But Doesn’t the Bible tell us to Fear God?
Yes, you are absolutely correct – the bible tells us time and time again to fear God – but it isn’t the type of fear that produces dread and anxiety. The enemy loves to play on the words of God and make us take things the wrong way – he’s been skilled at doing this since the beginning of time, that’s why there are so many different “versions” (rather – PERversions) of the “truth”. Let’s review:
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Notice, this verse tells us the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, not the beginning of anxiety and dread. What kind of knowledge is this? The knowledge of the mysteries of God, things we couldn’t possibly fathom on our own – it is a knowledge and wisdom the world does not understand and this knowledge is so overwhelmingly wonderful and dreadful at the same time. Wonderful for those of us who know and serve the Lord but dreadful for those who refuse and refute God. This is not a fear of God in the sense that we should dread and hide from Him, like Adam and Eve after eating the fruit.
Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” – Notice, this verse tells us the fear of the Lord is to HATE EVIL. Clearly, fear by human standards includes a feeling of evil and makes whatever it is evil – God is NOT and can never be EVIL so we clearly can’t fear Him in that way (and if you do it is a lie from the enemy to confuse and pervert the fear into something that causes you to see God as evil and harmful, when He is the one who is evil and harmful). Fearing God means you HATE/ DESPISE all that is evil, meaning you flee from it, you have no parts in it, you don’t entertain in it fashion because you know how the Lord feels about it and you are aware of the consequences that come with it.
Not only that, we recognize how serious evil (sin) is and the [lasting] effects it has on the earth and humans. Jesus told us a kingdom divided cannot stand (Matthew 3:24) therefore, we cannot be divided either by condoning/participating in evil but claiming to love and serve God “…and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. This confuses and creates stumbling blocks for new believers and therefore makes us participants in the very evil God hates. Fearing God by hating evil, is the first step to helping us pay attention to the evil ways and how to overcome them through God’s grace – it also keeps us from falling into the enemy’s traps which lead to guilt which equals the unhealthy, human fear (in this case the fear of hell and damnation during judgment).
Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.” Notice – the fear of the Lord is a life preserve! This is a blessing not a curse, this is good and not evil, God gives life to those who love Him and fear Him, eternal life! Our earthly definition of fear doesn’t give life, in fact it put you in a place where you spend life in a state of dread waiting for the next evil thing to come and overtake you. God’s fear produces and obedience and joy that helps you live life in abundance (John 10:10) and to the full for the glory of God! “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil.” Proverbs 19:23
Proverbs 14:26- 27 “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” Notice – the fear of the Lord produces a confidence not a dread, anxiety, guilt, or shame – CONFIDENCE (1 John 5:14, 2 Corinthians 3:4, Ephesians 3:12). And not just any type of confidence, but a STRONG confidence, one that allows us to go before Him and trust Him and love Him with a whole heart! This confidence comes from God and we use it to go out into the world to spread the good news of the Christ and Salvation for all who are able to receive the message! This confidence allows us to go before God and make all kinds of prayer request (Hebrews 4:16, Hebrews 10:19, Ephesians 6:18)!
This confidence allows us to heal, pray, prophecy, teach, evangelize, speak in tongue and manifest all the gifts that come by the Spirit of God (as assigned to us). The fear by earthly definition gives the exact opposite, in fact it reduces us to that of a slave with a harsh and abusive slave master- instead of confident children of the Most High King, we become lowly captive slaves bound in chains not expecting any blessings or joy but only more bondage, more abuse, and more suffering as time goes on. “So do not throw away your confidence [in Christ], you will be richly rewarded” Hebrews 10:35
Proverbs 22:4 “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” Notice – this verse says by both HUMILITY and FEAR will riches, honor, and life be gained. It didn’t say death, pain, destruction, evil or any of that would be gained. So if you are serving God and you feel dread, destruction, and guilt all the time – then it’s clear you are operating under a spirit of fear that is not of God. The enemy has been tricking you all this time into believing this is what serving God means but even he knows it not to be true. Humility is mixed with fear hear because of the type of fear we are to have for God which is not a dreadful fear of a bad angry God but a healthy fear – we will discuss this shortly.
The fear of the Lord brings about blessings and good things in your life because it keeps you from the evil things that drag you away with enticements that only mean you harm. Though the enemy may seem to give his followers blessings – they always come with a hefty price in the end because you must understand, the enemy’s kingdom is all about HIM, it has been from the beginning, he has no humility and he wants you to follow in his footsteps so that you too can receive the due punishment that is to fall upon him for his pride.