Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Burning Out From the Inside

By Daniel W. Trathen, D. Min. Ph. D.

Burning out from the inside is a condition whereby we allow ourselves to fall away from what we know is a true love relationship with God. One of the keys to a growing and lasting relationship with God is to understand Him and to revere Him. Here are some definitions of “Fearing God”.

Positional reverence for God that leads to obedience because we realize His power and love.
Reverence for God as the controlling motive of life. Holy desire to please Him because of our reverence for who He is and a wholesome dread of displeasing Him (Vines).
Sense of solemn responsibility to almighty God.
Quick obedience to all we know to be the will of God.
God-given attitude that enables us to respect God’s authority worship His holiness, obey His commands, and turn from evil.
Holy affection and reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to the Father’s law.
Holy affection worked in the soul by God whereby it is inclined and enabled to obey all God’s commands, even the most difficult, and to hate and avoid evil.
To love Him, respect Him, honor Him, and seek to please Him in all we do.
To Pay Him humble, child-like reverence, walk in His laws, have respect for His will, tremble to offend Him, hasten to serve Him, fear Him and nothing else (Charles Spurgeon).
To be unmoved by anybody or anything but God.
The fear of the Lord must positive because:
a. Ps. 147:11-God favors those who fear Him.
b. Isa. 11:1-3-Jesus delighted in the fear of the Lord
c. Jer. 32:40- God puts it in out hearts to keep us turned toward Him.
d. Rev. 14:7, 15:4-It is in heaven and mentioned parallel with glorifying God.


Why Fear The Lord?

  1. He has done great things – (I Sam. 12:24 Be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.)
  2. To avoid reproach – (Neh. 5:9 What you are doing is not right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid reproach of our Gentile enemies.)
  3. He is exalted – (Job 37: 23-24 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in His justice and great righteousness, He does not oppress. Therefore men revere Him.)
  4. He is awesome – (Ps. 89:7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; He is more awesome than all who surround Him.)
  5. He is due it – (Ps. 90:11 Your wrath is a great as the fear that is due you. Jer. 10:7 Who should not revere you, O King of the Nations? This is your due, (see also Mal.1:6.)
  6. He is great and worthy of praise – (Ps. 96:4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.)
  7. The nations do – (Ps. 102:15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.)
  8. He forgives – (Ps. 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.)
  9. Our Messiah did – (Isa. 11:3-4 He will delight in the fear of the Lord.)
  10. He set boundaries of the seas – (Jer. 5:22 “Should you not fear me?” declares the lord. “should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea.”)
  11. He is Holy – (Rev. 15:4 Who will not fear you and bring glory to your name? You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.)
  12. It is pure – (Ps. 19:9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and righteousness altogether righteous.)
  13. He commands it – (Deut, 10:12, 20-21 What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your god, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the Lord your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name. He is your praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. (see also Lev. 19:14, 25: 17, 36, 43; Deut. 4: 10, 6: 13, 8:6, 13:4, 25:17, 36; Jos. 24:14; I Sam. 12:24; I Chron. 16:30; 2 Chron. 19:7, 9; Ps. 2:11, 33:8, 76: 7, 11; 96:9, 99:1; Prov. 3:7, 23:17, 24:21; Eccl. 12:13-14, Is. 8:13; Luke12:5; Rev.14:7)


Benefits of Fearing the Lord

  1. Fruitfulness – (Ex. 1:21 Because the midwives feared God (and let the boys live), they were given families of their own.)
  2. Keep from sinning – (Ex. 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”)
  3. Go with them and their children – (Deut. 5:29…their hearts would be inclined to fear and keep all my commands, so that it might go well with them and their children.)
  4. Enjoy long life – (Deut. 6:2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live…so that you may enjoy long life. See also Prov. 9:10-11, 10:27, 19:23).
  5. Good – (I Sam. 12:14 If you fear the Lord, serve and obey Him and do not rebel against His commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God-good!)
  6. Wisdom – (Prov. 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the Beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. See also Job 28:28; Ps. 111:10, Prov. 15:33, Isa. 33:6.)
  7. God will regard you – (Job 37:24 Men revere Him, for does He not have regard for all the wise in heart?)
  8. Worship – (Heb. 12:28-29 Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. See also Ps. 5:7.)
  9. Instruction by the Lord – (Ps. 25:12 Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.)
  10. Intimacy with God – (Ps. 25:13 The Lord confides in those who fear Him. He makes His covenant known to them.)
  11. Goodness – (Ps. 31:19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.)
  12. Protection, God’s eyes on you – (Ps. 33:18-19 The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him and hope in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.)


