We fear a lot of things, whether or not we’d like to admit it. Some fear spiders, some fear heights, some fear darkness. The things that we fear we have surrendered control to. We acknowledge that those items, whether it be snakes or flowers, have the authority to rob us of control and position us in a perpetual state of panic and fear. But we weren’t born with fear, it was downloaded to our internal hard drive as we grew and experienced life. Those things we fear we must constantly strive to overcome, to condition ourselves to no longer be afraid. In doing so we reclaim our authority.
But what about the fear of God? We can never claim authority over God, however we often condition ourselves to not fear God. We lose ourselves in His love and we forget his might and justness. We thank Him for His grace and ignore is need for judgment. We fear debt, divorce, and death but not the divine? Time and time again we condition ourselves to ignore His ability (and right) to call us to give an account for our sins while quoting verses about his mercy. We associate fear with the bad and boldness with the good, but the fear of God isn’t a bad thing. It’s the fear of the Lord that causes us to put our trust in Him. If we truly fear God we are acknowledging His power and if we are acknowledging His power as the most powerful, why do we allow ourselves to fear anything else?
The Israelites saw His great acts and they feared Him. The result of their fear of Him is that they put their trust in Him. When God’s constant flow of miracles subsided they lost their fear. They became bold in themselves, and this is where their biggest misjudgment shined the brightest. (Exodus 14:31).
They associated His might with His acts and not His character.
They feared when they SAW Him, not because they KNEW Him. I want to fear God because I know Him. I know what He is mighty to do, both save and judge. I want to put my trust in Him because He is trustworthy. I want to be bold in every area of life because of Him not in spite of Him. I need to fear the Lord, no, my pride needs to fear that Lord. If I genuinely fear the Lord than my will must crumble to His and my ways have no choice but to be His ways. This is how I want to live – in fear of His power, in awe of His mercy, and blessed by His grace.