Is that phrase an oxymoron?
Is there anything that you can healthily fear in your day-to-day movements?
I’m afraid of Barney—remember that purple dinosaur in the 90s—and his singing tirades. Anyone with me? I might consider that a healthy fear.
What was the one song he launched into at the end of each show…”I love you. You love me…”
C’mon. I know what you’re thinking. And, yes. I did watch it. At the behest of my younger sister. The age old, “She made me do it.”
I recall we also had a not so nice rendition for Barney’s song amongst us older boys. I’ll refrain here from drudging up the past. But, please know it involved a rope.
Anyways, Barney aside. I truly, wholeheartedly believe there are healthy fears.
And as we discussed last time about fearing the unknown versus fearing God—healthy fear fits the latter. (We shouldn’t fear the unknown, even though we do.)
Fearing God is a healthy response at times.
Look at the Bible. It mentions countless times what happens when we replace our fears of everyday unknowns like: Will their plane land?…Will I make straight A’s and graduate?…Will the pizza delivery guy be here on time? with healthy fears about God.
Proverbs is a favorite book of the Bible for me. So much wisdom packed into such a slim book. Proverbs 1:7 states “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
Please note the word there “beginning.” If fearing God is where it starts, then it implies that nothing can really go right until Step 1 is adhered to.
Have you ever tried to put something together that came with instructions by jumping to step #10 first? What about even #4? Doesn’t look pretty does it? All of the steps are important in the list, and Solomon is saying Start with God!
But let’s dig deeper.
It’s not the kind of fear we’re all thinking about. Shivers and chill bumps and whatnot. No. This kind of fear is different. It’s not about someone harming us, or, our well-being. This fear is more similar to a reverence for God’s plan, His deity.
If He created us, then this fear is meant to be our response to His perfection.
Oswald Chambers said, “when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.” Essentially, our lives become like a house of cards if we don’t fear God.
In the verse we mentioned in a previous blog, Matthew 6:33, where Jesus is delivering the Sermon on the Mount. He’s stating a similar goal. People who seek Him first no longer worry about the petty details—or, even the heavy stuff—in their lives. Once the fear is delivered over into capable hands, God’s own, then, the world becomes a lot less chaotic.
I know fears of the unknown are only one portion of our daily existence on Earth, but it’s a starting spot. Placing these inside God’s hands will alleviate A LOT of the stress we have no business trying to hold onto. From there, trust can be built. He will show us we can trust him with EVERYTHING.
King Solomon knew pretty much all there was to know about the world, its occupants. So, don’t listen to me on this one. Take his word for it. In Proverbs 3:5 he says, “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding.”
This was a man given wisdom from God. He admits that a healthy dose of fear in the Creator makes sense. We are designed to give every bit of ourselves so that we can live as we were originally meant to.
Pastor Pete Wilson says, “Throughout history, this kind of fear has given individuals courage, direction, and motivation to make tough choices and live in a God-honoring way.”
What better way is there to live than this?
To know God has already paved the way for all of us is the answer we seek. From this knowledge springs Courage, Direction, Motivation and best of all—a God-honoring life!
Brian L. Tucker