What is your definition of “fear”?  I won’t make your eyes start to roll by telling you Webster’s Dictionary Definition of “fear.”  I know there are different definitions.  I know I have a proper amount of a “fear” of spiders. I won’t run into the other room if I see one.  But, my rule is…if they are in my domain, I have the right to kill them.  I don’t want them to harm me or my family.

But “fear” is not just being afraid of something.  Sometimes to fear something means to hold it in awe or wonder.  Here is a passage for you from Proverbs 9:10 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

To have wisdom means to fear the LORD.  Of course, that doesn’t mean you run from him or try to hide from him. I could understand our sin would make us want to run or hide, but that is not what it means.  It means to have a proper respect and awe for the Great and Almighty God!

But, did you catch an important word?  The fear of the LORD is the BEGINNING of wisdom…(Emphasis added, obviously).  This is the BEGINNING of wisdom.  Just having a knowledge of God is great, but it isn’t the end.

Imagine if it were.  What would the word “fear” mean to you?  If all you knew about God was that he was holy and just and demanding us to be holy and just, how would you feel?  That is a different kind of fear!

I suppose you could say that is who God is.  He does demand us to be perfect and holy (i.e. Leviticus 11:45).  But, he is also wise and understanding.  He knows it is impossible for us to be perfect or holy. So, he gave us Jesus who was perfect and holy for us.

But, if you just stopped at having a knowledge of God and having a proper amount of fear of him, what would you know?  Would you know of his love?  Would you know of Jesus?  Would you know of sins forgiven? Would you know you have heaven?

I guess what I am saying is…don’t just stop at the beginning.  Grow your knowledge and understanding of God.  Take time out of your busy schedule to soak up the grace rain storm of God’s word.  He tells us that his word is like the snow and rain.  It doesn’t return empty but waters each soul it touches (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Spend some time in that word today.  There are so many who want to uproot that faith in your heart.  There are many in this world which want to dry it out and kill that faith.  Let God’s word do what it does – nurture that faith so you have a great understanding of who God is…your Father, your Savior, your Faith Creator and Strengthener.

Proper fear of the LORD is great.  But, don’t stop with fearing him.  Get to know him more each day.  Drench yourself in his word. If you do that, you will still have a great fear of him.  But, your fear (awe) of him will not be about his wrath and anger or demands.  Your fear (awe) of him will come from knowing how much he actually loves you!