Todays Verse/Thought: Which Fear Is In Your Driver's Seat?
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
The Bible uses numerous words to denote fear: reverence; dread; fear; and terror. The New Bible Dictionary states that theologically, four main categories can be suggested.
1. HOLY FEAR: This is God-given, enabling us to reverence Gods authority, obey his commandments and hate and shun all form of evil. Our scripture reference above tells us that this kind of fear is the very BEGINNING OF WISDOM.
2. SLAVISH FEAR: This is strictly a natural consequence of sin as we mentioned in our TargetPoint yesterday. An adulterer fears they will be found out; a tax evader works hard to cover their tracks; an alcoholic fears losing their job, etc.
3. FEAR OF MEN: This can be positive in the sense of having a reverential awe and regard of men, as of those in authority over us; or, it can be quite negative, where we have a blind dread of other people because of what they have or can do to us.
4. FEAR AS THE OBJECT OF FEAR: This is a particular fear that terrifies us. The Greek word is phobos which is where our word phobia comes from. One of my closest friends lived in fear when his children were teenagers if they were out even one minute past their curfew. His imagination would go to the worst scenario he could think of, and he was sure it had occurred to his kids. As President Roosevelt said: Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
The right kind of fear can be a good thing. The wrong kind of fear can devastate our lives. Of course, don't we all want to be dominated by holy fear, wise fear? Wisdom and knowledge is what we all want. That's most likely what Eve thought she was getting when she ate from that tree. But, God has given us the key to successful living Knowledge of Him!
As you review the different kinds of fear listed above, see if one or more descriptions trigger something inside you where you feel as though you can IDENTIFY PERSONALLY. ASK GOD TO REVEAL SPECIFIC CASES in your life where you have been dominated by a particular negative fear (or fears). WRITE DOWN THOSE SPECIFICS and then give them to the Lord. Ask God, as He sheds His light on those areas, to begin to remove and heal those specific fears, and replace them with His wisdom and love.
Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Holy Fear, A Personal Testimony