PRACTICING FEAR

Prayer: Dear Lord, this day I declare that You are able to protect me and I will trust You, and You alone. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

Scripture: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever! Psalm 111:10 RSV

We all fear something, whether we want to admit what it is or not. Some fear snakes or spiders. Some fear heights, flying, or roller coasters. Some fear getting sick; many fear dying.

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know the fear of getting back into a car. These all seem like reasonable fears as long as they do not consume or paralyze our lives. Many people fear senseless things such as the ghosts and goblins and other Halloween type things that fill our stores, schools, and lawns this time of year. Some people fear the unknown or situations that may never come to be.

The type of fear that we need to have is fear of the Lord. It is a respecting fear—not a “run-away-from” type fear. It is the original word yir’ah meaning “respect, reverence, piety, revered.” It means to acknowledge awesomeness and to be struck with terror at the thought of disobedience. It is a faithful fear.

How often do you see this type of fear being lived out? Can you think of a time when you had to risk man’s vengeance in obedience to God’s commands? We see people who do not want to get involved in a right vs. wrong situation, even an ethical vs. criminal situation because they fear that those in the wrong will come after them or in some way change their lives for the worse. We see people willing to break rules and laws for a cause or to help themselves, but not uphold laws for religious beliefs.

Others will fear everything but God. This kind of living says to God, “We don’t trust You; You aren’t powerful or awesome enough to protect us.”

I am not saying that we should go through life fighting every single day, but we should make sure that our own hearts and lives are in check with what we respect and who we obey. In situations where you must make a righteous stand, do not cower. Be wise, as today’s scripture says, by practicing the fear of the Lord—not fear of man. My prayer for you is that you would find strength and peace as you practice fear.

Copyright Kathy Branzell.  Email info@christianeducators.org

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