You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. (Deuteronomy 13:4, NASB)
While many of the passages we have looked at describe what not to be afraid of, this verse tells us there is a Person to fear. All throughout the Bible we are called to fear the Lord. For example, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7); “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 10:12); etc.
The key to understanding the fear of the Lord is that this “fear” equals reverential awe. We are in awe of who God is, in awe of His power and might and the depth and breadth of His love. We are in awe of the grace of God and the wonder of God and the joy of God.
When you fear God alone and nothing or no one else, that is when you will experience the joy and freedom in Christ. When you recognize who God is, understand what He did in sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins and for mine on the cross, and then raised Him again three days later…it is powerful!! Nothing in this world compares to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ and making Him known. Paul says as much in Philippians 3:8 when he writes,
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
If we were to live in fear, or awe, of God and recognize the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, and if we were to consider as garbage or trash or rubbish all the things the world considers as success and worth and value, then life would look much different and honestly much better.
A life spent pursuing Christ instead of pursuing the passing pleasures of this world is a life well-lived.