One time, and one time only, I thought I was going to die in the presence of the Lord.
It was during a powerful worship encounter at Fuse Church, and I wrote about it here. Obviously, though, I didn’t die … but I did learn something about the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve been slowly getting to know the Holy Spirit better. We’ve looked at the fact that He is God, how good and generous He is, and how to get the Holy Spirit. Then we started to learn about His character by studying the sevenfold manifestations of the Holy Spirit prophesied by the prophet Isaiah.
Today, we’re going to learn how the Holy Spirit reveals Himself as the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.
As a reminder, our text for this series is Isaiah 11:1-5, which says:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
but with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
and faithfulness the belt of His waist” (Isaiah 11:1-5).
First, we need to understand what the “fear of the Lord” is NOT.
There is a certain kind of fear which dominates many people’s lives. Many people suffer from an unholy, demonic fear–the demonic fear that can only be cast out by an infilling of the Father’s love. This unholy fear is the kind of fear that binds you in chains. It keeps you from having relationships or receiving love. It makes you think the hammer of rejection, abandonment, other people’s bad opinions, physical danger, etc is always about to fall.
If you have this unholy fear in your heart, you need to be healed of it. It is not Papa’s will for your life. First John 4:18 tells us so specifically:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
We need to be filled with our Papa’s love in order to be freed from unholy fear.
But fortunately for us, we can be filled with love. When we made Jesus Christ our Savior, the Father adopted us and made us His own children. Because we have been adopted, now we can live forever in Father’s love because of the blood Jesus shed for us. That’s why 1 John 3:1a says:
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
So because we dwell in God’s perfect love, we do not have to fear our Father with an unholy, demonic fear.
We do not have to fear punishment or rejection from Him. We do not have to fear His anger. Of course, if we disobey Him, there are always consequences; but He is a good, good Father who loves us. He shows mercy, forgives us, and teaches us–even when we choose to suffer a few consequences as we learn to become like Him.
But we do need to be filled with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. Here’s why:
- Our God, Yahweh, is the Creator of the ends of the earth.
- He sits on a living throne in an eternal Heaven.
- He has lived since eternity past and He will go on living into eternity future. Time has no bearing on Him.
- He exists everywhere at once.
- He is all-knowing and all-seeing.
- He is great, powerful, the only wise God.
- His throne is the governmental center of the universe.
- He is surrounded by creatures and angels which never cease to cry out “Holy!” day and night.
- His eyes burn with fire and His feet are like burning brass. His hair is white as wool.
- Millions and millions of angels worship Him and obey His bidding. Just one of those angels was capable of killing 120,000 people in one night in the Bible.
Our God is awesome. He is terrible. He is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The word “fear” in Isaiah 11 means to have a holy fear and reverence for the Lord.
It means that the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in us by giving us the holy fear and reverence for the Lord that we ought to have. It is a holy awe. It is a knowing of His terrible-ness, but also of His love.
The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord gives us a holy fear and reverence that brings delight to our hearts, even though we know our Father is so great that someone who is not covered by the blood of Jesus would die in His presence.
And when we are filled with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, things change in our lives:
- We find ourselves obeying Him, just because He speaks.
- We find ourselves seeking Him, because His beauty and holiness inspire such awe in our hearts that we cannot not pursue encounters with this One.
- We learn to come to Him as students, seeking His instruction and accepting His Word as fact in our lives.
In short, the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord gives us the reverence toward God that will keep us on the straight and narrow path. When the Holy Spirit teaches us the terrible fear of the Lord, we reverence Him, stand in awe of Him, fear Him in a holy way–and delight in Him, all at the same time.
Do you need to be filled with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord today? Pray this with me:
Heavenly Father God, in Jesus’ name, I thank You for Your Holy Spirit who lives in my heart. Father God, please let the Holy Spirit manifest Himself to me as the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord today. Fill me with the holy awe and reverence for You that I should have. Help me to hold a holy fear of You in my heart–the kind of loving fear that causes me to obey You, cherish You, and bow to You in all things.
Father God, I am Yours completely. Please let the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, do such a work in my life today that I never again hold You lightly or in low esteem. Let me never again disrespect or disobey You, but always yield to Your sovereignty and kingship. Thank You, Papa God. I love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.