Quotes about Fear_of_God
No man more truly loves God than he that is most fearful to offend Him.
The fear of the Lord is just the proper reaction of sinners to God’s infinite holiness, or of creatures to God’s infinite majesty. As we grow in the knowledge of God, we will learn truly to tremble before His great glory and burning purity, and see this as indeed the beginning of wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is: a choice (Pr 1:29), the principle part of knowledge (Pr 1:7), to hate evil (Pr 8:13), not to envy sinners (Pr 23:17), his treasure (Isa 33:6). The benefits of fearing the Lord: strong confidence (Pr 14:26), fountain of life (Pr 14:27), instruction of wisdom (Pr 15:33), tends to life (Pr 19:23), satisfaction (Pr 19:23), protection (Pr 19:23), riches, honor, life (Pr 22:4), God’s covenant revealed (Ps 25:12-14) and increased trust in God; no fear (Ps 112:1,7,8).
What is “fear of God?” Living with an acute awareness of His loving hand in every area of
my life, guiding me through the revealed Word of God, and recognizing that only when I trust
and obey Him can life have true meaning and purpose for me. To fear God is to love Him so
intensely that I fear doing anything that might grieve Him.
To fear God is to nurture an attitude of awe and humility before Him and to walk in radical dependence upon God in each area of life. The fear of the Lord is similar to the mindset of a subject before a powerful king; it is to be under divine authority as one who will surely give an account… Fearing the Lord relates to trust, humility, teachability, servanthood, responsiveness, gratitude and reliance on God; it is the exact opposite of autonomy and arrogance.
But what is this fear of the Lord? It is that affectionate reverence, by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law.
I can know if I truly fear God by determining if I have a genuine hatred of evil and an earnest desire to obey His commands.
We are to fear Him: that is, in other words, we are to cherish an awful sense of His infinite grandeur and excellence, corresponding to the revelation He has made of these in His works and Word, inducing a conviction that His favor is the greatest of all blessings, and His disapprobation (disapproval) the greatest of all evils, and manifesting itself in leading us practically to seek His favor as the chief good we can enjoy, and avoid His disapprobation as the most tremendous evil we can be subjected to. Such is the fear which the Christian man ought to cherish and manifest towards God.
We don’t fear God because He’s bad. We stand in utter awe before Him because He’s so good it’s scary.
Hence that dread and amazement with which as Scripture uniformly relates, holy men were struck and overwhelmed whenever they beheld the presence of God. When we see those who previously stood firm and secure so quaking with terror, that the fear of death takes hold of them, nay, they are, in a manner, swallowed up and annihilated, the inference to be drawn is that men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.
Slave-dread, the wrong type of fear, does not motivate obedience. It causes us to run away from God… Those with slave-dread fear draw back from God. They have no conviction that He is good, that He rewards those who seek Him, or that He has their best interests at heart. All they see is His holiness, His severity, and His hatred of sin, and they run the other way. By contrast son-fear motivates us to pursue God… Those who fear Him as sons obey God and keep His commandments.
The fear of God equips parents to overcome the fear of their children. They can disappoint their children, but they dare not disappoint God. Why? They believe that God is sovereign over their children’s hearts. God holds all the strings. He is in control. Those who really believe this are free to be God pleasers rather than child fearers. Parents lacking this confidence will often be slaves to their children’s approval. Parents who fear God have only one audience: God. If they please Him, they are confident that He will produce the results they seek in their children.
The fear of the Lord tends to take away all other fears… This is the secret of Christian courage and boldness.
[A proper fear of God] is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what He has done for us. It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve Him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases Him.
[The fear of God] is the result of discovering that the God whom we thought of with slavish, servile fear, the holy righteous, terrifying God of judgment and majesty, is also the God who forgives us through Jesus Christ… One reason why we know so little of such filial fear is that we do not appreciate the gospel! If we would grow in grace so that we fear God like this, we must first return to the gospel, and to the meaning of the cross.
We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.
Men love everything but righteousness and fear everything but God.
I have never once feared the devil, but I tremble every time I enter the pulpit.
Godly sorrow doesn’t fear that people will find out about your sin. Rather, you fear that God — the only person who ultimately matters — always knew. I am a very sinful man in great need of the blood of Jesus to forgive me for all the ways I have failed God.
