Summary: Judges series pausing on the topic of fear. This is the last of seven messages.
Judges Series #16 Life Cycles
“Fighting Fear with Fear” Part 7 The Benefits of the Fear of the Lord
From our study of the book of Judges, we discovered that our all-powerful God uses the improbable to accomplish the impossible.
In reality, He has no other option since everyone lives with “issues”. As James put it, “We ALL stumble in many ways.” Paul declared that ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s standard. God’s only option is to use stumbling, sinful people. God actually delights in using the weak in this world’s eyes to accomplish His eternal purposes.
In our study of the Judges we observed God empowering the available, the weak, and the disenfranchised; in Gideon’s case the fearful. Since fear is an emotion familiar to everyone, I dedicated these past months to striving for a better biblical understanding of it. Fear is a tangible involuntary reaction to a perceived or actual threat to my well-being that is either present or potential that requires some sort of intentional response. Taming this paralyzing beast involves analysis and response.
That involuntary stirring in the gut we call fear, anxiety, worry, concern serves as a motivation to respond to a possible threat to my well-being.
Analyze the fear.
We need to first analyze the source of the treat.
Real or imagined (perceived)?
Present or future?
Consider the intentional response.
The involuntary emotional reaction in the face of threat motivates some sort of intentional response.
The Bible is clear that the primary intentional response to fear must always involve a reasoned resolve to trust the Lord and follow His direction in the face of the threat.
Just as Jesus entrusted His soul to a faithful Creator during His darkest hour, we must entrust the well-being of our deepest soul to our faithful Creator when facing threats unfolding in the present or possible in the future.
God is an infinite all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present God who pledges to incorporate every threatening circumstance and tragedy into a master plan that works out for His ultimate glory and our ultimate good. This same God declares His unconditional love and unending presence and ultimate purpose. The realization of these truths serves to diffuse our unsettling fear in the face of threatening circumstances taking place now or looming in the future. The promise of God’s love, power and presence in the face of threat accompany the numerous admonishments to take courage and do not fear.
Such trust and obedience enables other possible responses to life’s threats. Stand and courageously fight the enemy or wisely escape the threat by God’s direction.
Wait patiently for God’s timing and direction.
Pray to our infinite God with thanksgiving in every threatening circumstance.
Pursue further truth and understanding related to the source of the threat.
Encourage others with godly words and touch
Prepare spiritually and mentally for threating tribulation in life
Rejoice in the Lord always, again God says REJOICE!!
Sometimes the presence of fear exposes a lack of genuine trust. Life has a way of demonstrating the presence or absence of faith. Our close connection to people may generate a genuine concern that stirs our emotions. God intends those involuntary emotions to motivate intentional actions.
Job felt fear for his 11 grown children.
And when the days of a family feast had run its course, Job would send and consecrate his children, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. Job 1:5
Jobs’ concern for his kids motivated prayer on their behalf.
Fear without Biblical response only escalates and damages the soul. The Bible reveals a fear that fights all other fears; that is the fear of the Lord. Fear drives us to trust God more fully.
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. Psalm 115:11
Trust in God develops a healthy fear of the Lord.
When we fear the Lord, none of the threats of this world seems that threatening.
God encourages us to fear Him above anything or anyone else.
The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted. Proverbs 29:25
WHAT IS THE FEAR OF THE LORD?
The fear of the Lord is the involuntary reaction to a profounder perception
of the person and work of God that inspires some sort of intentional response.
An involuntary reverential reaction to God comes through a deeper understanding of Him.
A profounder understanding of ANY of God’s attributes stirs an emotional reaction which serves to motivate any number of intentional responses.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10