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What Does It Look Like to “Fear the Lord”?

September 21, 2021

Proverbs 31:30

What Does It Look Like to “Fear the Lord”?

By guest writer, Katie Pearson

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” - Proverbs 31:30

This entire chapter is such a powerful testimony to what it’s like to live with our heart, mind, soul and strength focused on heavenly things. The Proverbs 31 woman has abundant energy, godly wisdom, healthy relationships, and an innate ability to steward all she has with joyful stamina and success. What is her secret? She “fears the Lord.” The woman we see here isn’t drawn out of bed at dawn by a worldly drive to amass wealth or status. She is moved by a deep devotion to the God who provides her with all she has and needs. She is motivated by love, gratitude, and a desire to give back.

We opened this week with a prayer to relinquish anxiety by focusing on what is eternal. While this is much easier said than done, this passage underscores that it is possible, and verse 30 shares how. Sadly, however, this verse is often misinterpreted to mean God is a punitive figure to be feared versus a Father to be loved. “Fear of the Lord” does imply God’s holiness and the importance of obedience to his Word. But it equally takes into account our absolute awe and ardent devotion when we truly understand that in his perfection he chose, redeemed and restored each one of us who chooses to respond by following Jesus.

Still wondering what it’s like to experience “fear of the Lord” in this regard? Consider the cross. Meditate on what Jesus did, in obedience to the Father, to return us to righteousness. Make this a regular practice so it can truly penetrate your soul. It’s breathtaking!

One of the most sure signs that the Proverbs 31 woman truly lived in fear of the Lord is found in verse 25: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Living in reverence certainly can lead to a relationally prosperous life, but more importantly it provides radical peace for the soul. In other words, it frees us from anxiety. When we pause regularly to remember who God is and what he has done for us, then we want to live his way. We trust him, obey him, and exchange worry for joy because we know who is in charge.

Sovereign Lord, please forgive me for resorting to my own strength in facing life’s problems. Today, yet again, I return to revering you above all that the world promises, beholding you, until I am transformed into the likeness of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


Related Resource:

Draw Near

Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!

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