Going a little further about the fear of the Lord. While “fear” in the OT and NT primarily means “fear, terror, dread” (as mentioned in my post a couple of days ago), it is not a fear that cripples our relationship with God! In fact, it should strengthen our walk with God who is also our Friend! I spoke to a lady some 30 years ago who was struggling with her faith and relationship with God. She had been attending an AG church for some years and had a healthy walk with the Lord. One day, she met people from a new church then and was invited to their Bible studies. She was taught about the fear of the Lord in a way that caused her to be so scared of God that she stopped praying altogether! She no longer dared to approach her loving Heavenly Father! Over a long phone conversation and with the Lord’s help I was able to “detox” her and help her back to a healthy relationship with the Lord. I don’t know what she was specifically taught at the church Bible study group, but I do believe that when the fear of the Lord is emphasized without an emphasis on the friendship of God, a young believer could end up like that lady I spoke to. Friendship with God without fear of God leads to casual faith. Fear of God without friendship with God leads to crippled faith. Fear of God coupled with friendship with God leads to true faith!