I had these two meanings for fear confused inside my head for a long time. During my childhood, I was well acquainted with "I am scared to death" fear. Maybe this is why I missed the fact that God loves me and when bible verses say to "fear the Lord" it means to stand in awe of God.
Standing in Awe of God
During a motorcycle trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I experienced how it feels to stand in awe of God. The incident happened in a scenic view pull off where I was the only visitor.
After shutting my Harley off, I just sat there and looked at the sunlit, silent, blue-purple mountains that surrounded me. Clusters of pink azalea blossoms were scattered haphazardly down the mountain sides. Gradually I became aware of the absolute stillness that surrounded me. The only sound to be heard was the metallic popping of the cooling exhaust pipes on my bike A deep feeling of sheer awe at the indescribable beauty and majestic stillness of the untouched mountains infused my whole being.
"Thank-you God for creating such beauty!" was out of my mouth, spoken aloud, before I even knew I was going to say it. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I was overcome with reverence and awe at the magnificent beauty that our heavenly father creates.
My Country Tis of Thee
The second verse of the hymn, "My Country Tis of Thee" expresses some of what I felt that day while I sat on my motorcycle and absorbed the scenic impact of the Smoky Mountains:
Satan the Deceiver
"I love thy rocks and rills,Thy woods and templed hills;My heart with rapture thrillsLike that above."
Do not let Satan convince you that God the Father, the Creator of All, is scary; or that you should be afraid of God. Biblical fear mean reverence of Him, reverence for all He has created, and awe at the sheer gloriousness that He cared to create you.