You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him.
Deuteronomy 10:20 NLT
Series: The Things We Say
Being around something or someone I’m scared of is not my favorite thing to do.
I have real and perceived fears. My fear was real when bears entered a fellow camper’s camp and devoured their food—twice. My son and I were camped in a three-sided shelter a mere 50 feet away. The same bears could have easily walked into our shelter and harmed us. As a child, my fear of the dark could have been real or imagined. Though Dad was fond of saying there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t there in the light, I never believed him. Some dangers are present at night that aren’t during the day. But some of my fears associated with darkness were also imagined.
Early in life, Dad taught me to fear the Lord. At the same time, he wanted me to love Him. I don’t normally love or choose to be around those I fear. If I fear them, I perceive some sort of danger hangs around them. Seemed like an ironic situation to love and fear God, and I was unsure of how to do both.
The command combines fear, worship, and association. If we usually avoid what we fear—but God wants us to worship and associate with Him, there must be another definition of fear…and there is. Fear can involve being afraid of something or someone. Defined in such a manner, I would avoid that person or thing. Fear can also mean to reverence. And this is the definition God has in mind when He tells us to fear Him.
When I reverence God, I will stand in awe of Him. In one sense, I should fear Him. He has life and death power over my existence. With the utterance of one command, my heart would stop and my breath cease. He is sovereign over people and the universe.
Though fear can involve fright, God wants me to love and revere Him. So great was His desire for fellowship with people that He allowed His Son to die for our sins on Calvary. I stand in awe of Him, but I also consider Him my Savior and friend. He has accepted me into His family and invited me to come into His presence as often as I like.
Let your fear of God lead you to Him…not away.