“And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.”
When Ezra set himself to rebuild the temple, the first act that he did was to set up the altar. He did this because “fear was upon them because of the people of those countries…” In other words, fear caused them to get right with the LORD so they could experience God’s blessings on their work. Fear was the motivator that drove them to rebuild the great temple.
Fear is often looked at in a negative connotation. Certainly, fear can cause people not to do things, but it can also become a great motivator to cause you to do something great for the LORD. Let me share with you some areas where fear can motivate you to do more for the LORD.
First, the fear of failure can cause you to stay motivated to serve the LORD. If you have any drive inside of you, the fear of failing can keep you going when it seems everything is against you. The pastor who has a fear of failing will be motivated to keep doing what is needed to build his work. The business person will be driven to work hard to build their business out of a fear of failure. The fear of failure has driven many people to continue on when they experienced setbacks because they didn’t want to fail.
Second, the fear of disappointing a person you respect and love has driven many people to do right. Many times you have heard people do right because they didn’t want to disappoint their parents or their pastor. I can hear the Pharisee right now criticizing that you should only do right to serve the LORD, but have you ever thought that your love for someone is a great motivator the LORD uses to keep you doing right? Many people stay away from things that they should never do just because they fear they may disappoint someone they love.
Third, the fear of losing opportunities has driven many to push forward when they were tired. Opportunities are not always going to offer themselves to you, and the fear of losing them should motivate you to push forward when you want to let up or quit. Many people who once saw the blessings of the LORD slowed down when they got tired only to realize that those blessings never returned. That thought should stir you to push forward when you want to quit.
As you can see, fear is a great motivator, but fear can also be a great distractor. Many have let the fear of something keep them from doing something for the LORD. Many have the let the fear of failure keep them from ever starting. Many have allowed the fear of disappointing someone cause them to not set out to try something because they didn’t want to disappoint. My friend, you will never find out what the LORD can do through you if you let fear scare you into doing nothing. The voice of fear has caused many to miss the miraculous because they wouldn’t step out by faith. Yes, it may seem scary, but you mustn’t let fear to halt what the LORD wants you to do.
Let me ask you; are you going to let fear be a distractor or a motivator in your life? I challenge you to let fear be the motivator to drive you forward for the LORD. You will experience the greatest victories in life if you will allow fear to motivate you to do right.