Christians, do you fear the Lord? I ask this question in a season where fear is running rampant. We are in the midst of what some are calling a Global Pandemic. The CoronaVirus (COVID-19) is a real concern for many and it has disrupted so much in society. People in fear of the virus are isolating, hoarding, distancing, cancelling, and otherwise altering their lives so as to not fall into the category of the infected. So what does that have to do with fearing God? What does it have to do with fearing the virus? Let’s look at the difference between being afraid and having a healthy fear of something.
The definition when you Google fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Many times people come into a relationship with God because they are afraid of God and hell. I have to say that fear can be a useful force to get people to really examine their behavior. Fear of this virus has cancelled all the events, movies, flights, weddings, funerals, birthdays, even CHURCH gatherings have been affected by this virus. People are afraid to get this virus and potentially die physically, and this is a very logical fear for them to have, if they are not saved. The virus is dangerous to many, likely to cause pain, and can be identified as a threat. Should we look at God this way?
As I scrolled down through the definitions of fear, under the heading Archaic, was fear as: a mixed feeling of dread and reverence. (synonyms: awe, wonder, wonderment, amazement; reverence, veneration, respect; dread -“the fear of God”). As Christians, we should have a reverential, respectful, fear of the Lord. We are not afraid of God, but we have such respect, we dread sinning against such an amazing God, especially since we have received His grace and mercy from the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Our “fear” of the Lord causes us to live differently, not out of worry, but out of wisdom. The blessings of the righteous far outweigh the perceived enjoyment of sinful living.
Before the virus outbreak, my wife and I already had a “fear” or more appropriately respect for germs. This winter has actually been the best winter for us and our three kids and new baby. We worked really hard trying to educate the kids on the importance of hand washing, using hand sanitizer, wiping down shopping carts at the store, coughing into our elbow or shirt, keeping fingers out of our mouth and nose. We had no instances of anyone being sick all winter, so when the pandemic hit, we just felt edified in what we have already been doing and felt encouraged to continue doing it more. It does not mean I haven’t learned some new things: a better hand washing technique, a better understanding of just how easily germs spread (we should stop shaking hands in my opinion!) I also had to finally figure out online giving at Church, since we weren’t able to gather together.
Christians, it should be the same with righteous living. When people face tests and trials, it makes people check how they are living and if they are righteous with God. We should not face these feelings, if anything, we should feel edified that we are already living righteously, avoiding sin, and be encouraged to keep it up, because we could be one virus away from standing before Jesus. Now, just because we are doing well, doesn’t mean we cannot do better. During the pandemic, there are many opportunities to serve, and share the hope we have in Christ. We should be looking for ways to live and share our faith in the midst of these tests.
Father God, we thank you that we do not have fear but your perfect love casts out fear, we have a reverential respect for you and your Word. We pray that as the world around us seems out of control, you are in full control. We pray for protection during this time, we do not fear what may come. As your children, the absolute worst thing that could happen, death, would just bring us face to face with you, which to me would be the best thing! We do not want death, but we do not fear death with our life secure through the blood of Jesus. We pray that this pandemic would cause the world to look at their life and actions and to think about living differently, not just until the virus is gone, but for the rest of their lives. We thank you, we love you, we fear you, in Jesus Name, Amen!
Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 (NLT)
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 (AMPC)
And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to [reverently] fear the Lord our God for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is today. Deuteronomy 6:24 (AMPC)
How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. Psalm 31:19 (NLT)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2020