Fear. Being afraid or feeling scared is not something that I like to experience at all! As we approach Old Hallows Eve this weekend, you could not pay me to visit a haunted house. One of my youngest nephews shared with me his disdain for going to the Six Flags amusement park at Halloween.
He was not fond of the workers dressed in costumes jumping out to scare him at all! I can so relate. In my foolish and adventurous teenage years, I have had some horrifying experiences with haunted houses. For example, there is nothing like falling through a trap door in the darkness and landing in a dark cellar made to look like it belonged to a serial killer! I still struggle to get those images out of my head today!
Consequently, I have some fond memories of going trick or treating in my Spiderman costume as a youngster. But my favorite costume is the homemade batman costume my mother sewed for me when I was a toddler. I’m still a tremendous fan of the Dark Knight today! However, I have struggled mightily with fear through the years. In this post, I hope to convince and inspire to embrace a different kind of fear.
Different Aspects of Fear
Now before you tell me, “Horace, I’m not afraid of anything. I love scary movies and roller coaster rides! Let me give you some additional definitions of fear, “Braveheart.” Anxiety. Despair. Doubt. Dread. Panic. Worry. Have you ever felt any of these at any point in your life? If so, you have experienced some level of fear.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
I mean, going back before I was a young toddler through the years, I struggled with claustrophobia. Webster’s definition of this is; an irrational fear of being in confined and small spaces and unable to escape. I don’t care what the dictionary definition is, but it is not an irrational feeling at all!
Even now, I have to take a doctor-prescribed opioid to get a CT scan or MRI. When I was in pee-wee football, I struggled to wear a tight-fitting helmet. Playing football in high school, no one could catch me because I ran so fast and was motivated by the fear of being tackled and trapped under a pile of football players.
As an adult, being stuck in an elevator with someone who began to have a panic attack raises your anxiety level. I ended up prying the elevator doors open and climbing up onto the floor above instead of waiting for a technician to get us out.
Facing Your Fear
This battle with fear brings me to the here and now. I recently was implored by a specialist not to avoid getting some tests that another doctor recommended. She stated my history of putting off things when it comes to my health. Going back over eleven years, I had not taken seriously former doctors’ concerns about my blood pressure in the months leading up to my stroke.
I promised the specialist that I would keep our scheduled follow-up, but I admitted my reluctance to get the exam because of FEAR. The moment the doctor mentioned the words ” possible cancer,” I tuned everything out, and my mind ran away somewhere, anywhere else but there. My specialist said she understood my concern. However, she gently reminded me that the tests are there to identify any problems. The issues are not going to disappear because I ignore them.
So, I am still feeling more than a little apprehensive but committed to moving forward with the exam. Thankfully, I remind myself that God is not surprised by any of this, and maybe there is no cancer, mass, or possibly a tumor. Maybe what I’m experiencing is a sign of aging. Who knows? But by the grace of God, I’m praying for answers.
A Different Kind of Fear
So, what is this fear that can produce benefits in one’s life, you ask? It is the fear of the LORD, my friend.
God is not some big scary judgemental being way off yonder looking down from heaven waiting for us to make a mistake. Not at all! God is a God of unlimited and almighty power, unmatched knowledge, and unconditional love for His children. Those of us who have committed to giving our heart to Him.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7.
And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD. Exodus 14:13…”
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6.
In the book of Proverbs, it reads, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Do you know that God is willing to share His knowledge with us if only we will ask? (Read James 1:5-8.) Pay attention to verses seven and eight in this passage!) I encourage you to examine your hearts and see if your fear of the Lord ever reaches irrationally high levels. If so, I want you to have a “healthy fear “of God. A reverence per se of the God who loves you unconditionally. A God who wants what is best for you.
Benefits of Fearing God
One of the joys I get in writing is the inspiration I receive from God’s Word to share. He is the inspiration for my books and especially what I share on this website. When God puts a scripture verse in my path, I know that is the go-ahead to share His inspiration with you. So, with that in mind, here are a few benefits to having a “healthy fear” of God.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on hose who hope in His steadfast love. Psalm 33:18.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. Psalm 25:14.
The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23.
So, in closing, I implore you to take a look at your fear of the Lord and see where you stand. There is nothing to be afraid of when it comes down to it. Embrace this fear. Your life will be so much better when you do!
Horace Williams Jr.
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