Now Reading
John Bevere: How a Healthy Fear of God Transforms Your Life

John Bevere: How a Healthy Fear of God Transforms Your Life

In the late 1990s, I was ministering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was the tenth and final service, and the meeting was packed with believers who’d traveled from all over the nation. Upon completing the message, many responded to a call to commit to ministry. A crowd stood in front of the wide stage four to five deep waiting for prayer.

I started down the stairs of the platform, when suddenly, the presence of God unexpectedly manifested in the auditorium in a tangible and significant way. It was marked by His love and joy. Those in front of me started smiling, which soon turned into laugher, and this joy spread rapidly until everyone up front was affected by it. It seemed Abba Father chose to refresh His children. It didn’t take long to figure out I didn’t need to do anything, so I just sat on the edge of the platform and enjoyed watching God strengthen and bless His children.

After five to seven minutes, His beautiful presence lifted with a stillness residing in the atmosphere. All of us were quiet and enjoying the remarkable peace in the auditorium. However, within moments God’s presence manifested in a different way, one that I’d remembered from Brazil. I stood up anticipating a change. It grew stronger and stronger; there was no wind blowing this time, but His authority and awesomeness was unmistakably real. Those who were laughing moments earlier, without any spoken direction, broke out almost simultaneously crying and weeping, some of them profusely.

The presence grew stronger, and the weeping intensified. It was as if these quiet Asian people were being baptized in the fire of God. Again, it’s not possible to describe manifestations, and that’s not the point of sharing this sacred moment, but what’s important is the awesomeness of His presence. It increased to the point I didn’t think we could take any more.

In this encounter, I became keenly aware of the difference between our soul and spirit. We are told the Word of God cuts, “between soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). My mind (soul) was thinking, I can’t handle any more! God, it’s too much! Yet, my heart (spirit) was crying out, God, please don’t lift, please don’t stop!

Once again, I had the thought, John Bevere, you make one wrong move, you say one wrong word, you’re dead. 

The entire manifestation of His awesome presence lasted three to four minutes, and then lifted. Once it did, without any direction given, the people in unison became quiet again. I remained silent for several minutes in the calm and peace of the aftermath.

As we were leaving the building, the environment was solemn, quiet, and reverent. I stopped to engage a man and his wife from India; both were significantly impacted by God’s presence. We just looked at one another in amazement and silence for a few moments, then she softly spoke: “John, I feel so clean inside.” Her husband nodded in agreement.

When she said these words, my heart leapt. Finally, someone articulated accurately what I felt. I responded with controlled emotion, “I do too.” We didn’t converse any longer, but her statement continued to reverberate in me the rest of the evening.

The next morning, I was in my hotel room getting ready to play basketball with the young men on the ministry staff of the church and Bible school. Suddenly, I heard the Holy Spirit say to my heart, “Son, read Psalm 19.”

I grabbed my Bible, opened to the passage, and started reading. Once I reached verse 9, I read: The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. (Psalm 19:9 nkjv)

I shouted in my room, “That’s it! There it is!” I was in awe; this is exactly what the woman had said to me the day before. There was an indescribable cleanness, a profound purity we sensed in our souls.

Then the words “enduring forever” leapt off the page.

The fear of the Lord endures forever—it will never fade out. The fear of the Lord is a treasured gift from our heavenly Father.

One of the aspects of living well is finishing well. Think about how you can make holy fear a staple in your life and remember to keep holy fear as a filter in all you say and do.

Adapted from The Awe of God: The Astounding Way a Healthy Fear of God Transforms Your Life by John Bevere. Copyright © 2023 by John Bevere. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top

You’re reading our ad-supported experience

For our premium ad-free experience, including exclusive podcasts, issues and more, subscribe to

Plans start as low as $2.50/mo