Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.

Psalm 95:6–7

I am sure that you have heard a lot of teaching on fearing the Lord. I do believe in a reverential honor of the Lord. But I am not for any kind of teaching that promotes this idea that God wants you to be afraid of Him. God delights in having us close to Him. He welcomes us to dwell in His secret place, to be so close to Him that we come under His shadow. These are all pictures of intimacy. In any relationship, fear and intimacy cannot coexist. If you fear God today, you won’t be able to believe Him for His protection. That is why it is so important for you to be strong and established in His grace.

The author of the book of Hebrews says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). This is a picture of the ark of the covenant, God’s throne of grace. Because our Lord’s blood has been shed on the mercy seat, today, we can come boldly into His presence without any sense of inferiority or shame, and receive His favor, His supply, His protection, and His help in our time of need.

Jesus defined the fear of the Lord as the worship of the Lord. In the wilderness temptation, Jesus responded to the devil by saying, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Matt. 4:8–10). Our Lord was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13, which says, “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him.” Our Lord substituted the word “fear” with the word “worship.”

Jesus was showing us how to accurately understand the fear of the Lord. In the new covenant, it has nothing to do with being afraid of the Lord; it has everything to do with coming into His presence with boldness and worshiping Him. Stop living in fear, my friend. Instead, follow our Lord wholly like Caleb did and worship His wonderful name. The prayer of protection in Psalm 91 is a psalm of worship. When you worship Jesus, all your fears will fade away. When you worship Him, the angel of the Lord encamps around you like a shield of protection. When you worship your Savior, His Spirit of wisdom and counsel will lead and guide you with rivers of peace!