Do You Fear God?
Updated: May 24, 2021
Something that I noticed in Christian culture is this notion of fearing God. And when I say fear, I mean literal, actual fear. Like being scared of God. You see it everywhere; in music, sermons, and in everyday Christians during casual conversions. I mean this concept is so pervasive in the culture that Christians have developed a term for people who behave in this way. Does the phrase "Fire and Brimstone" sound familiar to anyone?
For so long in my life, I have been absolutely terrified of the Lord. And in Christian spaces, this thought pattern was encouraged. Many people boasted about how much they feared the Lord; so I internalized this concept and thought this was the way I was supposed to move. However as I grew in Christ, I noticed that this fear of God caused me to live in fear and be really cautious and anxious surrounding my relationship with God. I felt like God was standing over me and waiting on me to mess up so He could punish me. If I wasn't actively reading the bible and listening to gospel music; I felt like I wasn't doing enough for God and that He was upset with me. I began to retreat inside myself and hide the way I was feeling towards God because I was too scared to open up to Him. This caused me a lot of turmoil and it hindered me from getting close to Him. However, over this past week, God has been speaking to me and sending me signs that I should open up to Him more. So I finally spoke to God and said everything that I was feeling, and He assured me that works (such as reading the bible, and listening to gospel music) are good things to do, but these things are not what gives us His love. God always loves us, and there is nothing that gets in the way of His love; so I shouldn't be worried about me losing His love or approval. God told me that I shouldn't be afraid of Him and that I can tell Him anything, even if I'm upset with Him because He can handle it. Plus He knows already so I might as well just say it to Him lol.
So if we are not supposed to literally fear the Lord, what does fear in the bible mean? Well fear in connection to the Lord simply means to respect the Lord. We should respect Him in the way we respect our parents or the elderly, and should listen to Him and follow His directions, because they are always in our best interest.
So in conclusion, God loves us dearly and doesn't want us to be afraid of Him. We are His special children and He thinks we are very precious and good! So if any of you all have been too afraid to open up to the Lord, I pray that you all gain the confidence to speak to your Heavenly Father!
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18 ESV
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:17 NLT
'Israel, the Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you. I will give up Egypt to set you free; I will give up Ethiopia and Seba. I will give up whole nations to save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor. Do not be afraid—I am with you! “From the distant east and the farthest west I will bring your people home. '