Remember when we were younger, and we thought we’d be so much smarter when we were older? We’d have this gig all figured out, and life would be a cinch. I was certain I’d know all the answers.
But truth be told now, I’m not even sure I know or understand the questions. Things I once clung to, I’m no longer certain still hold true. I’ve found myself questioning much and arriving at fewer and fewer certainties. There is much gray, and not in my hair. Since I’m the kind of person who longs for right answers, the “gray” of uncertainty not only threatens to make me uncomfortable, but fearful. Neither of which I like.
Uncertainty evokes fear. When we don’t know the answers to the who, what, where, when, how and why questions, fear creeps in and sets up camp right under our skin. One seemingly small thing can stir up an exaggerated response and intense overreaction. A tiny insecurity will permeate our thoughts and infect our logic like disease. We begin making sweeping generalizations… painting with a broad brush that lumps everyone or everything into the same category. Fear points fingers and attacks everyone else, but almost never makes us look within.
Scroll through Facebook or Twitter briefly. Turn on the news. Listen to the conversations around you. Fear is alive and at work in our hearts and homes, in our nation and world. Fear is feeding the chaos and turmoil. Fear is allowing spiritual darkness to masquerade as Truth. And if we’re not careful, fear will shift our focus from the Gospel… from God’s command to love and His commission to tell… to self-protection at all costs.
We have one thing alone to fear… God. And Psalm 111:10 reminds us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Allow that to sink in. It is not only life transforming, but also life giving. When we fear the Lord … we acknowledge:
- who He is, “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.” Psalm 96:4-6
- what He can do, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
- where He is, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them,because the one who is IN YOU (my emphasis added) is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
- when He works, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise…” 2 Peter 3:8-9
- how He moves, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
- and why. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
When we fear God, we have wisdom.
When we fear God, we know the answers to the questions that will keep us from worldly fear.
When we fear God, we are obedient to His command and commission.
When we fear God, we know Him and make Him known.