When the Bible talks about the fear of God it does not mean to be terrified of His anger and punishment.
The “fear of God” means reverential awe. It means to be in awe of all that He’s done and all that He is. However, many of us live our lives with an unfounded fear of God. We have been taught to be terrified of Him. We believe that He is angry, vengeful and driven by emotions. This causes us to live defeated and depressed lives, because we believe that God is waiting to bring the hammer down on us as soon as we make even the smallest mistake.
When we believe these things about Him, we think that His love and grace are dependent upon our actions.
We think that we’re going to cause God to love or hate us based on how good or bad we are. This is a low and legalistic view of Him. However, these mindsets come from a place of not knowing or believing that God is our Heavenly Father.
When we’ve lived with the terrifying fear of God for so long, seeing Him as our Father can be difficult. It can also be a struggle to see Him as our Heavenly Father if we’ve had a difficult relationship with our earthly father. We have to realize that if God is a Father, then He must be a perfect Father. We can’t use our earthly experience to measure our heavenly Father.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11).
We must know that God’s plan and desires for us are always good.
First, we have to lay down our wrong beliefs about God. It doesn’t matter if they came from someone in the pulpit, or from our parents, or our friends. We must reject anything that contradicts the fact that He is a perfect, loving Heavenly Father. If we try to hold onto wrong beliefs about Him, we will never experience the fullness of His love.
When we realize that we are sons and daughters of God, then our relationship with Him will no longer be marked by condemnation and insecurity. We’ll walk confidently with our Heavenly Father knowing that He absolutely loves us and will only lead us to a good future.
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”(Galatians 4:6).