My wife and I went through what I call the “Clumbsy Dance of Should I”. We were together in the same gospel group. Should I ask her on a date? The “How I met your mother” TV show postulated that in every relationship, one person is a “reacher”, and one is a “settler”. In that show, Marshall was upset to find out he was considered the “reacher”. In my case, I knew I was the “reacher.”
We started dating, and during that phase, I was fearful I would do something that would disappoint her. I was fearful because I wanted to please her. That is a simplistic example of the fear of God.
It can be confusing to read in Leviticus 19:14 or Job 28:28 to fear the Lord. In Psalms 111:10, it says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have a rich understanding. His praise endures forever!”
So, we’re not talking about the kind of fear a person typically experience when diagnosed with cancer. “Barnes’ Notes on the Bible,” says concerning the “fear of the Lord”, that it is the “fear of offending him, which will lead us to do right. This fear is not that of a slave; it is not mere dread; it is not terror. It is consistent with love, and springs from it. It is consistent with calmness of mind, and promotes it. It does not produce terror, but rather delivers from it, and preserves the mind from alarms.
God loves us. However, it’s futile to pray for wisdom if we don’t already hold in our hearts the fear that we will disappoint the LORD our God.