Our brains are an amazing creation from God. They are made up of more than 100 billion nerve cells forming a network of communications that serve as the starting line for everything we think, say or do. When our brain creates the chain reaction of fear it impacts our breathing, blood and muscles to ready for “flight or fight.” When you experience fear, the brain commands your full energy and focus.
When I was a young boy I can vividly remember the dreaded call from my parents for bedtime. Every muscle would readily tighten for the hours of fear in the darkness of the night. My fear had no rational basis but it was very real and demanded all my attention.
What do you fear? What captivates your full attention?
Sadly, most of us were taught to “not fear” and turn it off like you would a light switch in a room. We grow up hiding the things we fear or projecting a false sense of confidence that only leaves our inner self lonely and insecure. I realize that we cannot be paralyzed by fear but could there be any good in having it?
I have been meditating on the reality that God asks us to fear:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. — Proverbs 1.7
Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly. — Proverbs 14.2
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death. — Proverbs 14.27
Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord. — Proverbs 15.33
Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided. — Proverbs 16.6
There are many more verses in the Bible that give a clear challenge that fear is essentially linked to faith. The consistent message is that without fear my faith does not exist or I don’t have a proper view of God. Think with me for a moment and imagine just one of the heavenly beasts mentioned by the prophets or in John’s revelation appearing in your home today. What would you do or more importantly, what would you feel? Fear.
I believe that a proper theology of God would grow a sense of awe-like fear for who he is and that I would be so humbly grateful that his wrath toward my sin has been paid for. Fear for God captures my full attention. I do not look to fight him or give flight from him but to fall down before him. I believe this is called worship.