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July 20, 2023

What It Means To Fear God

Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

–Psalm 100:3

God has a divine plan for everything. But we will never trust God’s plan until we understand that His timetable is eternal. Solomon understood this. He wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”

We have an innate understanding that this world is not all there is. But even though we know there is an eternity out there, we still have a hard time fathoming God’s plan. Why is that? Look at verse 14: “I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.” God refuses to give us an explanation for every horrible thing in life so we can learn to fear Him.

What does it mean to fear God? It is not cowering in terror; it is a reverential awe for God. A respect that leads not only to obedience but also to trust. A realization that God is God, and we are not. He is more powerful than we are, He is wiser than we are, and He has a plan, even though we cannot understand what that plan is. It is the same kind of respect for God you find in Psalm 100:3: “Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” When you have an awe, a respect, a reverence for God, only then can you really trust His plan.

A businessman was getting ready to board a plane, but he was fearful of flying. He was scared about the weather; he was scared that the plane might not be in good mechanical order. So he was telling the ticket agent that he might back out of the flight. Suddenly another man came up to the counter, and he explained to the businessman that there was nothing to fear–there would be no bad weather, and the plane was in good working order. The man listened to the stranger’s words and boarded the plane. What caused him to trust that stranger’s words? He was dressed in a captain’s outfit. And even though the businessman knew nothing about aerodynamics or meteorology, he trusted that the captain of the plane knew more than he did.

It is the same way with us. The key to trusting in God’s plan is to believe God is wiser than we are, that He knows the end result of our situation because He has planned the end result. A right relationship with God is key to trusting God’s plan.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Is God Really in Control?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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