Fear Not: The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

I feel God calling me right now, to something new or different. I don’t want to be melodramatic, so let me be clear: I don’t know how new, or how different, and I suspect that the new or different isn’t what I expect. I also don’t think He’s calling me to something bigger. I’m guessing it is something smaller, actually.

But I do feel like He’s calling me.

That sounds pretty romantic, but the truth is that I am scared to death. I trust God, but I don’t like change, and my life already has plenty of change coming, thankyouverymuch. I’m scared.

Afraid of mis-hearing God, of making wrong decisions.

Afraid of disappointment.

Afraid of failure. (Really, really afraid of failure.)

I’m afraid.

I decided a long time ago not to make decisions based on fear, but I’ve found that fear leads me in super sneaky ways.

So I’m going back to my roots, Bible study wise, and I’m doing a Word study. I’m going to look at every place the Bible says any version of the phrase “fear not” or “do not be afraid.” I think I’ve read somewhere that “fear not” is the most repeated command in the Bible, so I’m guessing this will take a while.

I probably won’t write about every single verse I find, but I tend to learn more when I  communicate what I’m learning. So I’m inviting you to join me on this journey. Most Tuesdays you’ll find some “fear not” thoughts here, as I work out this truth in my life. I’d love to hear what you’re afraid of, and the areas where you need to hear God’s invitation to “fear not.”

I’ll probably study in chronological order because that makes the most sense to me (Hi, I’m Renee. I like to go in order.) But my verse of the year is from the middle of the story, and it’s another return to my roots (as this is something of a life verse for me.)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…

I’m starting here because this verse reminds me of the relationship between fear and respect. The word translated fear can mean fear or terror, but also respect, reverence, piety. 

When I’m afraid of something, I’m giving it respect. Respect: honor, reverence, consideration, regard.

So when I’m afraid of heights, I’m respecting the fact that being high up is dangerous, and should be handled with care. It’s the fall that’s going to kill you, so I am OK respecting heights.

When I’m afraid of rejection, or failure, or change, or the future what am I respecting?

Too often I’m respecting the lie that rejection or failure will rob me of life and goodness, that I can’t live with them. Worse still: I am respecting the lie that change or the future will leave me God-less and helpless.

What am I really afraid of? And is that where I want my highest respect, my honor and reverence and consideration to go?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

I want God Himself to hold the place of highest respect in my life.  Oh friends, could we let our view of God grow bigger than anything else we’re afraid of?

As I look to the future, knowns and unknowns, welcome and unwelcome changes, successes or failures, acceptance or rejection, elatement or disappointment, where am I going to give my respect?

What are you afraid of? Where do you most need to hear the invitation to “fear not”?

What do you think of this link between fear and respect? Are we allowing the things we fear to take more respect, regard, consideration, than God?



Image in Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash


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