"The fear of the Lord" is a poor translation, my husband Ron explained years ago. The word for "fear" in the original text was probably closer to "respect."
As my understanding of God has evolved over the years, it's become easier and easier to "respect God." Or to stand in awe, which is another way of understanding "the fear of the Lord."
I'm in awe of how the Spirit that I understand as God moves in people who are open to caring, reaching out, and doing things to make this world a better place to live. I'm amazed at how that Spirit moves in me, when I'm open to it. It calms me, energizes me, and gives enlightenment. It makes me exceedingly patient with children who are learning the smallest tasks. It challenges me to aspire to always move higher, though I often fail to do that.
When we stop fearing (in the literal understanding of that word) and stop expecting to be punished or have somebody else punished for wrong-doing, we stop expecting God to be something that God never has been. Something that the old patriarchs dreamed up in their fantasy about a God who comes down and zaps people. Or gets on the side of the winner in a war where there is corruption on both sides. We stop watching our backs and stop focusing on evil as we find positive ways of addressing problems and encouraging others to do good things to efficiently stop evil. Or dysfunction. Or imbalances. Or whatever you want to label the various ills of this world.