy’s girl’. She adores her father and when she thinks she’s done something that she knows dad will not like, she approaches him with a sort of trepidation. I understand that it is not fear of repercussion but rather a feeling of having disappointed her dad because she loves him so much she doesn’t want to do anything that is not proper. And this my friends is exactly what fear of the Lord is. Now let me state, I’m sure my daughter loves me too!! And there are plenty of times when she does not do things that I ask of her. But there is a definite difference in her approach to me and her dad in similar circumstances. 🙂

As a Bible teacher once told me, our vision of God is this warm, huggable, benign, gentle father figure of the New Testament who is accepting of everything we do. We forget the God of the Old Testament who was firm with His chosen people when they did not follow His Word. God never changes. Hebrews’ 13:8 says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. He alone is deserving of our adoration and reverence and this gift of the Holy Spirit amply puts into context what our attitude should be toward our loving God who created us.

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Deuteronomy 10:12 – So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 

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