As we continue to look at the Fear of the Lord, the following illustration is of note. Back in 1994, there was a very famous television evangelist who was in prison; his name is Jim Bakker. Jim Bakker had the largest Christian television network in the whole world, but he got caught up in fraud, and adultery. The government prosecuted him for the mail fraud he committed, and he was thrown into jail for five years. John Bevere visited him while in prison. This was part of the conversation they had.
After he had talked for a while, I felt like I wanted to ask him some questions. The first question I asked was, “Jim, when did you fall out of love with Jesus? When did you stop loving Jesus? Was it when you committed adultery with Jessica Hahn seven years before you got thrown into prison? Was it the fraud? When did it really happen?” Because I remember he was so on fire for God in the earlier years. He looked at me and said, “John, I didn’t.” I said, “What do you mean, you didn’t?” He said, “I didn’t fall out of love with Jesus; I loved Him all the way through it.” And then he saw total bewilderment on my face. I said, “What do you mean?!” He said, “John, I loved Jesus, but I didn’t fear God.” There are millions of Christians in America who love Jesus but don’t fear Him, and it is the fear of the Lord that perfects holiness in our life.” 1
In today’s blog, we continue to look at the Fear of the Lord in our everyday life.
The Fear of the Lord is Also a Manifestation of the Spirit
- Note the phrase ‘fell upon’ or ‘came upon’ in the following verses.
1 Samuel 11:1–7 (AV)
1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. 2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel. 3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee. 4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept. 5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
Why the Fear of the Lord Fell
- Jabeshgilead was a town in Manasseh.
- Nahash covenantal condition was the ‘cutting out the right eyes’ of the men of Jabeshgilead.
- Sounds extremely coarse for a modern-day reader.
- But, the purpose of this condition is clear; to militarily render the archers of Jabesh ineffective.
- Gibeah of Saul is the tribe of Benjamin.
- So, Manessah turns to his brother Benjamin for help in verse four.
- The Spirit of God comes upon Saul and, by the power of the Spirit, he cuts up an ox and sends to all the brothers of Israel in verse six.
- When he did this, the fear of the Lord fell upon Israel.
- A reverence for God fell upon the people.
- Notice the phrase ‘fell upon’ in verse seven.
- It is the same language as the Spirit of God coming upon Saul in the previous verse.
- If this fear fell upon them, it must have come from somewhere, right?
- It did.
- It came from heaven.
- So, the fear of the Lord falling upon people then is a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, as well as a personal point of reverence.
Jehosaphat and the Fear of the Lord
2 Chronicles 19:4–7 (KJV)
4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers. 5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. 7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
- Jehosaphat said to the judges whom he set up in the land to judge the people city by city ‘Wherefore let the fear of the Lord be upon you.’
2 Chronicles 17:10 (KJV)
10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
Asa and the Fear of the Lord
2 Chronicles 14:12–14 (KJV)
12 So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil. 14 And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them.
- Asa defeated the enemies of Israel with the help of the fear of the Lord falling.
- There are many manifestations of the Spirit.
- But, the most familiar is in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve.
- Many are familiar with tongues, interpretation of tongues, the simple gift of prophecy and healing.
- But, in actuality, there are others.
The Fear of the Lord in the Early Church
Acts 5:5,11 (AV)
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Acts 9:31 (AV)
31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
The Fear of the Lord and the Anointing
- Why is this manifestation of the Spirit important?
- Because it connects the Fear of the Lord to the anointing.
Acts 2:41–43 (AV)
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
- Notice the four elements to the realm of the miraculous
- Breaking of bread
- These four elements added together with the fear of the Lord equals wonders and signs according to this verse in Acts.
Call to Action:
You will find that as you engage this subject, your love for and passion will increase. There is about reverencing God, and honoring Him with your life that brings a sense of closeness between you and Him. Meditate on these points. Turn them over and over in your mind and heart and you will see an impact in your everyday life.
Question: What personal act of devotion did you engage in with respect to God that brought an increased sense of reverence into your life? Please share that with us in the comments section below.
- John Bevere, “The Key to God’s Storehouse,” in Select Teaching Series from John Bevere (Palmer Lake, CO: Messenger International, 2011). ↩