God Can Kick Your Butt (or a Sobering Look at the Fear of the Lord)

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God Can Kick Your Butt

The conventional teaching on “the fear of the Lord” is that it doesn’t mean “fear” or “terror” or any other form of definition where one would actually be “afraid” of our Creator. I believe this teaching to be complete garbage and here’s why.

Let us look at a well-known verse.

Psalm 111:10
The fear [yir’ah – H3374] of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Before you go any further, check out the Strong’s definition for the Hebrew word “yir’ah.”

While the Strong’s entry says that “fear” can mean “respect or reverence,” it obviously means a whole lot more than that! Look at the entire definition. There are strong references to “fear and terror;” words that are conveniently overlooked by today’s prophets and pastors.

Let us take a closer look at the fear of the Lord and develop a healthy understanding of this vital, yet misrepresented expression.

“Fear of the Lord” That Causes You to DO

First, I want you to notice that the words “His commandments” are italicized in the KJV, which means that they were not in the original text, but placed there by the translators. While I have no doubt that obeying His commandments is DEFINITELY part of the fear of the Lord, I believe that there is more to consider here.

Let us look at this Scripture with the italicized words removed.

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do: his praise endureth for ever.

Read the first part again.

“The fear of the LORD the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do.”

This immediately takes this concept out of the realm of thought and makes it an active, physical, work-oriented concept. You cannot claim to fear God and just give mental assent to His existence.

Your mental assent means nothing if it isn’t accompanied by you DOING something. I went deeper into this topic in the following article.

Link: The Subtle Difference Between Demonic Faith and the Faith of Abraham

This fear of the Lord should spur you on to take action. Why? Because your love for Him is accompanied by an actual “fear!” This is not the same fear that the church is teaching.

“Fear of the Lord” That Causes You to “Fear”

fear of the lord lion
Photo by Pixabay

Let’s get our heads out of the politically-correct, user-friendly clouds and face something. God is bigger than we are, smarter than we are, and able to kick our backsides without breaking a sweat. For this reason, my love for God exists side-by-side with a fear of God, and if He tells me to do something, I had better do it because I know there are consequences if I don’t.

Now, in case you think I view God as some whimsical, abusive tyrant, that’s not the case. I know He loves me and would never, so long as I’m His child, hurt me in that way. But I know that latent potential is still there.

Still, it is being taught in our congregations that we don’t have to view God in such a way – that He is just the beloved Santa Claus in the sky who wants to pal around with us and let us do whatever we please with no consequence.

A Lesson from Life

My father was (and is) a good man, but he wasn’t above violence if the situation called for it. He is a Vietnam vet… that should speak volumes.

Even though he had power at his disposal, he never hurt his wife or kids. In my entire life, he only spanked me maybe 4-5 times. But, oh how my mom made up for it!

However, with regards to protecting his family and his household (his kingdom), he was a very aggressive man, and I saw that aggression in action more than once.

I remember one time at the races, a drunk man, larger than my dad, insulted my mother (his bride). I won’t go into the grisly details, but it took my dad less than 30 seconds to take care of that situation with his bare hands. It was fast… efficient… and final.

After the battle was over, my dad turned to me. Stepping over the now unconscious giant, who dared to insult his bride, he put his arm around me and said something that has stuck with me to this day.

He said, “Come on, son… let’s go home.”

Don’t Cross the Line

line-roadThat battle (and others) impressed me well into my teenage years. Make no mistake about it, I was a rebellious punk between the ages of 13-20, but I never crossed my dad… ever.

He loved me, but he had enough strength and power that, if he ever lost his mind, he could wipe out everyone in my family with little to no effort.

I knew that my father would never pound me like the others who threatened his household, but I knew there was a line that should not be crossed. I didn’t know where that line was, exactly, but I knew it was there, somewhere, lying beneath the surface.

So, no matter how much I wanted to, I decided that it would be a good idea not to test him.

This should be the same with our view towards God. If we are His obedient children, we should not fear Him or the wrath of His hand. However, the Bible says something about calling yourself a child and walking in disobedience.

