When we think of fear we might think straight to that scary fear. I always had a fear of horror movies, never tempting myself by watching them because I had a fear they would give me nightmares. I never watched Jaws for this reason and compared to what is out there today that movie is pretty tame. But fear can control us. There have been whole studies on phobias and how they control lives. They keep us from moving forward. So why then in the Bible does it continually talk about fearing the Lord?
Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
This fear that the bible talks about is not the same as the fear that scares us. Well, maybe it is. But it is all in the perspective I guess. Many attributes this fear to reverence and that could be the case. What we have come to understand is that those who have accepted Jesus’s forgiveness now understand the judgement that is coming to all of those who choose not to accept. This fear of the Lord is attributed to one’s knowledge of what could happen walking outside of His grace. In this mindset, we can then work towards sharing our faith as we know what we have been freed from and others should be afraid of what is to come for those who don’t choose life in Christ. This fear reminds us that what we still have a freedom to walk away into the life we lived before but now we know what is there waiting for us. It hopefully keeps us from choosing our fear over life with Christ.
We see here in the last book of the Old Testament that the Lord listen to them. This is a promise that the Lord listens to His children when they talk to Him. We see here that they kept a record to preserve who feared God. This reminds us that we need to build each other up. Encouraging one another in the faith and before God. It is not a solo faith.
As those who fear the Lord, we also fear for our loved ones who are not walking with God. We pray for them and encourage them to come to church and accept Christ. It breaks our hearts when they reject our offers and ignore us because, in essence, they are rejecting the salvation that was freely given for them. We fear that it will be too late for them to choose life. I loved when I heard in the last couple weeks that a church in Ontario, lead by a former pastor of mine had created a book at the church recording those who needed to know Jesus. I had initiated something similar at the church I am at, a wall of those who needed to know Jesus. I titled mine ‘They matter to God, so they should matter to us.” In both examples, people would write down names some just first names of people that needed to accept Jesus forgiveness. These are ways that the church can work together to build one another up as they pray for family, friends and coworkers to meet Jesus. I would encourage you if you haven’t already make a list of people who God can use you to impact with his love and keep praying for them. Use the fear of the Lord to empower you to reach others.
Father, we thank you so much for what you have rescued us from. When we look back at what we used to live like it is almost unimaginable that you would choose to forgive us, yet you did. Help us as believers to share this with our family, friends and co-worker. We have been called on this mission to spread the love of Christ and if we don’t we are being disobedient. Give us wisdom and knowledge to do this, Holy Spirit guide us daily to someone who needs to hear about Jesus. Use us. Amen