I recently had a man who had been attending our services ask to meet with me. He had a question about the references in the Bible to having a fear of God.
Some people feel that their relationship with God is based upon them and their godliness. It depends upon them. And when they mess up, they hope God will forgive them. And they pledge to try harder. But then they mess up again.
That type of legalism only leads to fear; there can never be a real peace.
Others realize the truth that God has rescued them from spiritual death. They know that He loves them so much that He paid the necessary cost to prove it so.
And knowing this, they have a reverent fear. It is not a sense of fright; it is an awe based on the awareness of God’s love and their unworthiness. They have stopped to realize what their life would be if God had not saved them. They realize what might have been. They realize what should have been. And they realize what is.
And it awes them.