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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Fear of the Lord: Our Protection

The fear of the Lord leads to life, 
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.(Proverbs 19:23 NASB).

Satisfying sleep can be a scarce commodity when our decision-making process is influenced primarily by pride. On the Big Island of Hawaii I once learned that spiritual attacks at night could be an indication of whether we fear God or man.

He is going to embarrass you!

I was in missionary training with Youth With A Mission on the Kona Coast of the island of Hawaii. Theo was a young man from Micronesia who I had befriended while sharing the Gospel on the streets of Kona.  I wanted to take him to a YWAM community meeting. He seemed open to going with me. One evening I stopped by his apartment to take him to the service. I opened the door, and there they were, Theo and his friend holding a bottle of beer. I scanned his face and his body language trying to discern how long he may have been drinking. Thoughts rushed through my mind. I wonder if he is drunk? The people at the meeting are going to smell the alcohol on his breath. He might say some things that will be embarrassing. Fear latched hold of me and after a few minutes I quietly left, feeling a little guilty but never revealing to him the real purpose of my visit. I had allowed myself to be manipulated by focusing only on how the situation might affect me. Self-centeredness is a fuse that ignites all kinds of evil. Pride and fear are very good buddies, and together they are very adept at swaying us away from doing the will of God.

Lord, What Is Happening?

That night I was beset by horrendous dreams filled with all types of wickedness. I awoke and was emotionally distressed. I cried out, “Lord, what is happening?” I picked up my Bible and was led specifically to Proverb 19:23. The portion, “so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil”, jumped out at me. It did not take a spiritual giant to realize I had been duped. Vanity always has a deceptive element to it. It leads us to see or hear things that are not really there. I am convinced to this day that Theo was just having a beer with a friend and was nowhere near inebriated. I had believed a lie in relation to his sobriety.

How could I have been so deceived? It was due to the fact that I cared more about what people thought about me rather than the soul of the man I was trying to reach. It was a classic example of the fear of man. The Bible says, “The fear of man brings a snare.... (Proverbs 29:25). God sometimes takes the scales off of our eyes and allows us to see ourselves as we really are. It was not a pretty picture that morning. I learned on that South Seas Island that if you want to protect your mind and heart, fear God and not man.

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