Today’s reading has three verses referencing a fear of the Lord. That made me wonder if I actually fear him, so as an exercise to help me think about what it means to fear something, I brainstormed on a few things that I actually do fear: falling off the edge of a cliff (even though I’m nowhere near the edge), ladders, electricity, clowns, extreme turbulence, diving into shallow water, and lack of preparation. Some irrational fear in there but some healthy fear as well.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever. (Psalm 111:5)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever! (Psalm 111:10)
And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.” (Revelation 19:5)
I’ve come to view the word fear in these verses to be reverence as opposed to a common “fear” of something we might want to run away from. For example, I don’t fear a hot stove, but I have a healthy respect for its intended use and corresponding dangers when misused. In what ways do I reflect a lack of fear (reverence) in the Lord? What does fearing the Lord look like? How is this wise?
Creating the table below was a great exercise to challenge my thinking and behaviors. Each of the earthly focused items are all too near to the way that I live, so creating this table reminded me of my current focus and where it needs to be.
|My earthly focus disrespects, dishonors, or demonstrates a lack of fear of God when I…||My eternal focus demonstrates fear or reverence for God when I…||The wisdom…|
|Blatantly disobey to feed my own desire. If it feels good, I do it!||Obey his commands, even when I don’t want to. Die to self.||And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:38)|
|Keep on sinning. He’ll forgive me right?||Choose to give up a recurring sin and remember the price that Jesus paid for me to be forgiven.||For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)|
|Put my trust in wealth, power, and pleasure. I choose the lies that the world tries to tell me.||Put my trust in Godly things. His word, guidance from the Holy Spirit, his mercy through Jesus.||The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy (Psalm 111:7)|
|Seek “what’s in it for me” in this relationship.||Meet someone new and contemplate how I can share the love of Jesus with them. Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit so as to make Jesus known. Share what a difference Jesus has made in my life.||And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)|
|Try to speed through the week to get to the weekend for some fun!||Slow down. Rest. Live in the moment. Thank God for each new day, for the little things. Live in prayer and set aside time for the reading of scripture.||And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31)|
|Worry about the future; my job, family, and finances.||Give it all up to God. He’s got it!!! He may not give me what I think I want, when I want it, but he’s in control and that’s that!||Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)|