The Blessing of Holy Fear

This week began by praying, as a part of my regular prayer list, for the fear of the Lord for myself, my wife, and my three daughters. This caused me to consider, “What factors contribute to a healthy fear of God?” Firstly, one key to a healthy fear of God is a revelation of His Holiness. In the absence of this we tend to consider God to be much like we are, and this certainly diminishes our awe of Him. He is Holy, which literally means, “totally other than.” If the angels who see Him most closely perpetually declare “totally other than” concerning Him, how much more ought we realize that He is infinitely beyond our loftiest thought of Him (Revelation 4:8, Psalm 50:21). Secondly, we must cultivate an awareness of His justice. To rightly fear the Lord, we must consider our personal day of accountability in which we will each stand before God and be evaluated for every inconsiderate word (Matthew 12:36) and even the smallest act of kindness (Mark 9:41). Neither will be forgotten, both will have impact upon eternity in terms of reward or of suffering loss (1 Corinthians 3:15). Across our culture we see the consequences of lives that lack the fear of God. They are evident in the pursuit material gain, temporal pleasure, and by so many who carry a deep seated attitude of rebellion against authority. We ultimately do not honor parents or governments because we do not fear God (Romans 13:1). Last week, I welcomed my third little girl into the world, and so today as she is a week old, I am considering the future blessedness for her little life if bathed in prayer for the reverential awe and holy fear of God.

Here is how my family (and yours) will be blessed if we acquire a Holy fear of God: 

I. Intimacy & Affection: 

The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. – Psalm 25:14

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; – Psalm 103:11

II. Wisdom: 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. – Psalm 25:12

III. Provision: 

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. – Psalm 31:19

Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. – Psalm 34:9

IV. Protection: 

Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.  – Proverbs 14:26

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.  – Psalm 145:19


David was just a young shepherd boy, the youngest of eight sons, forgotten and unseen by his father.  It’s easy to imagine his days in the fields, silent and slow, in time with the steady rhythm of the sun across the sky.  But as he learned to shepherd his flock of sheep, David learned to tend the heart of God in the place of worship and adoration.

Even at a young age, his heart of extravagant devotion was beautiful before the Lord.  As David was serving faithfully in the wilderness, watching over his flock, God was removing Saul from the place of leadership and proclaiming through Samuel,  “The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you” (1 Samuel 13:14).  The Lord was looking for more than a king to command, He was looking for a king who championed His heart.  He found that in David.

David’s love for God was cultivated in the secret place, the wilderness.  There is nothing that confronts the tantalizing pull of ambition and recognition like the hiddenness and obscurity of the secret place.  As worship leaders, the wilderness is God’s grace to us.  It is our chance to live before an audience of One, to learn that His approval really is always enough.

The wilderness is also our opportunity to perfect the most precious gifts that we can offer to the Lord. These gifts are 1) a sincere heart, 2) listening ears, and 3) a steady gaze.

The one who embraces these values has embraced the spiritual posture of a prophetic worshipper.  The one who lives these values is on a collision course with God Himself, for God cannot resist the lovestruck heart that is fully dependent, leaning into His will and seeking His face.

As we cultivate these three simple but potent values, we will learn to tend the heart of God through awe and wonder.

The Three Values of a Prophetic Worshiper

1.   A Sincere Heart

1 Samuel 16:17 “Do not look at this appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

2.   Listening Ears

Psalm 130: 5-6 I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

3.   A Steady Gaze

Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.”