Ecclesiastes 12:13

In the sunset of his life, Solomon looks back on all that he had accumulated, all of his decisions both good and bad, and he says, “The end of the matter is this—fear God and keep His commandments.” Most of us think of fear as being terror, meaning that we run from God because He is a threat. Yet this is not the biblical meaning of the word.  True fear of God doesn’t mean we run from Him.  It means we run to Him. Ray Stedman once gave an acrostic to help us remember what is mean by the fear of God.  It involves:

Faith in His existence

The fear of God means that a person has faith in who God has revealed Himself to be.  It means that I have come to trust in His Word. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The fear of God begins with faith in who He is and that He exists.  The whole created universe around us shouts this! Next, it involves:

Experience of His grace

You can never properly fear God until you’ve learned for yourself what kind of God He is.  He is a holy God, yet One who is full of mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  His grace is available to us through Jesus Christ.  Psalm 34:8 invites us to taste and see that the Lord is good! The proper fear of God means that you come to Christ in faith, believing in His atoning death and resurrection. Then, notice it involves:

Awe of His majesty

True fear of God is reverential awe of His majesty as one considers His perfect wisdom and power.  To think that He upholds all things by His omnipotence.  To think that He is everywhere at the same time, and you can’t run from Him.  To think that He is the Source of all truth and knowledge and nothing is hidden from His omniscience. Last, the fear of God involves:

Resolve to do His will

To fear God is to obey Him, to keep His commands.  It is to love Him with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  Solomon says that the fear of God and obedience to His commands is the whole duty of man.  It literally reads in Hebrew, “the whole of man.”  Do you want to be a whole person, having the eternal void of your soul filled?  Then know that it can only be filled with the eternal Spirit and life of God. The ‘fear’ of the Lord involves faith, experience, awe, and resolve. This is where true wisdom begins.

For more, read Proverbs 1:1-7; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21