“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
Fear is often one of the most misrepresented feelings or emotions that is spoken about. Many preachers have preached against having fear, and to some extent, they are correct. Unfortunately, many believers have come to the conclusion that fear is a bad thing. However, fear is a natural response that God has given to every person. For instance, I have a fear of snakes, which is good because it allows me to be careful or to stay away from when I see a snake. Fear is always present when you come upon a dangerous situation where your life is in danger. When you have a fear of a dangerous situation, the normal response is to flee from it, which can be a life-saving situation.
Fear in itself is not bad; it is what you place your fear in that determines whether or not it’s bad. If fear if placed in the LORD, it is a good thing. If fear is the result of a phobia or man, it becomes bad. The fear of the LORD results in faith and trust in God; whereas, the fear of man or phobias results in fearful and faithless living. The verse above states that the “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Therefore, we can see that not all fear is bad. It is the type of fear that determines whether or not it is bad. Let me talk to you a bit about fear and its impact on your life.
First, a fear of phobias always leads to a life of anxiety and worry. The fear of phobias is a result of focusing on fear instead of focusing on the strength of the LORD. For instance, there are some people who have a phobia of dirt which leads them to live in fear of doing anything that might carry a germ. At the writing of this devotional, there are many people who are living in fear of the COVID 19 virus, which has caused them to hibernate in fear that it might “kill” them as the news media has falsely portrayed. My friend, the fear of phobias always robs you from living life. You cannot live in fear of phobias and have a fulfilling life.
Second, the fear of man always leads to sin. The fear of man will cause you to live a faithless and disobedient life. You cannot live with a fear of man and obey God at the same time. When you are concerned with what man will say about you or do to you instead of trying to please God, you will find that you will never please God. You cannot live with a fear of man and have a productive life for Christ. The fear of man will always lead you away from Christ, which will result in a life of regret and missed opportunities for Christ.
Third, the fear of the LORD is where your fear should be placed. The fear of the LORD is a respect of how powerful and awesome the LORD is; it is an awe of His power and what it can do to you or for you. The fear of the LORD always moves you to live a life of faith, and a life where you trust the power and strength of the LORD to come through, in spite of what you might face.
My friend, you have a choice today to either live in fear of man and phobias or to live with a fear of the LORD. You cannot get rid of fear in your life because God has created you with fear. However, you can place your fear in the LORD, and the fear of man and phobias will no longer control you. If you place your fear in man and phobias, you will live a life of retreat. If you live your life with a fear of the LORD, you will live a life of marching forward by faith. Living your life with a fear of the LORD will always be the most productive life.