That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. —Job 23:15
When you hear “fear the Lord,” you might picture hiding from the boogey man under the covers. I assure you, it’s not that.
We’ve talked about it numerous times on this journey and it appears over 300 times in Scripture. It could be its own yearly devotional! Fear of the Lord is essential to the success of a fruit-bearing Christian. But it has a little different meaning that back in Job’s day.
In Old Testament times, gods were to be feared. They had control over your life and death. (That still applies today.) I think that’s why Job, here in this verse, declared he was terrified. Isaiah, Ezekiel and the Apostle John had terrifying encounters with the Lord. Yet, in John’s case, the Risen Christ sets the tone for the believer when He puts His right hand on John, His hand of authority and power, to raise John up from his catatonic state.
That’s the point of having a fear of the Lord. We not only must respect and revere Him, we have to submit to His authority.
We start giving the Lord authority over our lives because we are commanded to do so. As we progress in the life of faith, we learn that He is trustworthy. As our relationship grows, we learn to appreciate, and then love the tender care of the Lord. We come to crave His authority over our own way because He is complete justice and purity. So we can trust Him to treat us not only fairly, but His interests are our best interests.
When we say we fear God, it means we have Him in the right place, on the throne of our hearts. We bow the knee to His Will. It isn’t an automatic fear, it is a learned response. My life continues to be a process of re-bowing my knees daily. I learn each time what giving Him the respect of following His authority looks like. It involves loving the Lord and doing His Will more than leaning on my own understanding of things.
My spiritual partner the other day shared this wisdom:
Our level of submission determines the level of authority that we walk in, which in turn gives us power over our carnal selves. The more Lordship we give over to the Lord in all aspects of our lives, the greater the submission, the greater the authority. Our authority power is such an important piece because it is our armor that we take up against the enemy’s blinding spirits so that we can knock down doors on the ‘hindrances’ preventing us to go further with Him.
Have you actively bowed to Christ’s authority over your life lately?
Mighty God — I surrender my life to you, again. I pursue my own understanding, ignoring Your gracious counsel. Forgive me and create a right spirit, a clean heart, in me. Don’t let me go any farther into this day without confessing Your way is greater than mine. Set me on the right path, full of Your grace and truth. Then I will be capable of greater things. I will overcome those issues that hold me back, by Your Holy Spirit’s power. Lives will be changed as a result and I am always and ever grateful. In Your Name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.