Okay. You may be wondering about this post's title. As you may or may not know, "phobia" means fear. There is zoophobia (fear of animals) ; entomophobia (fear of insects); and the ever-popular claustrophobia (fear of closed in places). What about Deophobia?
Let the "huh?'s" begin!
Okay, I'm not sure if it's a word or not (My spell checker is going crazy over here!) , but take "phobia" ("fear of") and stick a Deo or Deus in front of it. (Deus, Deo means "God" in Latin) So, deophobia means "Fear of God". Voila! Abracadabra! A New Official GoMC word! But wait, what does the fear of God mean? Does it mean we should be afraid every time lightning strikes, wondering if He's mad at us and wants to strike us dead? Does it mean we should be superstitious people?
I was privileged to hear our pastor at my church speak about this as I've been writing this (It's taken several weeks!) and I learned a lot to apply in my little ole life. Most of this listed are my notes from the sermon and thoughts that I took from it.
Anyways, let's dig deeper into those Bibles and take a closer look, shall we?:
"You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!"
Ps 22: 23
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
Now what is the fear of the Lord?
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 8:13 KJV
So, according to this verse, fear of the Lord is hating sin. But there's more.
The fear of the Lord is reverence, obedience, and awe due him as the King of Kings. He is our Friend, but he is also a just King. He is our Father. The fear of God is not like a deer's fear of being shot by the hunter, it is rather a fear of reverence, love, and hope such that a child has for their father or someone who would have lived in the times of old might have had for their king.
I looked up "Fear of the Lord" in wikipedia and here's what I got that was so beautifully put:
"The Problem of Pain and states that fear of [God] is not a fear that one feels for a tiger, or even a ghost. Rather, the fear of [God], as C.S. Lewis describes it, is one filled with awe, in which you "feel wonder and a certain shrinking" or "a sense of inadequacy to cope with such a visitant of or prostration before it". It is a fear that comes forth out of love for the Lord."
I'll give an illustration to give an example about it.
You walk down the halls of your school. You see two groups of people. A group of loud guys in football uniforms thundering down the hall and a group of giggling, gossiping girls fill the hall trampling stray candy wrappers and freshman. A teacher comes out of the teacher's lounge and starts up the hall, looking around with a raised eyebrow. Both groups quiet and slow down acting cool and totally innocent.
So they acknowledge that the teacher is the higher authority over them and know that they would be in trouble if the teacher saw them being loud and trampling others. As evil as some teachers may seem, they really want the best for you and only discipline for the good of the school and student body.
The fear of the LORD is acknowledging that He's always there. He is, and we don't always remember or realize. Think about it. Would you always do what you do if you were always aware that you are in God's presence?
"Well," you may ask, "How am I supposed to do that? How am I to fear the LORD?"
Do not fear, there are several things.
1. Fear the LORD by always keeping in mind WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).
~Though, it's an overused phrase and is often used lightly, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true! What would Jesus do in the same situation that you are in? If you answered "The right thing" you are correct! It's hard, but just keep at it!
2. Fear the LORD by honoring the people he puts in authority over you.
~Another toughie, I'll admit. I myself have been struggling with respecting and dealing with those put above me. We need to recognize that God already knows who is above us. He is the one who appoints our leaders from our parents to our teachers even to the government. If we disrespect our leaders and insult them, we are then insulting and disrespecting God.
3. Fear the LORD by acknowledging his knowledge.
~Wow. This list of stuff looks as big as Mt. Everest, doesn't it? As a teen, I often find myself thinking only about me. My situations. My problems. My broken friendships. I forget that God has a plan in my life and knows what I did or ever will do. God's in control over my life, and yours too! Everything from when you were first conceived, to your death, and beyond! When you feel down, look back! Look back at all the things God has done and worked miracuously in your life!
4. Fear the LORD by acknowledging your weakness
~As much as we hate to admit, we don't know everything. Not all of us specialize in rocket science or brain surgery...or people. We are humans, inperfect beings created by a perfect God. As the old sunday school song goes, "We are weak, but He is STRONG!"
5. Fear the LORD by studying God's character.
~Look at the verse that I put in this post earlier (Proverbs 9:10) It is pretty straightforward, right? Learn more about God! He wants you to! Get into that favorite chair, crack open that Bible, get out a notepad and write what you learn! What you may find helpful is to highlight anything about God's character in a highlighter as you go through your reading of the Bible. It's hard to get quiet, get alone, and get focused on God and his Word. But, guess what? We can do it!
*starts playing "We Can Do It!" from Disney's "Cinderella".*
Well, I'd better run off to Latin class! Time to practice putting #2 into practice! :D