The Fear of the Lord
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. – Psalms 25:12-14 (NIV)
We hear a lot of sermons on the love of God, many on His grace and on His mercy, but the fear of Lord does not get as much attention. Fearing God has become underrated. We live in an age that lauds fearlessness and celebrates the brash. It is not courage that we hold up as valuable, but a lack of fear and there is a difference.
Too often we equate courage with fearlessness, but it is fear that is a prerequisite for courage. Fearlessness is a form of sociopathic behavior. It is an indicator that someone also lacks love or hope or faith. Even Christians can sometimes fall into this pitfall. We need to remember that it is not our fearlessness that equips us to live good lives, but our fear of the Lord casting out all other fears.
Fear of the Lord gives us courage to overcome all other fears. It is the beginning of wisdom according to Proverbs. Fear keeps us humble before God instead of calling Him our homeboy, copilot or buddy. He is the everlasting, ever present and all knowing God and we do right to fear Him, but it is not a fear without hope.
The fear of the Lord is not where we end up, it is where we start. It leads to a greater appreciation and gratefulness for His love, mercy and grace. It opens our eyes to the future hope of heaven and our present power to live life abundantly. The fear of the Lord gets us places that our fleshy fears would keep us from.
The world wants to hold us in fear, hold our children in fear, and we have a God who is not okay with us living timid and fretful lives. The challenge of keeping our children from giving in to their fleshy fears is a long road. At every twist and turn of growing up a new fear is introduced. As we walk them through this terrain, we will need to draw them back to the fear of the Lord so that all other fears diminish.
Lord, help me be a man that fears the Lord. May I live courageously in this life, unafraid of what the world may bring against me. Give me all I need to raise my children to fear You and You alone. Amen.