Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 04/24/19

Fear the Lord and No Others

Put fear in its place, fear God not man

STORY: Afraid of the Boogey Man

When I was a young girl, I had quite an imagination, and just as many fears. For example, I was convinced there was a monster under my bed. I just knew he had several knives positioned to pierce my sleeping body at any moment. I’m not sure how many times my mom reassured me that there was nothing under my bed but a little dust!

Fears are sometimes imaginary, just like that monster under my bed. Other times, the object of our fears is quite real. There’s no way I’m going to say all fears are fictional, because I know too many victims beaten within an inch of their lives to tell them fearing their aggressor is “False Evidence Appearing Real.”

Instead, I recommend that we fear the Lord, the only one who is capable of demolishing the object of our fears. We gain peace when we place our trust in him.

What does it mean to fear God? Some say it is a deep reverence. Others say it is a realization that his power is stronger than anything we face in the world. When we fear God we minimize the power anything else has on us.

Fearing God is the ability of seeing him for who he is. Receiving his love casts out all other fears, completing our relationship with him.

Boiled down, it is simply acknowledging he is God and I am not. Oh, and neither are those other people or things we fear, when we place our trust in God alone.

Considering all that, let’s look at our word study for today.

STUDY: Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! (Psalm 111:10 NLT)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:7 NLT)

  • What is the foundation of true wisdom and true knowledge? Could you use more wisdom and knowledge? I know I could!
  • What causes wisdom growth? Why do you think it’s essential to submit to his direction to be a wise person?
  • In all that, we praise him. No other object of our fears is praise-worthy. Not to mention, he’s the only one we praise in our fear of him.

All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield. (Psalm 115:11 NLT)

  • When we fear the Lord, we see him for who he truly is. Does that help you trust him more?
  • What does it mean to you, to know God is your helper and your shield?  

The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14 NLT)

  • When we fear others, we see them as enemies, but when we fear the Lord, he is our friend. See the contrast?
  • Which is easier for you, to fear God or see him as your friend? What is your plan to do both at the same time?

Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27 NLT)

  • Here is another statement of opposites in agreement. In life, what we fear drains the life from us. But when we fear the Lord, he gives life, gushing through us like a fountain.
  • How can fearing the Lord help us escape death traps?

Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm. (Proverbs 19:23 NLT)

  • How does fearing the Lord lead to life for you?
  • What security and protection of harm happens because of fearing God?

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (Matthew 10:28-31 NLT)

Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear. (Luke 12:4-5 NLT)

  • The passages in Matthew and Luke point out that fearing God is more than reverence. It is the knowledge of his power, compared to all others.
  • How is God’s power more fearful than even those who might want to kill your body?
  • People (and even country songs) make light of being thrown in hell. How do you feel about that?
  • In the Matthew passage, it says to fear only God, but then later it says, “don’t be afraid.” How can you explain this?

Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king. (1 Peter 2:17 NLT)

  • What are the good life actions mentioned in this passage?
  • How does a proper fear of God help you with your respect and interactions with everyone else?

STEPS: Put Fear in its Place

  1. Focus on God’s power. Think of how his power is more potent than all others combined. Make a list of how his power is evidenced in your life.
  2. Reject fearing others or circumstances. List them, then forget them! If you are a child of God, you have the all-powerful one defending you and protecting you. Nothing will come into your life that he can’t handle.
  3. Worship God with a sense of fear. Spend time praising God for all his attributes, including his power.

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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