Would God Ever Hurt “Family”?

made a mistake
Photo by Pixabay

We have been taught to dismiss the true fear of the Lord and blindly assume that we are sons and daughters of the Kingdom. And this assumption is not entirely incorrect, but there are other elements in our relationship with our Father that need to be considered.

It goes without saying that children should be free to make mistakes, work through them and modify their lives accordingly. They need that “trial period” to grow and mature. But there comes a time when that trial period comes to an end and the young man or woman has to decide, “Am I going to follow the rules of the household, or not?”

If they decide not to, it’s time for them to go. They will no longer be part of that household and can no longer avail themselves of the benefits of living in the house.

If things digress, and they decide to do harm to the members of the household, it is the father’s job to confront the rebellious and defend the honor of the house, physically if need be.

In the same way, the Father will lovingly nurture growing believers, giving them time to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling.” But ideally, a “spiritual babe” should be informed that there is a line, somewhere, that shouldn’t be crossed.

As it stands today, people in the so-called “church” are being trained in the same way most children are being taught in the West. Fear is non-existent. The parents’ warnings (if there are any warnings at all) are dismissed with a laugh. Nonetheless, dinner is expected to be on the table.

Children of Disobedience

Ephesians 5:3-7
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Notice all of these traits that keep people out of the Kingdom of God:

  • fornication
  • uncleanness
  • covetousness
  • filthiness
  • foolish talking
  • jesting

Then Paul kind of “summarizes” the sins he just mentioned:

  • whoremongering
  • unclean [G169 – akathartos – look it up & think about it]
  • covetous (idolatrous)
  • vain words

Paul Wrote This Warning to the Church

I want you to notice a couple things about Ephesians 5: 3-7.

  1. Paul was writing a warning “to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (v1:1), which means they were believers… “children” …and they still had the potential to succumb to these temptations. If the children committed these sins, they would have no place in the Kingdom, therefore they would partake in the Wrath of God.
  2. Presently, these same sins are rampant in congregations who soften the definition of “the fear of the Lord” into something more palatable for the unconvicted masses. They will have no share in the Kingdom to come.
father and son
Photo by Pixabay

While we shouldn’t lose sight of the loving-kindness of our Father, let us not forget that He is also an All-Powerful Conquering King. Let the true fear of the Lord come upon you and repent from sin (1 John 3:4). Follow His Ways. Obey the Law of the Kingdom soon to come.

When the End has come and all of our Father’s enemies have been vanquished and lie at His feet, may we all hear the Word, “C’mon son (or daughter), let’s go home.”

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More to explorer

The Circumcised Heart

Circumcision of the Heart – The Secret to Living Set Apart

Due to centuries of man-made doctrine and church’s propensity for hyper-spiritualization, the definition of a “circumcised heart” has lost much of it’s meaning. Because of this error, our perception is so skewed that there are those who believe they are walking with a circumcised heart when they are actually living according to their own rules and standards.

Even the most “die-hard” christian will believe this fallacy. There are many who read their Bibles every day, go to church on Sunday, never cuss, never drink, stay away from rated “R” movies, fast, pray and pursue Jesus in every way they know how, but according to the Word, their hearts are still not circumcised.

If these people aren’t living holy (“set apart”) lives for YHWH, what hope do the rest of us have?

Subversion and the Conquest-Driven Nature of Hellenism

V. Subversion and the Conquest-Driven Nature of Hellenism

Let’s take the time to discuss another key characteristic of Hellenism that – historically and presently – has deeply affected the faith for the worse. Not only does Hellenism fog concrete and absolute truth with abstraction, it also militantly promotes and enforces it by employing tactics such as infiltration, subversion and – if necessary – murder.

Method and Message of the Serpent

III. The Method and Message of the Serpent

When one reads the Acts 16 account of the encounter between Paul and the girl possessed by a Python spirit (divination), many things get left unsaid and lost in translation. There is so much more to this scenario than meets the eye! Come with me and we’ll take a closer look at this situation.

