How easy is it to focus on what God doesn’t do for me? Way too easy. I get distracted. The “shiny object” grabs my attention and diverts me. It happens a lot.
The big thing Jesus never gives me is fear or worry. That is NEVER as in not at all. Worry is not from Jesus.
What Jesus does gives me is power. That is POWER in a big way. Jesus has given me His Holy Spirit.
And Jesus gives me love. When I don’t know how or even can’t find it in me, Jesus shows me the way.
But here is the kicker. I need self control to get to where God wants me to be. He gives me self-control as well. And oh how I need self-control.
How amazing is that? VERY. God is so very good.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self- control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the Master is the beginning of knowledge.” Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just, and righteous. The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him.
The fear of the Master is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. | Proverbs 1:7
- There is a great conundrum around the issue of fear. God says that I should fear Him and that I should “fear not”. So what is up with all of this? Jesus lays it all out with this: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) Almost immediately after that, Jesus says “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” The Greek word in Matthew 10 is phobéō – meaning I fear, dread, reverence, am afraid, terrified.
- Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the Master your God ask of you but to fear the Master your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Master your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the Master your God and serve him.Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”
- For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer’s fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’”This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for the Messiahians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe.
- Some redefine the fear of God for believers to “respecting” Him. While respect is definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there is more to it than that. A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment on sin—even in the life of a believer. Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.
- Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). We have His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him as Master, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.
As a slave of Jesus, I know that as long as I obey Him, I have nothing to fear because of His love for me. If I don’t obey Him, there is much to fear. He is able to destroy me — both soul and body in hell. Yikes!
- Deuteronomy 6:13 — 13 “You shall fear only the Master your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.
- Deuteronomy 31:12–13 — 12 “Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Master your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. 13 “Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Master your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.”
- Joshua 4:24 — 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Master is mighty, so that you may fear the Master your God forever.”
- Joshua 24:14 — 14 “Now, therefore, fear the Master and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Master.
- 1 Samuel 12:24 — 24 “Only fear the Master and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.
- Psalm 2:11 — 11 Worship the Master with reverence And rejoice with trembling.
- Psalm 34:7–9 — 7 The angel of the Master encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. 8 O taste and see that the Master is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 O fear the Master, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
- Proverbs 15:33 — 33 The fear of the Master is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 — 13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
- Isaiah 33:6 — 6 And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Master is his treasure.
- Revelation 14:7 — 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”