There are a few things in life that you sure as hell need to fear. Ever really thought about this?
Right in our neighborhood there was a dog who lived in a cage. This monster weighed over 200 pounds. Massive. He would lunge at us with horrible sounds as my wife and I did our afternoon walks. I pictured him on me if he ever got loose. Or worse – if he caught my wife. That caused fear in me. What if there is another one about to break his chain and come without warning on my walk?
There are some very twisted wacko folk “out there”, you know? You see them in the news. What if that twisted son of a ‘nother twisted mother lives in my neighborhood, under the radar, about ready to snap? I kinda think I should fear that.
How about you? Spiders? Snakes? Being alone in the dark? Walking a deserted street? Break-ins? Car breaks-down while passing through a gang infested section of town?
In Mexico my friends are afraid of kidnappings, rape, beheadings by drug cartel gangs. In Muslim lands Christians face very real death by fearful methods.
I’m not a fearful type of guy. I have always been self assured, confident I could take care of most anything coming my way. But I’m getting older now (of course I wasn’t ever getting old before! -ha). There are situations I know would be beyond me. I know fear.
Another kind of fear is – “having a deep respect”. I have great respect for (fear of) hot scalding water, forest fire, flash flood… that kind of deep respect for what can happen.
- the laws of my state and my country, because there are serious consequences for not heeding them.
- the deadly power of a gun in my hands
- the deadly force of my speeding car as I drive (and the crazy flatlanders driving up to our mountain)
There is a certain kind of “fear” there, or deep respect, that serves me well. I should have fear there.
There is similar kind of “fear” that I have. I fear the wrath of a holy God. What a helpless creature I am, and will be on That Day – in the presence of a holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, totally just God. I am just a beat away from standing there!
In humans and animals, fear is modulated by the process of cognition and learning. Thus fear is judged as rational or appropriate and irrational or inappropriate. An irrational fear is called a phobia. –Babylon
Scripture contrasts three very real fears:
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
- There is a natural fear of evil, of what other people can do to harm us. (v.28)
- There is a fear of God who can place us in hell. (v.28)
- There is a natural fear of worthlessness that can overwhelm us because we feel alone, unloved, of no worth. (v.31)
The only one to fear is God. Do you? Have you gone out of your way to know God, to study what He has written to us in the Bible? The Bible explains why we should be very mindful of God. That “fear” should change our entire way of life here on earth.
God is a very loving God. He went so far as to send His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth… in order to provide a way for us to get out from under His due Justice. We can receive His grace instead of His Justice – if we follow Him in His ways.
“For God so loved the world,
that He gave
His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes
shall not perish,
but have eternal life.”
– John 3:16 NASB version
Knowing He loves that much, that He cares about me, has radically influenced all I do. How about you?