Many things in life generate fear. Frequently, fear generated is associated with the unknown. Suppose a person has a clear vision about what is ahead. In that case, he or she can prepare themselves for the journey, anticipating unknown obstacles that might present themselves; the obstacles anticipated has more to do with a frame of mind than that which is known. On the other hand, if the journey is into the realm of the unknown, without preparation, the apprehension sometimes turns into fear.
Fear is Controlling
Do you remember when you were a little boy or girl and the anticipation of getting in trouble? I do. Many would do what they could to squirm out of the anticipated trouble, trying to avoid the blows (or punishment) applied to the rear end! The punishment was painful but being made a better person because of it is longer-lasting. This is not the case with many today. There is the fear of government when parents seek to discipline the children; the parents do not know what the government will do – if they do anything. When children learn of this, they (fear) control the parents.
What Shall We Fear?
The Lord talked about fear also. He said to His disciples, ” 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 Gehenna” (Matt. 10:28, UASV). This seems easier to understand than it is to apply. All we have in this world is our own experience; with these experiences, all we know is the life we live. The idea of not fearing for one’s life seems unnatural – and indeed it is. Yet, the Lord said His disciples are not to fear those in the flesh. The reason for this is apparent to the spiritually minded person. What is your life but a vapor in time? Our life seems to pass quickly by us, generating a sense of wonder at where the time has gone. Since we know this, the fear of man will do what for us? Not a thing!
Walking in the Fear of the Lord
On the other hand, the fear that is properly placed is seen in Acts 9:31, ” So the congregation throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”
If only New Testament saints would live in accordance with this sentiment, would not the church grow? The church, in some locations, has not grown, so what does that say about the local New Testament church?
Maybe we need to fear the Lord more than we do! Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, ” Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences” (2 Cor. 5:11).
While many people fear the unknown, the unknown in the case in which I write, is very much known to us. What is there to fear? “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 Jn. 4:18). Those who are identified as Christians but are not living a holy life have everything to fear. They should fear greatly because the so-called unknown is NOT unknown. They know very well the Almighty before whom they will stand. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Since we know these things, “How then should we live?”