Prayer: Dear Lord, please guide us to have a healthy fear of You and to help our students learn respect for authority. Thank You. Amen
Scripture: These are the commands, decrees, and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Deuteronomy 6:1-2 NIV
If you have read any of my devotionals, you know that most of my lessons come from everyday life situations. I love that God teaches and loves me in very simple, understandable lessons. One concept I had been pondering was the fear of God. I had come to understand that it is not a “Run away!” kind of fear but a respectful, submissive response to Him and His mightiness. I was really searching for a pertinent example when I passed a police officer driving down the road. My first response was to—you guessed it—check my speed to make sure I was not breaking any laws. I do not make it a habit of speeding, but I got worried that I had not been paying attention like I should have while pondering and praying as I was driving. Yes, you can relax. I do pray with my eyes open while I drive.
I was not speeding, and then I felt this strange sense of safety knowing the officer had just patrolled that area and was only a short way off if I were to need him. I knew God had answered my prayer to help me understand what it meant to fear Him. Just as with the police officer, if I were breaking the law or being disobedient to God’s commands, I should be afraid—very afraid. I know that if I could physically see God pass me on the road I would do a quick check of my life to see if I was doing anything in violation of His will that could get me pulled over. Of course, I cannot see God, but He sees me and everything I do. If I do not take a close look at my life daily, confess my sins, and change my ways, eventually God will intervene. If I choose to run from Him, I will become imprisoned by my sinful choices. A healthy respect for God and His ways will keep me in check.
In the same way, if I am operating my life within God’s will and commands, I can have a strong sense of peace and protection knowing that He is watching me and watching out for me even more so than our police officers do. I can live with a sense of security knowing that God is keeping His eye on me and is as close as a prayer if I feel the need to call for Him or just want to thank Him. He goes before me and behind me; I am hemmed in with His love and protection.
As educators, your students seek to feel safe in your classrooms and schools. What are some reasons students do not feel safe? Are you good at recognizing when a student needs you to intervene in a situation? Are you good at spotting someone breaking the rules? Do you feel that your students have a healthy fear of you? If not, how can you accomplish earning that respect and trust?
My prayer for you is that you would fear God.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. To connect with the author, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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