Fear the Lord … it’s for your own good!

fear the Lord

Deuteronomy 6:24  … “So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.

Hebrews 10:19-22; 26-27 … Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  

 … If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Fear is a great motivator.

Our most vivid memories are born in Fear. Adrenaline etches them into our brains. 1

Would a loving God use fear as motivation for us to not sin? Absolutely. God, Himself issued a warning to Adam and Eve soon after creating them.

Genesis 2:15-17 … The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Does using fear make Him any less loving? Of course not. Is a parent less loving because they tell the child not to touch the stove because they will burn their hand? No, it completely loving thing to do because they are protecting their child.

Like the child with the stove, we far too often are like that with lust. We know that if we look at images that we will suffer a consequence. Perhaps a guilty conscience, as mentioned above in Hebrews 10:22. Perhaps the repercussion will be getting caught and damaging our marriage, or losing a job because of it. Or the result could be the tarnishing of our good reputation in the community of God.

All of these outcomes are extremely undesirable, but there is one that it is worse than all combined. This outcome is a fracture in our relationship with God.

Isaiah 59:2 … your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

We can always repair our relationship by confessing, being repentant and humbling ourselves before the Lord.

1 John 1:9 … If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

But the real danger is in the persistent turning away from God and the thinking that we can do this again and again and seek forgiveness. This brings into question whether or not we are truly saved. For as we saw in the scripture reference above, Hebrews 10:26-27 … If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

So, how do we respond to the scriptural warning that God gives us? Do we learn from is, as God intends?

Psalm 111:10 … The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Do we realize that God has provided these warnings not to make us anxious, but rather to give us peace?

Proverbs 19:23 … The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

Isaiah 41:10 … fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Furthermore, do we understand that God wants to bless us through our fear of Him?

Psalm 128:1 … How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.

Or do we foolishly try and run from God? Deciding we are better left to our own devices and that we do not need a God who will not overlook our disobedience.

Jeremiah 17:13 … O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Christian, run to Him. He is full of mercy and love. He does wish to punish us for punishments sake, but rather He wants us to acknowledge the things we do that are wrong and change our way.

2 Peter 3:9 … The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


1 Robert Wilson, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-main-ingredient/200909/the-most-powerful-motivator


~ a BeFreeinChrist writing ~