Fearing God has two aspects. The first is reverence. It is a sacred awe of God’s utter holiness. It involves the kind of respect and veneration that results in fear in the presence of such absolute majesty. The second aspect is fear of God’s displeasure. Genuine faith acknowledges God’s right to chasten, His right to punish, and His right to judge.
I think, my friends, that it depends altogether upon that of which one is afraid. The words of our text (Mt. 10:28), with the solemn inculcation of fear, are also a ringing denunciation of fear: the “Fear Him” is balanced by “Fear not.” The fear of God is here made a way of overcoming the fear of man. And the heroic centuries of Christian history have provided abundant testimony to its efficaciousness.
Even the Christian must fear God. But it is another kind of fear. It is a fear rather of what might have been than of what is; it is a fear of what would come were we not in Christ. Without such fear there can be no true love; for love of the Saviour is proportioned to one’s horror of that from which man has been saved. And how strong are the lives that are suffused with such a love! They are lives brave, not because the realities of life have been ignored, but because they have first been faced – lives that are founded upon the solid foundation of God’s grace. May such lives be ours!
The essential elements of the fear of God are correct concepts of His character, a pervasive sense of His presence, and a constant awareness of our responsibility to Him.
The fear of God is the soul of godliness.
For the child of God, the primary meaning of the fear of God is veneration and honor, reverence and awe. It is the attitude that elicits from our hearts adoration and love, reverence and honor. It focuses not upon the wrath of God but upon the majesty, holiness, and transcendent glory of God.
To fear the Lord is to tremble at the thought of offending him by unbelief and disobedience. It is the feeling that God is not to be trifled with… Those who fear God shudder at the thought of speaking that way about their Majestic Father. Anything that dishonors God is anathema to those who fear God.
Compromise with the culture is often the result when we lose a reverence and respect for the Lord. It’s the “Jesus won’t mind” attitude. To overcome compromise we need to remove our fear of offending the world and recapture a healthy fear of the Lord that our God expects and demands.
Fearing God is reverence for Him that leads to delightful obedience resulting in peace, joy and security.
The unbeliever should fear God when he hears of the severity of God’s judgment and run to the asbestos covering of Jesus Christ who bore God’s wrath in the individual’s place. You see, the solution to the fear of God is the love of God that sent the Son of God!
Ten biblical benefits of fearing God in the life of the believer: 1. Fearing God leads to wisdom (Pr. 1:7; Job 28:28). 2. Fearing God leads to joy (Pr. 28:14; Psm. 112:1; 115:13). 3. Fearing God leads to safety (Psm. 115:11; Pr. 14:26). 4. Fearing God leads to life (Pr. 14:27; 19:23). 5. Fearing God keeps us from evil (Pr. 16:6; 8:13). 6. Fearing God leads to His instruction (Psm. 25:12). 7. Fearing God leads to His love (Psm. 103:11). 8. Fearing God leads to His compassion (Psm. 103:13). 9. Fearing God leads to His mercy (Lk. 1:50). 10. And fearing God leads to His favor (Psm. 147:11).
I like the way John Piper once put this along the lines of fearing God and perseverance. “Fearing the Lord means fearing to run away from Him. It means fearing to seek refuge and joy and hope anywhere but in God. It means keeping before our eyes what a fearful prospect it is to stop trusting and depending on God to meet our needs.” He who does not fear God has called a peace treaty with sin. But he who does fear God, battles sin and fervently continues in the daily quest for holiness. So fearing God enables us to obey Him, mature spiritually and faithfully persevere until the end.
We must not think as the eastern religions do, that God can be used to attain wisdom apart from a relationship with Him. We need first to realize that the essence of all godly wisdom is a fear of the Lord. Meaning this, the foundation of all true wisdom is respecting God for being God (Pr. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; Job 28:28; Ecc. 12:13)!
We fear so much today simply because we do not fear God.
I believe this is the heart of fear our heavenly Father desires. Fearing man dishonors Him. But fearing His displeasure brings Him great satisfaction. After all that is what love is – not fear of what the person I love may do to me (cf. 1 Jn. 4:18), but rather fear of what I may do to hurt the person I love. It’s fear of doing anything to damage the relationship. So an unbeliever’s fear drives him to hide from God in fear. A believer’s fear drives him to run to God with fear of displeasing Him.
