It’s easy to get burned out after years of ministry. However, John Bevere, author of “The Awe of God,” has found the key to persevering — having the fear of the Lord results in developing the strength needed to “endure the race.”
Bevere has been on a 30-year quest to discover exactly what the fear of the Lord is — and what it’s not.
“The fear of the Lord is when we love what He loves, and we hate what He hates. The legalist would say, ‘I fear God. That’s why I hate those sinners over there.’ That guy doesn’t fear God at all, because He hates who God loves,” Bevere insisted.
“God loves those sinners so much that He sent His only Son to die for them. What God hates is the sin that that unmakes those people because He loves the people.”
Bevere has a burning desire for others to join in his realization — that the fear and awe of God shows how deep His love is for us.
“I know experientially, this is what changed my life. I went from a Christian who knew God [on the surface] … — I knew I was saved, I knew I was His child but I really felt so distant — to [a Christian] walking [with Him] in a deep, intimate relationship,” he explained.
After 40 years of ministry, Bevere says he is more passionate and excited about the things of God than he has ever been. And he attributes it to understanding this concept.
In the early ’90s, Bevere was introduced to the idea and started sharing it, which resulted in being publicly corrected about his viewpoint.
During that time, he also visited a well-known minister who was serving time in prison. Their conversation added fuel to the smoldering fire. The man told Bevere that he loved Jesus, even while he was committing crimes. When Bevere asked him how he could do so, the minister responded that he didn’t fear God.
Bevere recalled, “Those two instances in 1994 caused me to go on a search, a real deep search, on what it means to fear the Lord. I started noticing in Scripture that it was Jesus’ delight in Isaiah 11:3. I noticed it was God’s treasure in Isaiah 33:6. I noticed that the Apostle Paul said we would work out our salvation with fear and trembling, not love and kindness.”
He continued, “I thought, ‘Wow! This is what matures our salvation. This is something Jesus delighted in. This is God the Father’s treasure. I need to know about this!’”
When Bevere finally felt God call him to write a book about this topic, he decided titling it “The Fear of God” wouldn’t work and was concerned that the overwhelming response would be, “I don’t want fear in my life.”
Using the title “The Awe of God” wasn’t simply semantics though.
He elaborated, “When you understand that the fear of the Lord is not about being afraid of God, but it’s more about being in awe of Him — and you understand that it actually opens your eyes to who He really is — then it becomes extremely attractive.”
At first glance, “The Awe of God” resembles a devotional. However, Bevere declared otherwise.
“First and foremost, it is not a devotional,” Bevere insisted. “It is a book, and it can be read in one sitting if you so desire.”
Due to the shortening of attention spans over the past few decades, he prayed for wisdom about how to structure the book. “The Awe of God” has 42 chapters divided among six sections, with one section to be read each week.
“I felt impressed to write short chapters … every chapter [except two] are six pages,” he noted.
This means each day’s reading, not including the Making It Personal section, requires only about 5–7 minutes.
The smaller chunks allow time to absorb the material instead of simply reading it. To that end, Bevere recommends reading the daily chapter and the Passage (a related scripture) and Point (the key takeaway). The remaining three Ps — Ponder, Prayer and Profession — can be meditated on throughout the day.
Another included component is a four-minute video for each chapter that can be accessed through a QR code in Appendix A.
A workbook, streaming video and DVD for group study are available separately.
“The Awe of God” and associated materials can be bought either through johnbevere.com or on Amazon.