It cannot be avoided but some “Authorized version” phraseology get lost in modern translation. Perhaps one such term is “Godly fear”.
To the modern christian to whom God is all love, fearing Him is incomprehensible. Maybe if we substite “reverence” instead it may go some way to explain it. It carries with it a sense of awe of the divine majesty.
However we cannot dispense with the word “fear” as much as some would like to.
The unrepentant sinner has every cause to fear and be afraid of God. He remains under judgement for sin and the eternal consequences of rebellion. It is when he responds to the gospel call and repents that he sees God in all His’ beauty.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Prov 9:10
Has the christian no cause to fear? In the scriptures “the fear of the Lord” is ever the mark of the believer.
“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.” Acts 9:31
” Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. “1Peter2:17
Do we fear displeasing God? if so it is because of our love for our Heavenly Father. Does God’s fatherly love means sometimes He chastises his’ children, then let us fear disobeying Him.
It came direct from the mouth of our gentle Saviour
Luke 12:4-5 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
If we run to Him we are not likely to need to run away from Him.
2 Cor.5:11 “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.”
The actor James Stewart valued his’ privacy greatly. A family hoping to see him but having no luck set up a picnic on his’ front lawn. Stewart quietly turned the lawn sprinkler system on.
God ,while being invisible, holy and exalted, still has an open door for all who come to Him.
Up and doing
Joseph Alleine was a puritan minister and among other works wrote the well known at the time “Alarm to the unconverted”. He was a stickler for getting to his’ duties early.
“Alleine would often rise early in the morning, lamenting that others were already at work before he prayed to his Master. His wife commented that he “would be much troubled if he heard smiths or other craftsmen at work at their trades, before he was at communion with God: saying to me often, ‘How this noise shames me! Doth not my Master deserve more than theirs?’” Alleine would customarily have private devotions and meditation upon God from 4 to 8 A.M.”
We can all take a leaf from his’ book and be early about our master’s business. This is not to be limited to “spiritual” things but our every day work and interactions can be done as “unto the Lord”.