What Does It Mean to Fear God?


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)


Proverbs 1:7 tells us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” To fear the Lord doesn’t mean you cringe before God. That’s not the idea. The word for “fear” here means reverence. You’re to have reverence for the Lord—a holy respect for God.

Consider this example. An electrician needs fear of electricity if he is going to have a lot of longevity on the job. That doesn’t mean he trembles every time he goes to work. But it does mean he knows what’s in those wires. He has respect for that power. That’s the idea of the fear of the Lord.

And there’s no competition between fearing God and loving God. As a matter of fact, the man who fears God the most loves Him the best. It might be said that the fear of the Lord is love on its knees. The Bible says the fear of the Lord is clean. It is not a filthy fear; it’s a good fear. It’s a very productive fear.

  • What have you learned in your life about what it means to fear the Lord?
  • How is this different than other types of fear?


Ask God to give you a right fear of Him today, so you might grow both in reverence and love for Him.