Have you ever felt fear? Have you ever lived with it?
Did you know there are two different definitions to this word. Both can bring the “strongest” person to their knees in a matter of seconds!
The one most commonly used, of course, is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. It’s real at times and imagined at others.
The second one is a reverential awe (a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe) especially toward God. This one is real but has lost its meaning in the last century.
Let’s take a little journey back in time.
With the anointing of God and a staff he lead the people out of Egypt. The Pharaoh chases them to the Borders of the Red Sea. God tells Moses what to do and the Red Sea separates itself and the Israelites pass to the other side on dry land. Not damp but completely dry.
They, of course make it across only to turn around to see the Pharaoh chasing them but then God says nope and the waters of the sea come back together killing them all.
Can you imagine the fear of immense danger as they see the Pharaoh chasing them and then walking through a sea looking at high water on either side as they walk or run across?
Can you imagine the fear (awe) of God they had when they turned around to see the Great I Am utterly destroy their oppressor..their enemy? I would be in awe to reflect on what just transpired had I been there.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
These guys “should” have had a fear of danger as they were bound and thrown into the fiery furnace; which was heated, as commanded, seven times hotter than normal but they had a fear of God for they knew Him. For they knew the stories of old and knew God would protect them
Can you imagine the look on ole Nebuchadnezzars’ face when when he called them out because he looked in and saw they were unharmed? For not even a hair was singed nor did they smell of smoke. And then the fear (awe) of God he experienced.
The “tool” of God, or so he thought, to wipeout the so-called followers of Jesus. Followers of Jesus feared Saul! For they knew that if they met him he would kill them. God had other plans. God strikes him blind. Paul has a vision and the fear and awe of God overwhelms him at the same time. He is filled with the Holy Ghost and starts preaching Christ.
Can you just imagine what the followers of Jesus thought as they saw the once persecutor preach the same message as them?
Now, let’s take a look at today’s time.
We have so many phobias today…too many to name here. But there is the fear of failure, being alone, losing a loved one, etc.
But, we also have murderers, rapists, pedophiles and haters of God. We should fear these people. They can be and are scary, especially if you are within arms reach of one and they are coming after you or your child.
But yet God can change these people in the blink of an eye! That should bring a fear (awe and reverence) of God to anyone!
And the fear of God is that He is Holy and though He does love us, those who are not His will be eternally separated from His Presence for eternity in the lake of fire with the devil, the antichrist and his false prophet and be tormented for ever and ever.
The fear (awe) is that while we were yet sinners God sent His son to die on the cross for our sins. And those who have accepted Christ into their heart and follow him will have eternal life in the very Presence of God. Where He will wipe away the tears from your eyes. An eternity where there will no more murder, depression, rape, anger or pain of any sort as we will be in our glorified bodies!
The wonderful fear and awe of God is when you fall to your knees in repentance as a result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit in an area of your life. The restoration!
Which fear do you live by?
I will tell that I have lived with both. That distressing emotion will linger with me for a while. I know it’s my own fault for allowing it linger, but sometimes I kind of lose sight of God…to be honest
But God ALWAYS shows himself to me in a mighty way.
I pray that one day we can all live without the distressing emotion of fear, in whatever form it is, and always have that fear (awe) of God in our lives. That we come to realize that what is written in 2 Timothy 1:7 is true.