It’s the people that fear the presence of God that ironically will truly find comfort to be in His presence through Christ.
A true confrontation with the living God is a direct confrontation with His holiness. And when we really understand His holiness we are never more convinced of our sinfulness. We instinctively know that sin cannot remain in His presence without being judged. And that is the most fearful thing we can ever imagine and that is what draws us to Christ for refuge.
True disciples do not have a neutral reaction toward Jesus. True disciples walk an almost paradoxical life of wanted to be around Him more than anyone or anything else, but also experiencing a fear that intensifies the more we are in His presence. It’s love and it’s respect. It’s intimacy and it’s reverence. It’s loyal friend and it’s holy God. Like Peter in Luke 5:8, both clinging to His feet and asking Him to leave.
Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (cf. 9:10). Do you see an interesting connection? Knowledge of the Lord’s ways dispels fear, but the beginning of knowledge is fearing the Lord? Could it be the more we fear displeasing God and approach Him with reverential awe, the greater He will appropriate Himself in our lives? And the more we have of God, the less we will battle the short-lived, trivial fears of the world? Could it be that if we fear God there will be no one and nothing else left to fear? Wasn’t this the teaching of Jesus? “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt. 10:28).
Saints are described as fearing the name of God; they are reverent worshippers; they stand in awe of the Lord’s authority; they are afraid of offending Him; they feel their own nothingness in the sight of the Infinite One.
The fear of God is the death of every other fear; like a mighty lion, it chases all other fears before it.
Certainly joy and celebration are appropriate responses to the grace of God revealed in the gospel. But no less essential is the fear of God rooted in the recognition of His majesty and holiness. We must be careful that our emotions and physical displays in times of worship are conscious expressions of gratitude, awe, love, and devotion, rather than an unconscious reaction to the mood or rhythm of the music.
Fearing God is not a matter of being terrified of Him as if He is always angry, or arbitrary and capricious in His dealings so that one should always be wary of what He might do. Rather, believers fear God’s wrath if He is not obeyed. Thus “fear” functions as a shorthand for “fearing the consequences of disobeying,” and often for just “not believing in or taking Yahweh seriously” (Jer. 5:22; 32:39).
What is this fear of God? It is the nonnegotiable motivator of the spiritual person. God, His presence, His will, and His glory are the reason the spiritual person does what he does. He has a single motivation in his life – to live so as to please his Lord. He does not live for his own pleasure or the pleasure of others. He does not live for what he can possess. He does what he does because God is and has spoken. This is the sole guidance system for his existence. He does what he does not because someone is watching, or out of fear of the consequences, but ultimately because of a deep, worshipful love and reverence for God. The thought of knowingly and purposefully disobeying Him is unthinkable.
To fear God means that my life is structured by a sense of awe, worship, and obedience that flows out of recognizing Him and His glory. He becomes the single most important reference point for all that I desire, think, do, and say. God is my motive and God is my goal. The fear of God is meant to be the central organizing force in my life.
It is only the fear of God that has the spiritual power to overwhelm all the horizontal fears that can capture your heart. These relational-situational-location fears are only ever put in their proper place and given their appropriate size by a greater fear – fear of the Lord. Perhaps this is a good portion of what is being said in Proverbs when it declares that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (9:10).
Fear that does not take you to God, will take you away from God.
The heart that is touched with the loadstone of Divine love, trembles still with godly fear.
If the gaze of man awakens fear in us, how much more so the gaze of God. If we feel exposed by people, we will feel devastated before God. To even think of such things is too overwhelming. Our hearts tremble at the thought, and we do everything we can to avoid it. One way to avoid God’s eyes is to live as if fear of other people is our deepest problem – they are big, not God.
With such adversaries, growing in the fear of the Lord will not be a smooth process. Instead, it will be the path of warfare. We must hate the evil and ungodly assumptions of the world, we must hate our own sinful nature, and we must hate Satan. To accomplish these tasks demands the most powerful resources we have: The Word, the Spirit, and the body of Christ.
We stand at the crossroads between fear of others and fear of God. The road leading to the fear of man may be expressed in terms of favoritism, wanting others to think well of you, fearing exposure by them, or being overwhelmed by their perceived physical power. When these fears are not combated with the fear of the Lord, the consequences can be devastating. But when God is given his rightful place in our lives, old bonds can be shattered.
