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Fearing God

Common Fear versus Godly Fear

And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God.  Deut. 10:12

Common fear is a negative feeling caused by a perceived threat to one’s well-being. It can cause unpleasant feelings of danger or risk, whether or not such a danger or threat exists. Human life can be severely disturbed by common fear.

Another name for common fear is phobia. Common fears or phobias can drive a person completely out of control. They are negative and disturbing emotions and one of the greatest opponents to a prosperous life. They come in many different packages, but they do not have to be accepted. Remember, unwanted packages can always be returned to sender.

There are so many things that cause people to be fearful. Some people refuse to leave home because they are afraid of other people. Some people have a fear of losing out mentally or losing their ability to govern their thoughts and actions. Others have a fear of failure, suffering from intense feelings that they will never succeed.  Some people are afraid of traveling by air or water, and yet others are afraid of the dark. Is your life affected by the fear of things you encounter from day to day?

If enough time is given to common fear, it can become a great challenge and dominate one’s life. Yielding to fears or phobias causes individuals to spend far too much time worrying about things that are beyond their control. Such fears can affect eating and sleeping habits and may even cause one to exist in a state of constant irritability. This type of fear is detrimental. It is one of the more severe weights that God has commanded everyone to lay aside in Heb. 12:1. It is the enemy to the mind, body, and soul.

Common fear is not concerned with how good or bad a situation is, but it escalates, making adverse conditions more devastating. It destroys self-confidence and restricts human experiences that could lead to great success.

In contrast to common fear, the Bible speaks of another fear that all men should consider. This fear can destroy all unhealthy and unwanted common fears or phobias. It is the polar opposite of common fear and is known as the fear of God.

The fear of God is to be embraced by all people at all costs. It is a profound discernment of God’s preeminence and His requirements for humanity. It is an authentic awareness that it is only in Him that everyone has the opportunity to find the fullness of life. The fear of God unites with love, honor, trust, and admiration of our sovereign God. It means all reverence to Him.

Fear of the Almighty God does not cause one to be petrified of God but is respect and recognition of His awesome Person to the highest degree. It does not mean that we are to be afraid of God because He is our Father. Are we afraid of our natural father? Of course not! But we give our natural fathers the respect that they deserve.  In the same sense, God does not want us to be afraid of Him, but to provide Him with the respect that He deserves. Fearing God should be embraced to make one wise, according to Prov. 9:10. The acquisition of wisdom is to be God-fearing, recognized, and claimed as an emblem of honor.

Great blessings come to those who fear God. A famous example is recorded in the Book of Exodus.  In Exodus, God blessed the Israelites to multiply in high numbers while in Egyptian captivity. Because of their remarkable increase, Pharaoh was tormented and fearful that the boys would grow up and become great warriors and fight against the Egyptians. Pharaoh (who did not embrace the fear of God) instructed the midwives that when they were to deliver the babies, they were to kill all of the boy babies and save the girl babies alive.   Ex. 1:17 tells us that the midwives, however, refused to commit such crimes and allowed both the boy babies and girl babies to live.  They feared God. When called into question concerning their disobedience of Pharaoh’s command, God gave them exactly how they were to answer him. For their obedience to God, they received great blessings.

Fearing God is the most excellent defense against any form of common fears or phobias. Instead of fearing anything in this present world, the most significant option is to fear God!

Prayer is Key: Dear Lord, I ask that You help me to gain and maintain an understanding of the difference between common fear and fearing God.  I ask that You help me to fear You more than anything or anyone on earth. I know that in fearing You, I have all the protection and strength I need to finish my spiritual journey.   In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.