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Feb 10, 2019

The Fear of God

The Fear of God

Speaker: Dr. Bobby Hill

Series: Other

Category: Sunday Morning

God desires that our hearts would be inclined to fear Him. What is a healthy, growing fear of the Lord?

Growing in the Fear of the Lord

In life, there are two kinds of fear: healthy and unhealthy fear.

Unhealthy fear is a foe; it’s harmful. Ex. fear of failure, fear of rejection, paralyzing fear, fear that keeps us from taking risks.

Healthy fear is a friend; it’s beneficial to us. Ex. fear of snakes causes us to stay safe.

II Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.   

This message is focused on what God wants for us - to have a healthy, growing fear of the Lord.

Deut. 5:29 Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and to keep my commandments always.

Listen to the tune of God’s heart – He desires that our hearts would be inclined to fear Him. The sequence: God wants our heart first and then obedience. 

Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. 

Churches grew walking in the fear of God and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Two keys to a growing church (it’s like having 2 hands):  one is walking and the other is the comfort of Holy Spirit. A healthy church will be both growing in the fear of the Lord and at the same time be comforted by Holy Spirit. God wants us to grow personally and as a church.

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain.

Ps 147:11 The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.


A definition of the fear of the Lord is to have a profound sense of awe toward God! Reverential awe = deep-seated respect + admiration + amazement. A reverential awe at that level is only desired by God. It’s like when we look at the sunrise and we run out of words. You know you are on the way to burnout when you lose the sense of awe about God and His creation.

Another definition: The fear of God is an awesome respect and reverence that grows out of the understanding of the greatness and power of God.

To say we fear God does not mean we are afraid of God. CS Lewis captured a great picture of who Jesus is – he portrays Jesus as a Lion. He describes him as a figure that is fierce and powerful and yet loving. People were afraid he would turn and look at them and yet they wanted him to look. They ask, “Is the lion safe?” The answer, “Who said he was safe? Of course, he is not safe but he is good.” If we can grasp that image of God and have that respect, then we can appreciate the true fear of God. 


  • Because it’s a command. Josh 24:14; I Peter 2:17;  Ecc 12:13
  • Because it pleases God. Psalm 147:11 God delights in those who fear Him. Aim to please God every day! Ask - How can I live my life to please You, my heavenly Father? Everything should be done to please God.
  • Because of God’s character. Job 37:22-24 Because of the greatness of God. Because of Who He Is! If we understand His nature, then we’ll fear God the right way. God is Good. He is Great! He is Awesome. All-powerful. Nothing is too difficult for Him. He is Sovereign, Holy, Perfect, Wise, Loving . . .
  • Because of Christ’s example. Isaiah 11 describes Jesus as our example and He has the Holy Spirit in fullness and He also delights and finds pleasure in fearing the Lord. He had a healthy awe for His Father. So should we.
  • Because it is the foundation for living. Prov 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. We need the right fear underneath us – our foundation for life. 


We can expect these if we’re growing in the fear of the Lord.

  • Correct Conduct. 2 Cor 7:1 Cleansing ourselves from carnal activities, of demonic activities. The fear of the Lord causes you to rethink the way you live, to desire to be clean, to think right. It will affect the choices I make.
  • Captivating worship. Heb 12:28-29 Offer to God acceptable worship – reverence and awe.
  • Countless Blessings. Ps 31:19 Blessings are stored up for those who fear You.

The fear of God is the only fear that will remove all other fears!!!

The problem today is the separation between man and God caused by sin. Faith in Jesus Christ removes that separation. We need to have a heartfelt faith – to know that we are faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Meet Jesus today and be a fearful follower of Jesus. 

Does the fear of God dominate my thinking?

Read Deut 5:29 in other versions. What words are different?

How can you search for the true nature of God so that you will grow in the fear of the Lord?

Do we fear society more than we fear God?