Our God is an awesome God. He is Lord God Almighty. He has created everything. He has the power to save and the power to destroy. In the past, He has destroyed cities and nations. He has caused the ground to open up and swallow those who rebelled against Him. In the first century church, Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a possession, kept back part of the price and lied to the apostles and the Holy Spirit as to the price received. God chose to cause them to fall down dead for their lie and deception. Acts 5:11 “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.”
Do you fear God? You are told to fear Him. Jesus taught in Luke 12:4-5 “And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” The early church feared God. Acts 9:31 “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”
There are all kinds of fears that people have and multiple reactions to their fears. Some people who fear heights are paralyzed when they are at a great height. Some people who fear dogs will turn and run when a dog comes at them. Some people have great mental anxiety when faced with coming events that they fear. What kind of fear should you have toward God?
Consider these verses about the fear you should have as a Christian. Hebrews 12:28-29 “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. For our God is a consuming fire.” 1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.” Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” He does not want you to be paralyzed by your fear of Him, nor to run from Him or have great mental anxiety. I understand that you must serve God with reverence and great respect, realizing who He is and what He has power to do.
I once knew a man who described his prayers to God as conversations to a buddy or peer. Some people sin and think it no great matter because they are confident that God will forgive them. Others live their lives as it pleases them with little thought as to what God wants. Are these the right attitudes? Your attitude must be one of reverence and great respect. You should live your life seeking to please God. You do not want to come to the judgement seat of God and be condemned by Him for how you lived your life.
The Bible also teaches that fear for God can be replaced with love. Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” The expression “Abba, Father” implies a tender relationship between a loving Father and His adoring child. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” As you grow and mature in Christ, any tormenting fear of God that you might have should be replaced with true love and obedience. What should remain is your reverence and great respect for Him. He is Almighty God.