Before you start to read this I want you to grab a cup of coffee or orange juice with your pastry and take a seat fasting on your seatbelt, as we take this journey together discovering what good fear is and what are bad fears and the effects of both.
We have all probably experienced situations where we feared something or someone and it paralyzed us. It caused us great stress and worry. I can remember growing up as a little kid having a strong fear of death. I was in such fear that every time I got hurt or got sick I wanted my mother to take me to the hospital so I would feel safe because the doctors were right there. Some today would call that being a hypochondriac. It got so bad that it would cause hyperventilating and panic attacks because of the stress it caused. It was until I was an adult that I realized what us going on and Christ who brought me through it. I can remember years ago going to an out-door family movie night and they were playing E.T. and my daughter was so afraid she covered her face almost the entire movie because she was afraid of what he looked like. So fear can really cripple us if it’s the wrong type of fear. There is a good fear though that can cause our life to be changed. I would like to share with you three people who had a failed moment due to the wrong fear. I also would like to share with you three people who over came their fears to go on and do great things. I also would like to share with you two situations that were life changing because of the good type of fear. But before we go there I would like to share with you the two types of fears. So what is the good fear? That is the fear of the Lord. What is the bad fear? It can be anything that causes stress or anything that’s causes paralyzation in your life. Before we get real deep into this thought first let us take a look at some scriptures so we can get a quick feel of what they fears can do for us.
Exodus 20:20- Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The fear in God causes change in our lives.
Deuteronomy 6:2,24- So that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 24-The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. So fear of the Lord causes change which can allow us to live a long life and be prosperous.
Psalm 34:9- Fear the Lord, you is saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. Wow to truly understand that through our fear in him that causes us to change allows us to lack nothing. Priceless
Proverbs 29: 25- Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. His love provides us a safety net for us and the fear of man does not prevail.
Isaiah 41:10- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. God is saying don’t allow your situations cripple you. Because no matter what the situation in, he will provide you the strength you need to get through and that when you fall hold on to his hand because he will lift you back up!!!
This is the last verse before we get deep into understanding what it means to fear the Lord or our situations. John 12:42- Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from the men more than praise from God. Their fear crippled them and caused them to miss out on things they could have received because they were concerned about what man thought and mans recognition.
As we get into these stories try to remember a situation you experienced like these people. The first three people that we are going to talk about are Jeroboam, Elijah and Peter. Two of them encountered situations were they let their fear get the best of them and one almost let it get the best of him.
Jeroboam was one of King Solomon’s officials. Because of King Solomon’s disobedience, God promised Jeroboam that he would tear down Solomon’s kingdom and give him ten tribes. Eventually Solomon’s son Rehoaboam takes over his kingdom and cause destruction. Jeroboam out of fear that he would no longer get what God promised him decided to take care of things on his on instead of waiting on God which caused him more pain in the long run. 1 King 12:26-31-Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoaboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam. After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. “Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” One he set up in Bethel, and the other Dan. “And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there. Verse 31 shows us the beginning of Jeroboams downfall. 31- Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.” Jeroboam went on to appoint more priest and offered sacrifices on the altars also creating his own festivals of worship that God never authorized him to do and it led to his destruction. His actions were created from fear.
Elijah one of the greatest prophets who the bible says was taken up to heaven also had a feat that almost cost him his life. Elijah had fled to Horeb because he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Ahab who was a king at that time told his wife who was very aggressive, mischievous, a control freak, full of evil Jezebel what Elijah had done and she swore she would kill Elijah. Elijah being afraid and worn from running was so tired that he no longer wanted to live. 1 King 19:3-4- Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors. Wow as I was writing that God show me something else. Elijah was so tired of trying to get the Israelites to change and so tired from running that enough was enough. But God was not finished with him yet. God had other things for him to do even though he wanted to give up and quit. His timing was not God timing. Like Elijah we sometimes just want to quit and give up and want that storm or situation in our life just to go away when God says I’m not done with you yet. When I get you through this trial you will come out victorious If you just trust me through it. Wow Lord I hear you and so did Elijah who was caught up in heaven to be with you. Wow God always speak through his word I didn’t have that written down to put in this blog. God knows someone reading this must have needed that. He is truly amazing.
Peter one of the twelve disciples allowed his fear to cause him to deny Jesus three times like Jesus predicted. People give him a hard time about this action and they talk about it all the time. But let’s take a step back to the point when Peter told Jesus he would not deny Jesus. What was his environment at that time? He was a comfortable place sitting at the Lord Super with Jesus and the rest of the disciples. In the truest part of his heart at that moment he could never imagine doing something like that because he loved Jesus. At that moment there was nothing to fear or any stress involved at that point. It was until Jesus was taken and he by following Jesus saw what was happening to him. Out of the fearing what was happening to Jesus to happen to him he denied knowing him. We all have been Peter before. When everything was going well and there was no stress. We trusted Jesus and believed him. But as soon we go through a stressful situation and things look rough, we deny Jesus by not putting our trust in him by doubting that he will see us through.
Abraham, Moses, and Gideon didn’t let their fear get in the way of preventing God from using them and receiving a blessing from it. Abraham in Genesis 3 verses 4-6 did not fear of the Kings who took his nephew lot from keeping him from going to rescue him and all of his possessions. Moses in Exodus 4 verses 10-11 didn’t allow his fear of not being able to speak cause him to miss his blessing in the end. God gave Moses Aaron to use as his voice but how many times did Moses actually use him to do that. Gideon in Judges 6 verses 14-16 didn’t allow his initial fear of coming from the weakest clan or family in Manasseh to prevent him from allowing God to use him to do great things.
The greatest fear though is the fear of the Lord that causes change. That’s exactly the type of fear Rahab and the people of Nineveh had. Rahab had so much fear in the Lord that she helped the enemy defeat Jericho. Because she knew the power of the Lord and that fear save her life and her family’s life. Joshua 2:8-9- Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. Joshua 6:25- But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
Jonah went to the people of Nineveh telling what was to come if they didn’t change their ways. The feared the Lord so much that they believed and made a changed as soon as he told them and the Lord spared them. Jonah 3:5- The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. Jonah 3:10- When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways; he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. So the only fear we need is the good fear. That is the fear of the Lord that causes our life and those around us to change.
Lord I pray that we your people get back to the good fear which is fearing you that will cause our lives to change according to your will and ways. Lord I also pray that who ever read this blog who is struggling with fear in an area of their life one that represents bad fear that you walk with them releasing what ever it is that is holding them back or crippling them and I pray that if someone who reads this doesn’t have a relationship with you, that they ask you to forgive them of their sins and confess with their mouth that you are Lord and believe in their heart that God raised you from the dead and that they be saved in Jesus name I pray Amen. Enjoy the song Give Us Clean Hands and let God speak to you through the lyrics!!!If this blog or song touched your heart reply Amen!