Join the Conversation


  1. What an great post. I’m tired of hearing ad nauseum the modern definition of who God is . Thanks for returning to the very basics of who our loving heavenly Father is. By HIs Spirit he described Himself through various writer in the biblical text that he’s a jealous God just the same way we would be if someone was trying to deceive and seduce someone in our family. He’s an all consuming fire that describes Himself as just that ……even Yeshua in the book of Revelations is described as having eyes of fire …..If a believer is passionate and believes that you prove your love for the Father through obedience then something like fire should be normal to you such as the 3 Hebrew boys who were walking or standing untouched by it and having conversation with the 4th person …liken to the son of God. If our lives are like the world then the same fire that the 3 Hebrews embraced will be the fire that oh well ! might consume you ! just sayin !

  2. I agree with everything you’ve written, but I am still trying to understand this alongside 1 John 4:18. Any thoughts?

    1. That does help! I did read the scriptures before and after to put it in the right context. Your explanation is simple yet enlightening. Thanks! I will continue to meditate on this as I seek to know our Father and His perfect will.

    2. Wonderful catch Tracie! Let’s take a look at the scriptures before and after v18 along WITH v18:

      1 John 4:17-19
      Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

      If we have boldness in the Day of Judgment, we will not fear. It is the fear of being judged that will torment us. If we walk in perfect love towards the Father by obeying His commands (1 John 5:1-3), we will not have the tormenting fear of being judged. Hope that helps?

      1. When we deliberately break his commandments we ought to fear! No fear in judgement simply mean we are in obedience and therefore have no need to fear his wrath. My son knew that as long as he kept the rules of the house he had no fear of me physically correcting him. But if he broke those rules correction would be applied. I did not throw him out of the house nor did I tell him I no longer loved him I corrected him (spanked) to get him back into line with the rules of the house. It was always his choice to obey the house rules or not, and he always knew there would be consequences if he did not obey. The fear of Yahweh is both reverential & terror just as explain. Fear of reprisals & fear out of respect. Blessings & curses; blessings if we keep the house rules curses if we do not. If Yahweh does not correct you, you are either very very obedient or you are a bastard not one of his. Every believer gets correction from Yahweh now & then, it is part of becoming mature in the Master.

        1. Samual, I think I’m building upon what you’re saying … correction occurs when the child is young and within the “trial period.” Did you spank your son when he was 18? Probably not. My point is there is a time for correction, and a time for decision. If you continued to have your children in your house after a certain point, and if they were disobedient, rebellious children (I’m not saying they are, just hypothetically), then your house would be in chaos.

          Pro 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

      2. Thanks for that Kevin!! Your explanation of the Scripture 1 John 4:17-19 [18] is very enlightening . . .

        God is Love. Replacing the word ‘love’ with the word ‘Father God’, helped me to see the perspective being stated 🙂

    3. Tracie, in order to truly understand the difference of the word “fear” used in these two passages (Psalm 111:10 and 1John 4:18), you have to get behind our very limited English and look at the Greek.

      In Psalm 111:10, the word “fear” in the Greek is, as Kevin says, “yir-aw’ ” which means to “morally reverence” (in part). Now, when you look up the word “fear” in 1 John 4:18, the Greek is a completely DIFFERENT word with a completely different meaning – “fob’-os” which means “(to be put in fear); alarm or fright: – be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror.” {Note: definitions are taken from Strong’s}

      So as you can see, it is easy to become confused when we read the Word with only our own very limited English understanding. The difference between the two words “fear” becomes abundantly clear when our understanding is expanded to what was really meant by the writers. If you can learn to look beyond the English and dig into the Greek or Hebrew, I think you’ll find your understanding grow exponentially.

  3. Amen! It’s time to tell things as they are, not to explain the truth away simply we don’t want to do it.

  4. Amen!

    “ ‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the [reverent] fear and respect due Me?’ says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name. But you say, ‘How and in what way have we despised Your name?’ Malachi 1″6 AMP

  5. The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. If it is the beginning, would there also be a middle and an end?

    I would suggest that the middle is:

    Prov. 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

    and I would suggest the end would be:

    Eccl 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.


    Rev. 14:6-7 And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come…

    Interesting how the Eternal Gospel is to Fear God and give Him glory. As we know, eternal means forever. We will never stop walking in His Fear and giving Him glory.

    just a few thoughts.

