Session Overview: Fear God
What does the bible mean when it tells us to fear God? Often we are told that it simply means to be in reverent awe or show respect to God. But is that all there is to it? When we look at the bible we see many instances of people who experience God in the fullness of his glory and they respond with absolute terror.
Francis Chan shared a story of when he was surfing and a huge wave overpowered him, and how he felt terrified as he tried to reach the surface of the water and catch a breath of air. We don’t always make the connection between this type of fear and the fear of God. Why is that? We all have different backgrounds and experiences with people, church, and God, and this often shapes our view of God. But in order to really understand who God is, we must begin by looking to the bible, for there we find words directly from God about himself.
In the book of Isaiah, the prophet tells of a vision given to him where his immediate response to being in the presence of God is an overwhelming awareness of his sin and shame. God is perfect and holy, and he has both the right and the power to destroy us in an instant. Yet because of his great love, he offers forgiveness through Jesus. Our relationship with God must begin with a fear of him that is rooted in the great chasm between his holiness and our depravity. But then he tells us, “do not be afraid.” The same God that could destroy us wants to give us the best life ever. All we have to do is trust in him and surrender our lives to him. Have you done this yet?
- How would you describe your view of God?
- What would make someone terrified in front of God rather than simply respectful?
- Read Isaiah 6. What does this chapter of the Bible teach us about God?
- Why would God tell us, “do not be afraid?”
- Read Romans 8:31-39. What reasons does Paul give for feeling secure in our relationship with God?
- Why is it important to fear God and also be comforted by his love?
- If you feared God, how would your life be different from someone who didn’t?