Time For God: Day 21

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 128:1
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord...

A leak of gas, a spark, a flash—an inevitable explosion! Blown from the flaming camper van, the young mother’s clothes were ablaze. Her hair on fire, she rushed to the outdoor beach-showers. Badly burned, she doused her body. Diminutive in frame, she grabbed a huge water butt. Running back, she heaved the water into the fiery camper. With super-human effort she tried to save her child. Today she says, “I’ll never know how I lifted that barrel!” Adrenalin surged and her strength peaked.    

Never underestimate the power of fear! It can save a life; it can bend a person out of mind. God’s mechanism for human survival is the fight-flight-freeze response. Healthy fear can rescue you from danger; toxic fear traps you far too long in a vise-like grip.

Life is truly hard (Prov. 13:15). Outcomes trump your scant control. Yet God plans for you to live abundantly (John 10:10). Fearing God—bowing in trust before Him—marks the start of living fully (Prov. 1:7). Fear of God was never stylish; today it has fallen out of fashion. Godly fear looks like respect, worship, and obedience. When Godly fear is absent, noxious fear abounds. Fears rapidly multiply and mutate; they race to be the first to cage the human heart.

We must deny the urge to sanitize our appropriate fear of God. Godly fear is not a deferential nod in the Almighty’s direction. When true terror of an uncertain eternity grips a community, revival often follows. The Holy Spirit, God’s breath, is infinitely powerful. Yet, tenderly He wafts away your toxic fears to grow your trust in Him. A heart that bows in godly fear discovers release and transformation. Hope, peace, and joy in the Lord emerge; they flourish in God’s abundant life.  

Godly fear sits side by side with blessing. As you reverently trust and know the Lord, God’s favour rests upon you. Professor Jim Packer observes: "The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God”. Knowing God begins—and continues—in holy, healthy fear. That kind of fear will never hinder. Godly fear will ever only bless.

How does reverential fear help you gently move from fearful self-dependency to relying more on God? Who might value hearing more about your fear-releasing insights, today?
God of Power, Lord of Peace, come with healing hope; quell my darkest fears. May I be all that I am in Jesus; Lord Jesus, be all that you are in me. In reverential fear I worship at your feet. From a heart of worship may my service honour You. Grant joy for the journey, fruit for my labours, and a rich share in hope’s harvest. In worship let me grow in grace. For your glory’s sake.  Amen.

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