Spiders, slow killing diseases, abandonment, drowning, public speaking, spiders touching me. These are my biggest fears.
As I was writing down some Proverbs this morning, I passed this verse up and did not see it until after I had written it.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27 ESV)
I’ve never thought of fears being a good thing, offering life. If anything my fears cause stress, anxiousness, and death. So naturally, as I pondered this “fear of the Lord,” I decided to look up the definition of fear in my trusty Pocket Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus, which would never fit in anyone’s pocket (not even parachute pants!).
Fear- Panic or distress caused by exposure to danger, expectation of pain, ect. Dread, terror, horror, fright, timidity, alarm, apprehension.
Unless you’re still stuck in the rut of viewing God as a terrible God casting judgment (which by the way I’m not casting judgment, because not very long ago I was there too), then this fear definition isn’t very enlightening.
The God I have come to know is loving and calls me His child, His friend and would not scare me away with his terror.
With that being said, there are numerous accounts of God telling man, “Do not fear.” He knows that fears are going to happen, but still we are stuck with wondering, What does it mean to fear God?
Let’s look at some other translations and ask the Spirit to impart wisdom as we read and seek to understand.
The Fear-of- GOD is a spring of living water so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells. (Proverbs 14:27 MSG)
Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. [John 4:10, 14.] (Proverbs 14:27 AMP)
In light of what we just read, I’m realizing that fear can be a good thing. It is good to step into God’s presence with fear and trembling, remembering who He is.
He is the Creator. He speaks and mountains quake. He calmly wakes in the middle of a storm and the waves cease at the sound of His voice. His presence is one to be feared and loved. His light casts away darkness. There is no place for sin in His presence.
In the Old Testament, prophets feared for their lives when they were given the opportunity to see God’s face.
Maybe it is time to come trembling before His throne with all my baggage, with my dirty clothes, with my sinful tongue, with everything I have that does not measure up. Maybe it is time to do what seems scary (and I’m not talking about holding a spider). Maybe it’s time for my awe of God to turn into a fearful, reverence. Maybe it’s time that I take a step back and see Him as King of kings.
If it is by fear that I turn away from selfishness and my own desires, then let it be for fear of Him seeing such ugliness that I turn away from them. Yes, fear can be a good thing.
My fears cripple me, but fear of the Lord can breathe new life into me.
What are your fears?
I challenge you to write them down and pray over them. Ask Him to lighten your burden. I encourage you to give them to Him over and over again as many times as they arise. Let Him help.