‘The LORD confides in those who fear him;’ Psalm 25.14
The Living Bible phrases this so beautifully: ‘Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him.’
The idea of fearing God can be quite confusing since the Bible also commands us not to fear, so the term ‘reverence’ rather than ‘fear’ is helpful. If we fear something or someone we are giving reverence to it; in some way we are submitting to it and giving it authority over us. This is exactly what we are meant to be doing as far as God is concerned - but exactly what we should avoid as far as anything else is concerned! When we reverence something, either in a good or bad way, our attention is drawn to it so that it feeds us and we become even more aware of it. This is why God is able to confide in us when we give him reverence; because he has our attention, communication is bound to follow.
So how can we increase our reverence, or fear of God? In fact, there are many ways of doing this and anything that increases our vision of his greatness or his nearness will have this effect. For many people, it can be helpful to have a Bible verse or prayer running through their mind as often as possible. Some words that I love to use in this way are: ‘Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me’; ‘I bear your name, Lord God Almighty’, or even repeating the name ‘Jesus’.
Try it and you will find a new depth of the awareness of God in your daily routine.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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