As a kid growing up, did you try to satisfy your parents? Many of us strove to bring them satisfaction by getting good grades in school or by displaying proper behavior. However there were some who sought to bring satisfaction by engaging in activities that interested a parent. I wonder how many boys have played ball as a means of satisfying their father. Their reasoning may have been since baseball means everything to him, then if I am good at baseball, I too will mean everything to him. That situation or anything similar to it is a sad state to be in. Thanks be to God that we do not need to live in that manner to be pleasing to our father in Heaven.
What brings pleasure or satisfaction to God is when we fear him. Fearing him and being afraid of him are not the same thing. When we fear him, we have great respect for him. Many men enjoy hunting and when they do, they have great respect for the rifle or shotgun in their hand. They recognize that it is not a toy, but something to be feared. Those who enjoy cooking recognize that the stove or any other appliances can be very helpful, but at the same time can be dangerous and cause great harm if not used carefully.
I first recognized this term when I worked at a steel mill in eastern Pennsylvania. While making steel, there were times when additional scrap metal or ingredients needed to be added to the furnace. For this to occur, a mechanical arm would remove the top of the furnace similar to removing the top from a pot on the stove. When ingredients were added to the molten mixture, flames would shoot 50-60 feet in the air. It was a dangerous time. As a safety precaution, each time the lid was removed an extremely loud siren would blast through the building. When I heard that sound, I would immediately stop what I was doing and check my location to where the furnace and crane would be. It was a moment of fear, but I was not afraid. In fear of the situation, I took precautions to make sure my actions would keep me safe.
We can fear The Lord by following the same precautions. As situations arise in life, we need to step back and take a moment to recognize God’s voice and to gain his perspective as to how we should act or respond to those circumstances: to make sure that the action we do will be safe or pleasing to him. When we do, we are fearing The Lord. God does not want us to be afraid of him. He wants us to love him. However, he does want us to fear or respect him each moment of our daily lives. It is at that moments when we fear him that our lives are pleasing to him.