We are more concerned about looking stupid (a fear of people) than we are about acting sinfully (fear of the Lord).
Fear of people is often a more conscious version of being afraid of God. That is, we are more conscious of our fear of others than our fear of God. Granted, fear of others is a real phenomenon. We really are afraid of the thoughts, opinions, and actions of other people. But under that we hide as best we can the more desperate fear of God.
On one side, the fear of the Lord does indeed mean a terror of God (threat-fear). We are unclean people, and we appear before the Almighty God who is morally pure. We are rightly ashamed before Him, and punishment would be completely just… But at the other end…is a fear reserved exclusively for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. This fear of the Lord means reverent submission that leads to obedience, and it is interchangeable with “worship,” “rely on ,” “trust,” and “hope in.” Like terror, it includes a knowledge of our sinfulness and God’s moral purity, and it includes a clear-eyed knowledge of God’s justice and his anger against sin. But this worship-fear also knows God’s great forgiveness, mercy, and love. It knows that because God’s eternal plan, Jesus humbled himself by dying on a cross to redeem his enemies from slavery and death. It knows that, in our relationship with God, he always says “I love you” first. This knowledge draws us closer to God rather than causing us to flee. It causes us to submit gladly to His lordship and delight in obedience. This kind of robust fear is the pinnacle of our response to God.
This is one of the great blessings of the fear of the Lord. We think less often about ourselves. When a heart is being filled with the greatness of God, there is less room for the question, “What are people going to think of me?”
The fear of the Lord is knowing that I live coram deo, before the face of God. It is knowing that the Holy God sees every aspect of my life. The result is that we live knowing that we are seen. We live publicly, and follow Christ in joyful and reverential obedience.
The fact that God sees every aspect of our lives may, at first, leave us afraid and eager to hide from God rather than in awe, wanting to embrace Him. But the fear of the Lord makes us aware both of God’s holy purity and hatred of sin and His holy patience and forgiveness. When we remember both, we have no reason to run in fear, especially since there is no place to run beyond the gaze of God. Instead, as we look at the Lord, we see that He invites, cleanses, and empowers us to grow in holiness.
One of the problems with the perspective that addictions are a disease is that it leaves no room for this kind of fear of the Lord. A god who helps us to be strong in the face of illness is not the same as the God whose holiness reveals our sin, who shows us our desperate need for a mediator, restores our relationship with Him, and empowers us to live as holy children. Holiness is key. Without the knowledge of our Father’s holiness and our response of reverence, everything about God becomes ordinary.
A mature fear of the Lord is more akin to awe, devotion, and worship. It is a response that says, “Your glory is irresistible.” “In your presence, nothing else matters. You are all that I desire.” Furthermore, it is a response that is active. It does something. It is not simply a passive devotion; it follows Christ in obedience. It searches out His will and can’t wait to do it.
We don’t teach our children to fear a kind grandfather or Santa Claus, do we? Why then would we teach them to fear God? First of all, the comparison of God with grandfathers or Santa Claus is degrading nearly to the point of slander. As [D.A. Carson] notes, “The sentimental view generates a deity with all the awesome holiness of a cuddly toy.” Second, fearing God is not the same as being afraid of God. The person who fears God in the biblical sense is maintaining a humble reverence for His glory, majesty, dominion, and authority. The person who fears God recognizes that He is not only the Giver of all good things, but also the Lord of the universe and the Judge of sinners. He is the One who creates, and He is the One who has the power to destroy. He is the One who rewards, and He is the One who disciplines. Fearing God, in other words, is the sobering recognition that He is not to be trifled with.
The fear of God brings temporal and eternal benefits:
1. “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant” (Ps. 25:14).
2. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them” (Ps. 34:7).
3. “The Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:13).
4. “The Lord favors those who fear Him” (Ps. 147:11).
5. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7; 9:10).
6. “The fear of the Lord prolongs life” (Prov. 10:27).
7. “The fear of the Lord leads to life, that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil” (Prov. 19:23).
8. “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life” (Prov. 22:4).
9. As David says to the Lord, “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You” (Ps. 31:19).
Clearly, fearing God is to your great advantage.