“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.” Isa. 11:2 NKJV
True love and true fear of God are revealed and experienced through the Holy Spirit. God’s love is the power and motivation to do His commandments and God’s fear is the ability to understand and walk in His righteous judgments, His commandments, and reject our fleshly decisions.
Like a protective wall the fear of God keeps us walking on the right path. The joy of a clean heart does not come from our own self it comes from experiencing God’s joy when we walk in His love fulfilling His commandments.
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10-13)
The fear of God leads to obedience of God, which gives us confidence in our heart before Him. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (I John 3:21-22)
Walking in the fear of the Lord causes us to walk in righteousness, experiencing the joy of a right relationship with our God. “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalms 32:11)
The Bible tells us that we perfect holiness in the fear of God. “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
It is by God’s grace and mercy that He adopts us to be His Children, and we accept Him as our Father as we acknowledge our need for His mercy. Just as with a good earthly father, his children both love and fear him, the combination of this love and fear causes the children to walk in obedience. The love and fear of the Lord is also needed in our lives to bring about spiritual maturity so that we will fully reject sin and cling to the One we love.
“Sin has been paid for by loving-kindness and truth. The fear of the Lord keeps one away from sin.” (Proverbs 16:6 NLT)
People who study human behavior know that the most powerful way to control behavior is with a combination of positive and negative reinforcement, which is reward and punishment. God cares about us and our behavior that is why the Bible is full of positive and negative reinforcement like this passage; “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life…..” (Deut. 30:19-20 NLT)
Your heart is directed toward the one that you fear and your loyalty is given to the one that you fear. When you fear God you do not fear man and when you fear man you do not fear God, you choose whom to fear.
“Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:29-33)
Jesus taught us to fear God and not man. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:28-33 NKJV)
The fear of God comes from the knowledge of God which is from knowing God. The Bible also tells us that the beginning of wisdom and knowledge is the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10 NKJV)
As God’s presence is revealed to us physically and spiritually we stand in awesome respect of His power and majesty.