Proverbs 1:7 says, “The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
Many, many times across my life I have wondered, whether by myself or with a group of people, just what does “the fear of the LORD” look like? What does that mean?
One recurring answer has always come up: Fear = respect (like a father figure or authority figure). And I think this is a good interpretation of this fear because it is a healthy fear to have–having a mix of fear and respect for someone, especially someone in power is always good.
Furthermore, I do not think that we should have fear in the sense of trembling and afraid of being shot down by lightning…though a tiny bit of that fear is good, because God is a Holy God & we are sinful people. But our fear should never overpower us to the point of turning away because we are too afraid; instead this little dose of this kind of fear should show grace greater to us! A Holy & sinless God wants to call sinful people to His side, offering a sacrifice on our behalf…? Grace. Overcoming the Fear.
…Leads to a question…are we going to have faith or have fear?
But yesterday, sitting in an Easter service at a friend’s church here in Mississippi, a new kind of fear overcame me. You all know that I’m preparing for 8 weeks in India this summer. And I’m a tad bit afraid. But as the sermon was closing (and Jesus was slapping me in the face with “Trust me. Trust that I will be who I say I will be. Trust that I will do what I say I will do. Trust that I will make you into who I want you to be.”), this quote came into my mind:
“It’s not failure we’re afraid of, it’s success.”
And immediately (as the preacher was praying, actually), I got out a notebook & turned to the verse at the top in Proverbs and wrote down my thoughts.
This is the kind of fear we should have toward God. A healthy fear, sorta like being anxious (not nervous–nervous=BAD! anxious, however=GOOD!)… Anxious is more along the lines of knowing you’ve prepared enough to where it is going to happen. In my case, this means learning all I can, praying all I can, preparing all I can for this summer; completely letting GOD and God alone drive me this summer, my words, my thoughts, my actions, etc. And it makes me a tad bit scared. But in this good way I’m talking about, because at the same time I have this little dose of fear, I have EXPECTATION. I absolutely KNOW God is going to show up & show out this summer. I KNOW that He is going to blow me away, both within my heart in teaching, and without my heart in the way He moves in the lives of whom I go to shine among.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I am really, really excited.
One last beautiful thought that I had when listening to Pinelake’s Easter sermon today on podcast:
Jesus’ resurrection was not just for Him to go back & be with God, it was to bring us to God. Sinless, stainless, and sanctified, to be a people for God’s own possession.