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?

Trillia Newbell

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.


fearandfaithMaybe 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