After writing about a half dozen posts on why we should not be fearful as the Coronavirus ravages the world (and now murder hornets?), I would like to conclude with one final post about why you should live in fear.
Yes, you read that right. Your life should be fear.
A lot of fear.
“But that contradicts everything you’ve already said!”
Nah, on the contrary, it demonstrates the intricacies of the English language and how we have many words that can mean completely different things in different contexts.
Furthermore, it demonstrates the depth of meaning embedded in the term fear.
In my fifth post, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself,” I said, “According to Dictionary.com, fear is ‘a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.'”
But that’s only the first definition! Here is the fourth definition: “Reverential awe, especially toward God.”
With both of these definitions in mind, I would like to offer my own definition of fear: “The assignment of power, real or unreal, to someone or something that we know or perceive to be greater than ourselves.”
We only exhibit fear toward something when we think it is more powerful than us. Some people are afraid of spiders because they think that the eight-legged creatures can harm them or something they own. Likewise, other people keep spiders as pets because they know that they are bigger and smarter than spiders and can contain them (or kill them if necessary).
Children sometimes run across streets to fetch a stray ball because they are unaware that something bigger and more powerful than them can hit them and instantly transport them out of this world.
Right now millions of people are afraid of Covid-19 because they are convinced that it is currently outside of the control of humankind. Others want to resume normal daily life because they are equally convinced that the virus is not as powerful as it seems.
The Bible often refers to the importance of fearing God because God is greater than us. In Deuteronomy 5:29, God expressed his desire for Israel to fear him: “‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!'”
In Deuteronomy 10:12, Moses told Israel, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
The prophet Samuel repeated this theme to Israel in 1 Samuel 12:24: “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”
Over and over again in Scripture we find these commands to fear God, and they are given both to Israel and to all people in general: “Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8).
We should not fear God because we think he is some kind of evil world dictator who will harm us and do terrible things just to bring himself pleasure. God is of a much greater character than that.
No, we should fear God because he is our creator, our sustainer, our redeemer, and our ultimate authority (Colossians 1:13-18 provides a great summary of these concepts).
He is much greater than us.
So, my friend, do you fear God? Do you consider God to be greater than yourself, thus evoking a sense of awe and fear of him?
God is so powerful that he created us merely by speaking. God is so powerful that he can separate our souls from our bodies without using the agent of Covid-19. Likewise, he can protect us from death even if we contract the virus that has already taken the lives of so many people.
We do not need to fear the Coronavirus, but we do need to fear God.
You are only as safe as God allows you to be, and the more you fear God and serve him, the greater your chances of being safe.
The psalmist in Psalm 2:11-12 sums it up nicely:
“Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
I could go on and on and provide Scripture verse after Scripture verse supporting this idea, but I think the truth of God in the few verses here is sufficient. Hopefully, we are wise and discerning enough to understand the principles that God has given us in the Bible and apply them to our lives.
Your life should be characterized by fear. Fear of God; not fear of Covid.
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