Being afraid of provoking God to displeasure should be included in fearing Him. It would be an unhealthy fear to be afraid to approach God when He has already invited all of mankind to have fellowship with Him by way of His son, Jesus Christ. God’s love is what should govern a Christian’s life. Because of God’s love and fathering, He will discipline those that He loves for correction. No one enjoys afflictions when they are afflicted, but God will afflict those that He loves for correction, so that we will have everlasting life with Him. Fearing God means to respect, reverence, honor, and obey Him without provoking Him to anger or displeasure.
The definition of the word fear is anxious anticipation of danger, pain, etc.; or to be afraid, or frighten. The normality of fear will keep people from dangers, such as falling off a cliff or touching a hot stove. This type of fear is healthy and normal for anyone. On the other hand, there is an unhealthy fear that can cause an individual not to function properly under normal circumstances, such as being paranoid when there is no danger. Whether an individual is operating in a fear that is healthy or unhealthy, the definition of fear has not changed.
In God’s wisdom, he created fear to be used has a defense for self-preservation. Consider the following scriptures… And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:9-10 KJV). God already knew that Adam and Eve were going to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so fear was already in place within them to enforce self-preservation. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil (Proverbs 16:6 KJV). God implements His fear upon the earth to drive men away from sin. The departing from evil or sin is heeding to the warning of the judgement of God preserving ourselves from the wrath to come. Reverence is a part of fearing God, but we should never underestimate God’s discipline and judgement. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28 KJV). God demands respect just like how a natural parent demands respect of their children. How God dealt with Israel as a nation is a prime example of God’s long-time judgment and discipline upon them because they wouldn’t fear Him.