For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103: 11, 17-18, NIV
I am not a big fan of Halloween. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to be frightened. I also don’t like to see precious children dressed up like witches, devils, or other scary, dark characters. I don’t like to hear children scream in fear while someone jumps out at them on a dark porch while trick or treating. And the list goes on.
However, I am a fan of candy! I love games and carnivals. I love princesses and cute characters showing up at my door with big smiles on their faces. I love parades and parties. I just don’t like the fear factor that usually comes with Halloween.
Today’s Scripture reminds us to fear the Lord. But not a “run-away-screaming-in-terror” kind of fear. This time the word “fear” is the transliterated Hebrew word Yare’ meaning to inspire reverence, awe, and honor.
We fear (terrified) the unknown, but as we grow in our relationship with Jesus and know Him as He is revealed in His Word, His actions, His sacrifice for us, His creation, and so on, our awe-inspiring honor of Him grows with that clearer vision of Him. Our response to Him is obedience. The only thing we have to fear, in a terror sort of way, is His discipline if we choose not to obey. What could possibly be worth setting ourselves up against God? What does the world have to offer that is better than His love and righteousness?
Have you ever settled for a short-term, earthly gain over God’s eternal, glorified gain? Of course you have, we all have, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But why do we do it? How did you feel afterward? What were the consequences? How does your closeness to God affect your willingness to obey?
Take some time this week to talk about what makes you fearful. How can we overcome our fears?
Lord, help us to overcome our fears with the fear of You. Amen
Copyright Kathy Branzell.
Kathy has a heart for encouraging Christian educators and currently serves as the President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Prior to this role, she was the founder and president of Fellowship and Christian Encouragement (FACE) for Educators.