Links Daily Devotional

The Proper Fear

“Now Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and love him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12, NASB)

The concept of “fear” is something that all people face at some point in their life, and I am absolutely no exception. As a staff at College Golf Fellowship, we are going through a book titled, When People are Big and God is Small, by Edward Welch. Its main theme is overcoming the fear of man. Through this book I have realized how many fears I have—and not a proper trust in the Lord. However, as we will see today, there is a fear that we must have, a fear that will even transform our lives.

In golf, as I am sure you have experienced, there can be many fears. There are two kinds of fears in this game we love.

First are physical fears, which include things like water hazards, out-of-bounds, bunkers, fast, hard greens, and so on. Even the best of golfers face these obstacles with a measure of fear.

The other kind of fear has to do with the fear of man, which is more of an emotional fear. When a competitive player posts a bad score, it is available for the world to see. Even the weekend player knows his buddies in the bar are going to ask him what he shot. Posting an ugly score can be a tough thing and cause great fear for many people.

When we glance back at today’s verse, we are called by God himself to fear him. Now, you’re probably asking, “What does this exactly mean?” With help from Ed Welch’s book, I believe there are two parts to the expression “fear the Lord.”

The first part deals with an actual terror of the Lord. Listen to what Jesus said in Luke 12:5: “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” If we believe God is the sovereign Creator of the universe and is in control of all things, then there must be a fear in us because of how mighty he genuinely is.

However, with that being said, the second kind of fear that we ought to have toward our God is a reverent, worshipful, thankful fear. “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).

I hear the word fear a lot these days. Because we are sinners and sin well, we will always have some kind of fear (or fears) that we will have to face. However, our prayer to the Most Holy God should be something along these lines: “Father, take away my fear of everything but you; I recognize your might and power and come nowhere close to comprehending this majestic might that you have and display in creation; instill in me a proper fear of yourself and grant me the opportunity to fear only you, more and more each day as I walk with you.” As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 128:1, “How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord.”

Rosson Anderson
April 17, 2014
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