Fear is a form of worship. To fear means to yield your will to the will of another. For example, if you just took money out of the bank to pay off the mortgage on your house, that would be your will. If someone holds a gun to your head and says give me your money or I will kill you, and you give the money to him, then you have yielded your will to that of another. You have feared the man with a gun and that is a form of worship. Again, if you do the will of God in preference to your own will when they are in conflict, you have yielded your will to God’s. You have both feared God and worshiped Him.
Here are important distinctions between worldly fear and the heavenly fear of God. There are two separate sensations one feels with the two different types of fear. When you operate out of the spirit of fear in the world you are acting out of a motive to control things. This is the opposite of operating out of heavenly fear when you are yielding your will in order to submit to God and give up control. People feel dread, anxiety, afraid, paranoia, unsafe, out of control, and rejection, when experiencing worldly fear. They even empower themselves with these different energies to make things happen the way they wish. When things start leading in a direction that is not the way they want things to happen, things start spinning out of their control. They start feeling anxious, afraid and nervous. Those feelings are produced because they are willing for things to go their own way yet they are not. It may seem as if a person in this state is a victim, but in reality they are being extremely aggressive releasing great personal power, which is incredibly discordant, trying to bend the direction of things into their own will. Thus they feel all the things described above.
Here is an example: when a person is dying and has no hope of life he is afraid because he is resisting his fate. However, the moment he comes to terms with the fact he is going to die—excepting it—he falls into a state of peace that washes away all fear. Quite often he has more peace about his death than his family members do.
There are different sensations associated with fear when one fears God, yielding his will to God’s. In every psalm that talks about fear of the Lord (of which there are many) it is associated with feelings of well being; safety; being protected by God; joy; peace, and tranquility. Just as in the case of the dying man, his acceptance and conformity to his fate, it follows that he is overwhelmed with an unexplainable peace, even joy.
People in the world, even Christians, are so familiar with the worldly kind of fear that they don’t even know that to fear God and let go of control will produce peace and joy in their own hearts. Many believe that to fear the Lord means they are afraid of Him and are in a state of dread. But this is not the case when we fear the Lord as the Bible admonishes us to.
However, this of course doesn’t mean we can’t experience dread because of God’s presences. For it says:
Job 26:11 The pillars of the heavens tremble and are astonished at His rebuke.