“What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3.
Studying 1 Peter again we were looking at the “fear of the Lord”. Some have trouble with that phrase, the thought of cowering before God, “shaking in their boots” in fear. I kind of liken it to the Wizard of Oz when they finally reach the Emerald City: Dorothy, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow are scared stiff of the Wizard!
Here is this terrifying, booming voice and imposing face that tells them what they must do to be “saved”. Then Dorothy’s little dog, Toto, runs up and pulls back the curtain to reveal the “Wizard” is really no wizard at all.
Elton John sings, “Oz never did give nothin’ to the Tin Man, that he didn’t, didn’t already have…” We want to believe that there is nothing to be afraid of, that God really isn’t a God of fear. That if we pull back that curtain that there is just a man standing there pulling knobs and buttons. A fake.
But that’s not the way it is at all! God is a God to be feared! Just the thought of not being in the Lamb’s Book of Life is enough to instill the fear of God into anyone! We do need to have some sense of the fear of God in our lives. “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.” Luke 12:4,5 NLT. There will be a Judgment Day friend!
That doesn’t mean that we live our lives in fear, once we have given our hearts to Him, there is no more fear! We no longer live in terror of anything else because the One who is in control of anxiety and panic now reigns in our hearts! He has taken away the fear of this world and fear of the enemy no longer has power over us.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 NIV.
Remember this “fear” of the Lord is also a respect and “awe”. He is a wonder! He is perfectly holy and completely without sin. Consider His majesty, His omnipotence, the vastness of eternity, the brevity of time, all of this is the beginning of wisdom. As we learn and grow in knowledge of the Lord our wisdom increases and our Godly fear moves into a fearful adoration.
I experienced a very real spirit of fear when we arrived in the country of Latvia, in the former Soviet Union, and the Lord literally delivered me from it in an instant! You can read about Faith Journey here.
If you are struggling with fear today, you don’t have to carry it! Fear of the Lord means we no longer need to fear anything or anyone else! Not man, not circumstances, not death, not our health, our finances. A friend said it so beautifully, “Fear of my Heavenly Father frees me from all other fears!”
Ed Cash co-wrote Whom Shall I Fear with Chris Tomlin and tells Chris the story of how the song came to be: “Ed told me his wife wakes him up in the middle of the night struggling with anxiety and fear and attacks when she’s wrestling in the night and can’t sleep. Those thoughts and fears come in the night and grip her. She asked him to pray for her, and not long after that he started writing this song as a praise to God during the night. Ed said he didn’t even know where the words came from, but he started praying the lyrics to the song: ‘I know Who goes before me / I know Who stands behind / The God of angel armies / Is always on my side / The One who reigns forever / He is a Friend of mine.’
He played me that chorus, and I knew this song was exactly what I wanted to sing. ‘And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.’ And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-18.
This message is exactly what the Church needs. Our story is not a story of fear; it is a story of faith. Everywhere you turn it is fear. Fear of the economy collapsing. Fear involving relationships. Fear of cancer and sickness. Fear of divorce. Fear, anxiety and depression holds us back like we are in chains. It seems like more and more that the world is getting crazier. Fear affects old and young people. Whom shall I fear? In the midst of crisis or anything that comes against, it is powerful to know Who stands behind and goes before us. The God of Angel Armies is always by our side.” (newreleasetuesday.com).
And of course you can listen to my favorite song by Chris Tomlin Whom Shall I Fear!
Be encouraged today! There is no fear in love!