Proverb 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.
There was a time in our country, America, when the general custom to speak of a Christian Believer as a “God fearing man (or woman).” The fear of the Lord is the main characteristic lacking in the unsaved as described in both the Old Testament (Psalm 36:1) and the New Testament (Romans 3:18).
The sin ruled human heart longs for self sovereignty. It values independence and refuses to accept the position of dependency upon God. It takes courage and humility to admit dependence and to acknowledge the existence of God as Supreme. The fear of the Lord on the other hand holds God in high regard and has humility to admit that God has a claim on their life, that they are a dependent, and are willing to give God His proper claim.
The fear of the Lord is not a phobic fear or tormenting fear but conveys positive tones of respect, honor, and obedience to a God Who deserves recognition and reverence all day long. It is not an intermittent, occasional, or temporary attitude. It is a consciousness and constant awareness of always living before Him in complete submission to His gracious rule.