  6. Look @ scriptural when The Glory of the LORD appeared to men… They were terrified…example mount of transfiguration, road to Damascus. Isaiah, Daniel… The Glory of the LORD will scare the sin right out of you. You fall on your face & beg for mercy, you have no strength… You are terrified!!! I experienced “His Glory” once!!! You’ll be a believer in every sense of the Word afterwards… It’s a game changer for sure!!! HOLY TERROR IS REAL

  7. it is such an honor to have HIM built into us so much that we fear HIM – we KNOW Him – sadly, many people know about Him but have never gotten to KNOW Him – there is a difference – He is worth the relationship – never lets you down – never puts you down – never tells you that you are not worthy –
    i use to fear loosing Him, but there was a crossover when i KNOW Him and know that i will not – He won’t let me go —
    John 17:1 – eternal life is to KNOW YOU! (Yeshua praying to Our Father)

  8. Awesome post! Like I said in another post I did not really know the fear of the Lord till about a week ago. It took along time for me to come to the knowledge of the truth. I am so thankful to Kevin for connecting the dots as he says. I loved Wayne’s comment as well. I honestly could not see these truths before.

  9. Awesome Kevin. I feel and teach exactly the same thing. It frustrates me that so many people teach that “fear of the LORD” means reverential respect. They are watering it down and giving people a false perspective and understanding of God. I think that these teaching that fear of the LORD is reverential respect is largely responsible for the decline of many congregations and society as a whole. I fear for those who taught this reverential respect nonsense, when they face judgment. It’s good that God will wipe away every tear, it’ll be needed. Anyway, if you care to see how I explained this very topic, take a look here. https://torahrocker.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/fear-of-the-lord/

  10. This was excellent. Very well-written. Thank you, Kevin for being YHWH’s mouthpiece! May we be found blameless in holiness on the Day of His appearing. BaShem Yeshua. Amen.

  11. I have so been dwelling on this idea…I am learning that the boundaries are put in place to “fear him so that we would not sin” (see Exodus 20:20) until our “perfect love casts out fear”. The fact that we as believers still sin in certain areas shows us that we need boundaries, like braces for the teeth…to help us to grow straight. We see Paul giving the new Corinthian believers all these boundaries that they formerly did not have once they became believers–because they were unaware of their uncleaness before the Lord! But we say “we are free in Christ”– yes! But free FROM SIN not free TO SIN. The fear of the Lord enables us to learn not to sin until living that life becomes a natural part of our walk. Then we are free from that law (not because it doesn’t exist but because it had turned into a place of obedience and perfect love). Until then…FATHER! Thank You for the fear! It keeps me walking the Straight and Narrow Path! And keep training us til the fear turns into perfect love and obedience.

  12. Thank you Kevin. I used to have teaching like this. It’s so good to have a hearty meal in the Word of God once again. 🍽. More please. Seriously, thank you very much for the depth and richness of this life changing Word. God bless you and plz continue to break the bread of life for us.
    Joanne Lane

  13. This is more than a good read! If we are willing to self examine and get our toes stepped on (so to speak) this article can be very life changing while building intimacy between the reader and Our Heavenly Father.

  14. Every time I see a phrase about our love of God, my mind immediately goes to the human concept of love and I get a bit discombobulated inside, until I then realize that that’s not the love being discussed. I used to think that because I didn’t get all flustered and warm-fuzzied about God, I must not love Him, and this was hugely distressing to me. I am only recently growing to see that concept differently, as per the teaching here – alongside the holy fear. I absolutely loved reading this article, including all the comments following. And I am eternally grateful that the Father has placed in my heart a strong desire to come to knowledge of truth and to be obedient. Your writings are very much appreciated and my heart’s prayer is for you to be continually encouraged and equipped to do the work you are now doing. It is truly edifying to the body of Yeshua.

    As an aside: I find myself longing for the time when I will stop listening to the voices of old teaching of man and search for more of truth. I am a truth-seeker now and a critical thinker, but I still catch myself falling for the lines being dropped on me such as that in this article. Loving what God is doing!

  15. Brett and I were wondering what we would share tomorrow at our home fellowship and this couldn’t be better timing. Thank you, Kevin.
    We also read the link ‘there are consequences if I don’t’.
    Well, I don’t mean to over compliment but …. drop the mic!

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