Fear. When it is of God it is a good thing. When not, it is a terrible thing. For the believer, the fear of God is God being revered. Heb 12:28-29 puts this aptly: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” Reverence and wonder are precisely what motivate us to surrender to the creator of the universe.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. (Pro 1:7). Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of him, we cannot have true wisdom. Such wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that he is holy, just, and righteous. “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (De 10:12). The fear of God gets us on track; it gets us walking in his ways, serving him, and loving him.
As believers we should be confident in the ability of God to fulfil his promise that nothing can separate us from his love (Rom 8:38-39). We have his promise that he will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5). Fearing God means having an admiration and that would drive us to live our lives for him. To fear God is to respect, obey, and submit to his discipline, and to worship him in awe.
Jesus puts this in perspective in Mat 12: 4-7: I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
If Jesus assures you that the hairs on your head are numbered, then you need to shout a shout of victory. According to medical researchers, people with black or brown hair have an average of 110,000 hair follicles. There are about 5 million hair follicles on the adult human body and men have a few hundred thousand more than women. So, from number 1-110,000, they are numbered. That’s why Jesus gives us the assurance: Don’t be afraid; you are in a good place with God.
This week I beseech you by the mercies of God to say a simple prayer: God, help me cast aside the fear of mere mortals to enable me walk diligently in reverential fear of God, so that I can partake in the fullness of your glory.
Have a great week.