Fear of the Lord

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The Constant Conscious Presence of God

Posted by on 12 Nov 2010 | Tagged as: Abiding in Christ, Fear of the Lord, Oswald Chambers

God’s Presence

For in him we live and move and exist.

Acts 17:28 NLT

The constant conscious presence of the Lord creates a healthy fear of God. The fear of God is a silent wonder, a radical amazement, and an affectionate awe of a God who became incarnate in human flesh, died in our place, and rose again. This fear is not a fear of punishment, but the dread of hurting or breaking God’s heart by disappointing his plans for us. The fear of the Lord is an awareness that God is present always and that we are conscious of the fact that he is watching us (Prov. 1:7, Psa. 33:18).

The fear of the Lord begins with the revelation that God is all-knowing, God is all-powerful, and God is everywhere present. He knows all that we do. Nothing misses his vision. He is powerful and he can affect anything and everything that we do. God is everywhere. He is always involved in our lives. God never sleeps, he is never caught off-guard, and never surprised by our words, choices, and actions. When we recognize that God is constantly present, we become conscious of his power, grace, and love.

Godliness is God-consciousness, an all-pervasive sense of God’s presence. It will mean that never do we think, or speak, or act, without the undergirding sense of God’s presence, of his judgement, of our relation to him and his relation to us, of our responsibility to him and dependence upon him.

John Murray, The Collected Writings of John Murray (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1976–1982), 1:183.

HT: Miscellanies

The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord.”

Oswald Chambers, Run Today’s Race : A Word from Oswald Chambers for Every Day of the Year, electronic ed. (London: Oswald Chambers Publications Association, 1968).

The Fear of the Lord

Posted by on 22 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Fear of the Lord

A Fear That Leads to Holiness

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Prov. 1:7

The fear of the Lord is a silent wonder, a radical amazement, and an affectionate awe of a God who became incarnate in human flesh, died in my place, and rose again. This fear is not a fear of punishment, but the dread of hurting or breaking God’s heart by disappointing his plans for me.

We exhibit the fear of God by submitting to his lordship, yielding to his Word, and honoring delegated authorities. We fear the Lord by maintaining a constant conscious awareness of His presence–we are always aware that God is watching our actions, attitudes, and actions. This fear is not a fear of retribution or punishment, but a deep heart-felt desire to walk in holiness and obedience to God’s Word (Prov. 1:7, Psa. 33:18).

The fear of God which is the soul of godliness does not consist, however, in the dread which is produced by the apprehension of God’s wrath. When the reason for such dread exists, then to be destitute of it is the sign of hardened ungodliness. But the fear of God which is the basis of godliness, and in which godliness may be said to consist, is much more inclusive and determinative than the fear of God’s judgment. And we must remember that the dread of judgment will never of itself generate within us the love of God or hatred of the sin that makes us liable to his wrath. Even the infliction of wrath will not create the hatred of sin; it will incite to greater love of sin and enmity against God. Punishment has of itself no regenerating or converting power.

The fear of God in which godliness consists is the fear which constrains adoration and love. It is the fear which consists in awe, reverence, honour, and worship, and all of these on the highest level of exercise. It is the reflex in our consciousness of the transcendent majesty and holiness of God. It belongs to all created rational beings and does not take its origins from sin.

John Murray, Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,1957), 236-37.

HT: The Reformed Reader