In James 2:19, it is said that the devils tremble before the Lord. In the original text, the word Devils is better translated as evil spirits (daimonia). So it is actually the evil spirits whom tremble. Why do they tremble? Because they experience the might of God. The word tremble in its original text is phrisso (φρίσσω) which means shudder, extreme fear, to be horrified. The word fear is different from the one used in Matthew 10:28. Because what we find in Matthew is phobeo (φοβέω). The word phobeo also means to be seized with alarm. The evil spirits fear because they cannot stand before the Most Holy God since they have rebelled against Him. But for God’s children, the fear feeling is because of the alarm or warning signs. The warning signs can be considered as the knowledge of Who God is. The knowledge of God can give warnings or reminder that one should be alert. The watchful attitude will make someone not to dare do things carelessly. If one knows God, he must have an alarm, so that he will not do things carelessly.
It is better to be phobeo now than later to phrisso like the evil spirits. However, to develop this kind of feeling is not easy, because it needs a long time journey to have the holy fear (phobeo) to God. This cannot be easily achieved in a short time. If someone knows God correctly and really experience Him, he will understand the might of God. The might that experienced by someone will make him have the feeling of fear to God and he will be encouraged to have a true and natural holiness of life. The true fear of God will set one’s heart on fire to love God and strive to prove his love in the concrete deeds. How happy it is if someone can find a life where he can have the feeling of fear God from His great holy and wonderful might. The true fear of God feeling is an eternal treasure that cannot be replaced by anything. From the fear of God, we can measure the spiritual maturity of someone in front of God. It also becomes the characteristics of someone’s maturity.