What does the fear of God produce in our lives? Dread? Stress? Anxiety? Psalms 2:11 says, "Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling." That is as unlike the fear of man as you can get! Why, when we fear God, will we have reason to rejoice?
The reason for joy is God's love! He really does have our best intrests at heart--first of all our salvation, which He provided for; and next He has laid out promise after promise in scripture to provide for those who serve Him. Psalms 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Knowing that God is there to correct our path as well as protect us from harm will keep us fearing Him as we should, much like a small child is afraid of playing in the street. It's not because someone explained to him how it is dangerous and left the decision to him. No, he's afraid of playing in the street because he will get in trouble! Hebrews 12:5b-6, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
Now with all this, there are still days and moments that we succumb to the fear of man. I know I once polluted my mind with a truely disgusting movie one time and it gave me the creepy crawlies for a long time. Long after I repented of it, I lived in regret that I had scarred my innocence with that garbage. (I make no bones about it-horror movies will distroy something precious and innocent in you. Protect your heart and mind from that dirty fear!) So what do you do when day after day you live in real or imagined fear? Tell yourself you are being stupid? (Hint; that doesn't work!) Reminding yourself even of God's power and control of your life will not take fear away when you are in its grip.
I called upon God to deliver me from my fear. This is where He took me.
Psalms 56:10-13 "In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?" (emphasis mine)
Here it is: I trusted God with my soul's eternal destiny. His vows are upon me-He saved me with His blood, something only He could do. If I trusted Him to save me from Hell, why am I afraid of the boogey man! Or poverty? Or sickness? Or death? Or tragedy? Or failure? Or my own weaknesses? What an insult to God! It insults His power to sustain and care for us, and it insults His great love. So what is man's fear? It is SIN! What is the verse talking about, "wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling..."? If the worst thing I am afraid of comes true, God is still in control. This verse is not asking God to deliver us from what we fear. It is asking God to deliver us from falling into sin.
When I repented of doubting God, and asked His to deliver me from my fear, He was so faithful to respond with strength for that moment! What peace and joy it brought me! He gave me faith to know that He would give me power in abundance over this sin. That is not to say that I never have trouble with it. No, this weakeness in me keeps me continually casting myself upon God to deliver me from it, and for that I thank God-that He didn't just remove my fear like I asked Him to. He left it there, so I would know my need for His strength.
Finally, what if you do not know the fear of the Lord? Have you never thought on His holiness, reflected on your life and trembled at the comparison? Do you live your life the way you want with no thought of God's justice? When you read the verse about God chastening His children, did you wonder what that was all about? Let me show you what the next verse says about that! Heb 12:7-8 "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." I'll be honsest, I'm not comfortable with that fourth to that last word! But it seems that God wants us to know that not everyone who says they belong to Him really is a child of His. If you are wondering about this, please read my second post, where I give my testimony about how I became a child of God.
God bless you all!