Fear the Lord … But Don’t Be Afraid
Recommended Reading: Psalm 33:18–22; Hebrews 12:22–29; Revelation 1:9–18
In his autobiography, Blessings in Disguise, the late actor Alec Guinness wrote that as he was walking up Kingsway in the middle of an afternoon, he had an impulse to start running. He ran until he reached a little church. He’d never been there before, but he caught his breath and knelt to pray. For the next ten minutes he “was lost to the world.”
Guinness explained the compulsion as a “rather nonsensical gesture of love,” an outburst of thanksgiving. He ran to the church and fell on his knees in prayer not long after March 24, 1956, the day he had converted to Christianity after years of being an atheist.
Guinness, in a move reflective of the movement of the Holy Spirit in his life, learned in part what “fearing God” is all about. Although Scripture uses the word “fear,” God doesn’t want us to be afraid of him. Instead, he wants us to realize how magnificent, awe-inspiring and deserving of our worship he is.
Interestingly, knowing that God desires our worship also helps us understand just how special we are to him. This can lead us into a more active relationship with God. God always expresses his love in some kind of action toward us, and he desires that we return our loving expressions in action, as well as in trusting his leading and following his commands for our life.
God’s love, coupled with our sense of awe and reverence, leads us to action. It led Alec Guinness to run down the street and then fall on his knees in thanksgiving and adoration. Perhaps you’ve only recently come to know about God’s grace revealed through Jesus Christ. Perhaps you’ve been his devoted follower for years. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a fresh experience of God in your life. What actions will you take today to express your “fear of God”?
Don’t be afraid to go for it!
To Take Away
- Describe in your own words what it means to fear God.
- How does knowing that God desires our worship help us understand how special we are to him?
- What actions can you take to express your love to God?