One of Jesus’ most common commands is ‘do not fear’ and yet we fear and worry about so many things! All people fear something. The Bible says that we fear either God or man and the question for you is: whom do you fear?
As Christians, we should fear God. Deuteronomy 6v24 says, “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.”
Fearing the Lord means we do not fear the created things because God is far more powerful than anything he has created. To fear anything other than God is making it an idol because you are saying that the created thing is more fearful than God. If we rightly fear God our fear of other things is blown away.
If a soldier is told to go to battle he will probably feel fear because of what may happen to him, but if he knows he will be shot as a deserter, or his country, or family will die if he does not go into battle, that fear will drive the fear of entering the combat far from him. A person cannot just stop fearing, you have to drive one fear out with another and the fear of God drives out all other fears.
The fear we should have of God as Christians should not be a scared type of fear, but instead an awed fear of God, that means we obey His commands. To fear God and keep his commands is a recurring theme that appears throughout the Bible. The fear that we should have as Christians is a fear of God's holiness. It is because God is holy, holy, holy that we fear him. It is the knowledge of what we are, compared to him, that makes us fear.
A very good analogy of fear that I have heard is this; Imagine that you are in a forest in a country where there are wolves. You are lost and wandering trying to find your way back. Suddenly you hear the sound of wolves howling a fear grows in you. As you wander along the howls come closer and closer, you know the wolves are after you and so you hide in a thicket on the edge of a clearing. Then you see the twenty wolves heading right for you… Suddenly out of a thicket near you a big bear come slumbering forward and scatters the wolves then turns and beckons you to follow and leads you to safety. You fear the bear that just rescued you, but you fear it in a significantly different way than you feared the wolves. We should fear God in the same way as we would that bear, not as we feared the wolves.Fearing God is the only way that we can be truly free of the fear of anything else. Fear God so that you do not need to fear the wolves that try to harm you. If we obey and fear God we can be sure that he will protect us. Ps 103:13 says “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.”
Guest post by Richard van den Broek
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