Actions that result in the fear of the Lord

  1. Tithing – (Deut. 14:22-23 be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year…so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.)
  2. God’s power displayed – (Jos. 4:24 He did this (parted the Jordon) so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.)
  3. God’s dealing with each man – (I Kings 8:37-40 When famine comes…when an enemy besieges them…when they pray…then hear from heaven, forgive, act, deal with each man, since you know His heart, so that they will fear you as they live in the land you gave our fathers.)
  4. Can be learned – (Ps. 34:11 Come, my children, listen; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.)
  5. God’s deliverance from enemies – (Ps. 64:9 God will deliver from enemies, then mankind will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what He has done.)
  6. God’s enduring work – (Ps. 67:7 God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.)
  7. Singleness of heart – (Jer.32:39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so the they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. Ps. 86:11 Teach me your way…Give me an undivided heart, so that I may fear your name.)
  8. God’s enduring work – (Eccl. 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it, nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him.
  9. God’s covenant, His goodness, His inspiration – (Jer. 32:40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.)

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (Ps. 90: 12)

He who provides for his life, but takes no care for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever. (John Tillotson)

The wise man is also the just, the pious, the upright, the man who walks in the way of truth. The fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, consists in a complete devotion to God. (Otto Zockler) The intellect of the wise is like glass; it admits the light of heaven and reflects it. (Augustus William & Julius Charles Hare)

As C.S. Lewis so aptly put it, “No clever arrangement of bad eggs will make a good omelet.”

William Thomson (Later Lord Kelvin) was one of the greatest physicists of the 19th century England. When he was away at college, his father wrote to him: “You are young: take care you be not led to what is wrong. A false step now, or the acquiring of an improper habit, might ruin you for life. Frequently look back on your conduct and thence learn wisdom for the future. (Faraday, Maxwell, and Kelvin, by G. K .C. MacDonald, 1964.

Wisdom is learning what to overlook. (William James)


The life of Saul, one who did not fear God

I Samuel 15 recounts that Saul did not fear God as evidenced by his incomplete obedience. Whom did he fear and with what result? “Then Saul said to Samuel. I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave into them.” (I Sam 15:24). Saul was accommodating to the people, but disobedient to God and lost his kingdom and ultimately his mind. May God to write this on our hearts with indelible ink!

It may be true that knowledge is power and education and intelligence both have their place, but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is submission and obedience to God because He is God, not because of the rewards for doing so or the fear of punishment if we don’t. The fear of the Lord is simply to love what God loves and hate what He hates. This is the way to continuous revival. Nothing else will release us from the fear of man.

Why is the fear of God a prayer issue? Prayer is one part of a lifestyle of total obedience to God in every area of life. God requires it to obtain His counsel (Ps. 25:14). In a generation that has trivialized the holiness of God, the fear of the Lord is the way to stay on holy ground. If we are to pray God’s prayers, we must get intimate with Him and let Him give us His mind and heart.

Burning out from the inside is a condition whereby we allow ourselves to fall away from what we know is a true love relationship with God. Our relationship really never ends, nor does it grow, it goes into a state of dormancy. Like any relationship in this state we allow a lot of dead wood to pile up. Just as we have recently heard countless times on T.V. keep the dry brush at least 100 feet from your house so when the fire progresses, there will be less to burn up. The lesson learned from the draught and forest fires is that we must take time to clear out the dead wood in our lives both personally and spiritually. Many homes had a greater chance of not burning up when their homeowners did this. We are not at our best when we are in burnout. Many people are like dry kindling, a little spark can set them off. Remember what that great philosopher from the woods, Smoky the Bear once said, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”

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