When you were a little girl, your fear might have been of the dark or the bogeyman under the bed. As adults, though, our fears morph from childhood imagination to things that could be real. Like the fear of what others think of us, or the worry that keeps us up at night.
Trillia Newbell believes that fear is an emotion that we feel in a number of ways. It can be paralyzing, controlling, and even motivating. She believes it also has the power to whisper lies to our soul about who God is.
Maybe you’ve wondered if you should be afraid of God. I’m grateful that Trillia Newbell came by today to share the answer with us. ~Suzie
What Is the Fear of the Lord?
I remember that as I learned about God’s sovereignty, I began to fear the Lord. I wondered if God was a tyrannical dictator and felt scared—maybe even terrified—as if God would rain down misery on my life, and I had no control over it.
I realize I am not alone with this struggle and misunderstanding of what it means to fear the Lord. But, thankfully, this isn’t what the fear of the Lord means at all. John tells us in 1 John 4:18-19:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
The fear that John is referring to here is the wrath of God or final judgment. My fear of the Lord was not rooted in thoughts of His love for me as His beloved daughter.
Rather, I approached Him as if the wrath that He poured out on His Son on my behalf was still reserved for me.
I had a difficult time reconciling the struggles and difficult circumstances I encountered with the love of God and instead feared that those struggles were indicators of His wrath.
Did I do something wrong?
No, this is not the way the Lord operates with those who love and fear Him. His wrath has been completely satisfied in Christ. He is loving and kind, slow to anger and abounding in love. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (Lamentations 3:22).
In our case, the fear of the Lord is to be understood as an awe and reverence of God, because we know that “the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:3). It starts in the heart. The outward expression is obedience and fellowship and worship.
The response to His awesomeness is to worship.
God’s not a dictator. He’s not ready to rain down misery on your life with one wrong move.
Instead, you can be in awe of Him. You obey and love Him, not out of a natural inclination to do good, but because you have His Spirit, and desire to honor Him.
That’s a beautiful reverance. A life changing reverance born out of relationship.
Maybe you’ve feared God when He’s asking for relationship instead. What might happen if He held out His hands and asked for that fear?
What would you say?
Today, Trillia Newbill has offered to give away one copy of her new book, Fear and Faith. Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Randy Alcorn and many others say it’s a book that we need to read.
This book takes you to the root of a particular fear and shares how to learn to trust and find truth and strength in your faith instead. Just leave a comment below to be entered to win Trillia’s new book, Fear and Faith.
You can also purchase Trillia’s book easily with this link. ~ Suzie
What do we need to do to win the copy? thanks for the chance.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us….do I fear because I do not trust?
The stronger our faith is, the less our fears control us…the more we trust…the less we fear… Praise God.
Appreciate any words that help me better understand the plans God has for me & the forgiveness he shares when I screw up.
Trillia, what a beautiful post encouraging us to find the peace our heart craves – looks like your book is a great read for sure!
Trillia, thank you so much for sharing. It reminds me of something that just recently happened to me, I was scared and feared God. I didn’t understand why he was asking me to do something I feared I would be wrong. I have learned that I need to just do what he tells me. Yes, I have feared (and still at times) the last time he asked me to do something really scared me, I did it as I told him I was going to obey him more even though I had my fear of being wrong, hurting someone.
I am in sales, every day I give myself to God letting him know I will do his will what ever it maybe. When I arrive at my booth I say another prayer over my 10 x 10 space. On May 2, 2015 (while in MI) I had noticed 2 women walking into my booth, that was already filled with about 20 others. I than heard “Let her know her husband will be fine!” These are the types of words I fear. I finished up where I was, walked over to the two women and started talking. In the process the younger woman wanted to buy her friend one of my Hip Klips. The older woman did not want her to as she (her friend) did not have any extra money and her mother had just passed 2 weeks before. I assured the older woman I would not allow her friend to buy her one. Her friend walk off to look at a few other designs, this left me in a very awkward position, I knew what I needed to tell her. As we were talking about my product I slipped in “I just wanted to tell you that your husband will be just fine.” “She turned her head and just glared at me, do you know me? How did you know my husband is sick? (in my head I was saying, God, please don’t let me be wrong. I was so scared. I really have ignored these requests from him in the past) I just repeated myself, this woman just reached out gave me a hug and cried. She than proceeded to tell me that two weeks ago, right after her friends mother passed, her and her husband informed that he had cancer. All I could do was cry and whisper in my head, God, now what? She asked me how I knew, I just explained that I just did. For her to not worry he would be fine.
We talked some more, than I told her I was going to give her a Hip Klip. She said “I didn’t ask you to!” I explained “I know, this is what I want to do for you.” During this time not one customer in my booth bothered us, in fact I turned around and my customers were all helping others and basically doing my job. Her friend purchased one, and again I told them both that they will always be in my thoughts and prayers. She came back to my booth before leaving letting me know that she really appreciated me letting her know about her husband, as she had been struggling with the Lord, she could not understand why? she was loosing faith. She said every time she uses this for sure, she will remember today and I was able to give her comfort in the Lord.
I believe that if he puts me in that situation again I will have fear, I do believe that now it wont be as bad, I also know, he would not have given me this gift if he didn’t want me to use it to be able to keep him alive in others. I am trying to always remember that moment when I have a ruff day. For God is able and I know that he would never ask me to do something I could not follow through with.
Thank you again Trillia again for sharing. Amen!
Thanks for sharing, I really needed this today!!
I love the Lord but still find myself fearful and anxious especially about my health. And then of course I feel bad for not trusting Him and resting in His love. I am going through a rough spell right now and hope reading your book would be helpful.
Yes, in awe of my Lord. Obedience comes easily when coupled with reverence and love. Such good words!
Beautiful. Thank you
Fear… I ask God to help me to remove my fears..
This looks like a book I need to read.
When I came to realize GOD IS LOVE and added that to the verses quoted I began to conquer my fears. There are still days when I take my eyes off Jesus or don’t spend time with Him that fear creeps in. I would love to win a copy of the book. I enjoyed the post. thanks!
What an interesting subject. We all have fears in our lives…at least I know I sure do! Healthy fear is good but I know I need reminders to bring it all to God.
Great post on differentiating the difference between being afraid of something vs. having respect and awe for something. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your book.
Linda N. You are the winner of today’s book. I’ll send you an email asking for your mailing address. Congrats!
Today talking to my mom than rereading this I also have a fear of my own fears. I catch myself fearing that my worst will come true. I ask God to help remove those fears, sometimes I feel as though my own thoughts of them is so strong I can’t see how to turn the fear around for good or to release it.
Beautiful post! May our faith increase to eradicate all fear!
Thanks for a great post about unhealthy fear and a respectful fear. “The response to his awesomeness is worship.” Yes!