The Fear Challenge
Fear of the Lord is motivation; It is the beginning of wisdom. It is the beginning of a skillful life—a missional life. Imagine the Lord standing over your shoulder. Imagine standing before the Lord at the end of your days. It provides a healthy awe of the Lord and sufficient motivation for every five minutes of life. The biblical idea of wisdom is skillful living, and we all want to live skillfully.
If you need wisdom, ask! “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
Be sure your faith is in God alone. Do not waver. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8
We will see Him and give an account of our thoughts, intents and actions, for it is written, ” As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Rom 14:11-12
Fear of the Lord brings life. It is Jesus that brings us from death unto life. He gives life abundantly. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 We live by faith; we can rest content in Him. “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it, rests content; he will not be visited by harm.” Proverbs 19:28
Fear of the Lord provides security; a place of safety. The knowledge of the Lord provides complete confidence in the Lord that we are eternally secure. There are five verses in the Bible that repeat, “What can man do to me?” They can jail us, harm us – even kill us. But after that, nothing more.
Fear can be overwhelming. It is not what God intended. “… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim 1:7 Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of stepping out shuts doors of opportunity. Psalm 85:13 is essential. The Lord makes a path for our steps. The big idea is that we need to be stepping in order for Him to direct our steps. If we are not stepping, we may miss the opportunity.
We can have a much greater kingdom impact by paying attention to God and others. Interact or love on others without fear of how you will be judged. Consider the story of the Good Samaritan. That story comes from Jesus in answer to the question, “Who is our neighbor?” The Samaritan didn’t care what others thought; he did what he knew was the right thing to do. Unlike the others that passed by, the Good Samaritan was not overwhelmed by the circumstances.
We can be overwhelmed by finances, family, the task, the battle and the future. Accept the fact that God loves you enough to take care of you and has plans for your good. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 He is willing to help you reach one rung above where you can reach in the flesh, so you know the Holy Spirit is involved. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Rather than trying to make a little more to bank, strive to make a difference. He promises He will be with you. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.‘” Hebrews 13:5
“Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
Consider the verses below on fear of the Lord. For maximum impact read them out loud.
|Ex 14:13||And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today.|
|Lev 26:3-6||If you observe my commandments and do them … then I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.|
|Deut 31:6||Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.|
|Josh 1:9||Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.|
|Ps 23:4||Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.|
|Ps 27:1||The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?|
|Ps 34:4||I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.|
|Ps 46:1||God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.|
|Ps 56:4||In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?|
|Ps 64:1||Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.|
|Ps 91:5-6||You will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.|
|Ps 112:6-7||For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.|
|Ps 118: 6||The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?|
|Prov 1:33||… but whoever listens to me will dwell secure, and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”|
|Prov 3:25-26||Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence|
|Prov 29:25||The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.|
|Isa 12:2||Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid;|
|Isa 35:4||Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God …|
|Isa 41:10||fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;|
|Rom 8:15||For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.|
|2 Tim 1:7||God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.|
|Heb 13:6||So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”|
|1 John 4:18||There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.|