“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.” Proverbs (14:26-27)
I have been recently reflecting on the effects of godly fear and am amazed at all of its benefits. Fear, apart from godly fear, involves torment according to 1John 4:18, but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. “The righteous are as bold as a lion” because they are wise enough to choose the right path of life. Some believe that all fear is negative, so they think knowing the love of God alone is sufficient. But you cannot know His love unless there is a deep level of reverence for Him. His power to heal is the same as His power to kill. His power to deliver is the same as His power to bind. He loves what reflects His character, but hates all the works that are measured against His will being made known among humanity and nature. Without healthy fear, you would be prone to unhealthy fears or phobias. God does not make promises, but He remains too omnipotent not to fulfill them. Many are impressed to believe in Him just in case He is real, but not to trust Him completely. Salvation cannot come to any individual unless one reaches that point of seeing sin as being exceedingly sinful. Therefore, the redeemed loves what He loves and despises what He despises. This even precedes the regeneration of the heart and soul. It is my fallen nature or the sin in me that I must first despise. Since we are all descendants of Adam and possess the sin of all humanity, even our attempts to progress in life would be motivated by some disguised fear working against my benevolence. We will not be able to love unconditionally unless that healthy fear is arrested.
The fear of the Lord arrests the fear of death because it contains the fountain of life. In Him is life and He becomes life to you once you are able to see Him as All-Wise and All-Powerful. The confidence to stand in faith will position you to trust His power to deliver you and His wisdom to guide you. Both are necessary in life in order to know your purpose. There is a freedom that further binds the soul. It is the freedom to do as you please without the constraints of God. This is the path of death and self-destruction. It is the way that seems right to a person but the end is death. The paths and patterns all around are there to vie for your attention. The culture competes with Truth and bids all within it to conform. Yet God stands above what is observable with long lasting solutions in time that are transferable into eternity. Even the fear of death is conquered because it has lost its sting and the grave gains its victory! While rights are fought for and often privileges are pursued, life itself is often ignored.
What good is it to have the privilege without the substance? Those who are seeking to gain life lose it in search of the privilege while compromising its very essence. Can you imagine dying at 90 or 100 years old, but only living five or ten years or never living at all? Jesus came that you might have life and has life more abundantly. Unless life is lived in reverence to the Giver of life, all that remains is the diurnal drifting between hither and yon.
Where should you begin this journey of living life every day? It must begin with wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning….” The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. If that first step is never taken the second step is impossible to take. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then lacking this fear is the furtherance of the propagation of ignorance. I pray that this will be your place of refuge (safety and security).