“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” Proverbs 19:23 NLT
Is fear good or bad? Like many things the answer is that it depends. Depending on the type of fear, it can either have our individual thoughts paralyzed or set us free to live. If the fear is man made it can be destructive, if it is the fear of the Lord it can be liberating. Man made fear brings an emotional response or the desire for “fight or flight.“. Fear or reverence for the Lord “brings security and protection from harm. “
Upon a good friends recommendation, I read Michael Creighton’s book State of Fear. I don’t typically read a lot of fiction, but it was an excellent book that describes amongst other things, the motivation to control the public through fear. Although it is a fictional work, the description of the desire of some to control others was revealing. When we are manipulated by fear, we seldom make the best decisions for our own lives. In our human nature fear is used to control us and/or manipulate us. That has never been more evident than it is right now. If outside forces can get us to fear things we cannot control, our behavior may change to focus on doing what we can to manage our fear and not to focus on living our most productive lives.
The fear of the Lord is different, it leads to life.
I was reflecting upon my relationship with my own dad growing up. When I was young, I remember doing all that I could to please him and looking back in a very healthy sense I feared him. It was not in the way that was a fear of punishment, I revered him. I knew that by being obedient to him I would find what was best for me. This led to a life that was filled with joy and security. As I got older and seeking more independence, I began to lose that fear. To some degree when I lost my fear, I lost my way. It would take me several years to nurture a new fear, not of my earthly father, but of my Heavenly Father. Fear of the Lord led me not to anxiety and stress, but to life and security.
In the ways of the world fear leads to anxiety and control. In the kingdom fear and freedom are linked together. Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.
In the kingdom fear and freedom come together.
This week nurture a reverence for your Heavenly Father. Replace any emotional fear you may have of things that are out of your control with a healthy fear of the One Who controls all things.
In His Hands,