What are you afraid of? If we're all honest there is something or someone that strikes some level of fear in us. It may not be a paralyzing fear, or anything that completely immobilizes us. But it may be something that at the very least produces some level of anxiety, to the point that we are taken aback for a moment. Well, first, let's consider two types of fear: human fear and reverential fear. On the human side, some of the things that may produce anxiety in us might be the fear of water, the fear of heights, some may fear snakes or certain animals, or even the fear of flying. We live in a crazy economy; some of us may fear losing a job, or losing hard-earned retirement monies, or losing our homes, etc. All of these things can make us uncomfortable and we tend to shy away from them at all costs. But what about reverential fear? How do the words "reverential" and "fear" even show up in the same sentence?
Reverential fear points to the fear of God. The Word of God is very clear that He is a God to be feared (Psalm 96:4). This is the kind of fear that drives us to worship God. The Word also says that He is a gracious and merciful God (Psalm 86:15). When we reverence God we respect His highness, His holiness, and His majesty. When we have embraced a reverential fear of God we have ordered our steps in His direction; we have patterned our lives after His standard and make decisions based on who we know Him to be. When we fear God there are just certain things that, if the Holy Spirit is alive on the inside of us, we just won't do.
But now that we have established the difference between these two types of fear, let's look at what else the Word says about fear. First of all Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that fear (of man) is not of God. In other words, God did not give us a spirit of fear. This word spirit has many Biblical uses, but for purposes of this article the meaning we want is "the power by which the human being feels, thinks, and decides." So when we talk about having a "spirit of fear" we're talking about that part of our human makeup that enables us to feel, think, and decide (or the power of choice). So we can choose to be fearful, or we can choose to walk in soundness of mind. According to scripture, in place of fear God has given us power, love, and a sound mind. If the Word says it is right NOT to fear, then it must be wrong TO fear.
Whatever you're afraid of, how do you let go of it? First, recognize that God is God and He will be praised and worshiped (Psalm 150:2). Second, surrender your fear(s) to Him in private and public worship. Third, learn to see Him as a loving Father who cares about you, and accept His love. Part of accepting His love for you is bowing low before Him in worship. True worship of God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24) will bring transformation to the fearful heart; a renewed mind in the Word is a mind NOT set on fear!
Consider these passages to help you let go of human fear and embrace reverential fear:
Isaiah 43:1: . . .Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by name; thou [art] mine;
Isaiah 41:10: Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee. . .
Psalm 27:1: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
Psalm 34:4: I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears;
Psalm 34:7; The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them;
Psalm 34:9: O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
Receive God's Word and choose to let your fear go.