July 21: “Enjoying the Lord in Fear and Fellowship”

7 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Chronicles 4:1–6:11
Romans 7:1-13
Psalm 17:1-15
Proverbs 19:22-23

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Proverbs 19:23 (NLT): “Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.”

Reflections from Scripture:

My family visited the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona four years ago. 

The sites were incredible! And pictures don’t do it justice. It’s just too massive to capture in a photo. So that’s why I took a video to help those who have never been there to experience it. (Click ‘play’ on the following 1:32 minute video.)

Virtually everyone would agree that the Grand Canyon is breathtaking. It is ruggedly beautiful!

But, part of the experience is fear. It is beautiful, but it isn’t to be trifled with. An average of 2-3 people falls to their death each year. But, as long as you respect the rules of gravity, your heart may race, but you will be free to enjoy the experience.

That is something of what the “fear of the Lord” is like. It is an experience of Almighty God Himself. But, included in that experience is a healthy fear. Experiencing God is what our souls long for, it brings us our greatest joy, but He isn’t to be trifled with. However, as long as we abide by the rules He has laid down before us, we are free to enjoy the experience.

So, what does the fear of the Lord lead to?

Proverbs 19:23 (NLT): “Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.”

Simply stated, when we are enjoying our God, our soul is being satisfied with Him, and our healthy fear of Him motivates us to comply with His commands. The results will be that we are free to enjoy the one life He’s given us. Our conscience will be clear, and we will be able to rest in the fact that He’s got everything under control. Even when bad things happen to us, we know that it had to be permitted by Him before it got to us.

Friend, the fear of the Lord is where it all begins (see Proverbs 9:10). When we get this right, everything else will start to fall into place.

And, finally, realize that we ultimately cannot consistently obey God’s commands. Daily, we break God’s laws. And this is not a trivial thing because our God loves holiness and must punish lawbreakers. So, we rely upon what Jesus has done on our behalf on the cross. We trust in Him, not ourselves, to ultimately make us right in God’s eyes. Then, motivated by love and gratitude, we comply with God’s commands.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me develop a biblical view of who You are as I spend much time in Your Word. I want to enjoy a relationship with You. Yet, in that relationship, I want to have a holy fear of You. So I am praying for the ability to have a sacred respect for You while enjoying Your presence. And I realize that this is so important because if I can get this right, so much else will simply fall into place. I pray this prayer in Your Name. Amen. 


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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