“In the [reverent] fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children
will [always] have a place of refuge.”
~ Proverbs 14:26 AMP
I remember the day I met Jerry B. Jenkins.
Jerry. B. Jenkins.
Some of you crinkled your nose, didn’t you?
If you’ve never heard of Mr. Jenkins, let me just tell you, he’s a successful Christian writer that co-authored the uber-popular Left Behind series. So for a speaker-turned-writer like me, meeting him in 2010 at his Writing for the Soul Conference felt like shaking the hand of Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, or Reese Witherspoon.
Pick your favorite celebrity, and that, my friends, mimicked my ridiculous reaction.
To say my tongue felt tied into a bow would be an understatement. Actually, I think I said something along the lines of, “Hi…uh, can I take a picture with you, uh, I mean, if you have a minute? It’ll be quick?”
Of course, I offered him a way to escape my fan-gazing moment of standing next to me, because this was the Jerry B. Jenkins!
The man who could change my writing career forever!
The man who could teach me how to get my foot in the door.
The man who if he just heard my God-story, he’d certainly want to do something with it! Right?
Yes. You should be shaking your head by now, because of course, Jerry B. did no such thing after our 5.7 seconds of interacting, mainly because I didn’t say anything else to him.
I was too afraid.
Too much in awe.
And this, my friend, is the point.
Obviously, Jerry B. isn’t my Savior. Jesus is. Yet, I had more reverence for this earthly figure in the few seconds we met than I do sometimes for my Heavenly Father.
What do I mean? I’m glad you asked. Our verse today talks about the benefits of fearing the Lord.
But fear has many meanings.
It’s this wonky word I hope you look at differently from here on out.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines fear as:
- An unpleasant often strong emotion
- anxious concern
- profound reverence and awe especially toward God
How can this bipolar word be used as both anxious concern and a profound reverence?
Clearly, there are two types of fear: terror from the unknown, or that starstruck sensation of meeting our favorite movie star/sports figure if they walked through the door.
Think about it. Have you ever considered God more impressive than a celebrity?
When we look to Him with the same marvel, that’s the type of biblical respect this verse is talking about. This reverent, “I-would-not-know-what-to-say” awe should be our reaction.
But are we this mesmerized with our Father?
I mean, have you ever imagined the type of power He has, like His ability to raise the dead to life? If you’ve never looked at Him this way, can I encourage you to consider this the next time you pray?
The Bible repeats this theme in other verses like Psalm 31:19 NLT:
“How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
blessing them before the watching world.”
Oh, sweet friend, I want God to lavish us with His goodness when we glorify Him, and seek Him for protection!
With many verses similar to this in Scripture, God hands us a tool to believe His authority is within our reach.
No wonder the enemy wants us confused by the word fear.
Precious survivor, kneeling in awe before the Lord is the most powerful act we can take. My encouragement is for us all to try it. Maybe even mimic my admiration for the man named Jerry above? Only, bow down and:
Reverence opens the door for His strong confidence to flow through you as He shelters you during difficult times.
What celebrity would cause you to feel starstruck if you bumped into them?
Look at God differently today as you kneel with great reverence and write out your prayers:
“The devil wants you to be afraid. He wants you to drop the sword of the spirit and instead be bossed around by fear. Don’t listen to the enemy of your soul! He’s lying
to you, so here’s the truth: God promises that the person who walks with him will not
be defeated. The Psalmist said that those who trust in the Lord will be like, ‘Trees
planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never
wither, and they prosper in all they do (Psalm 1:3).’”
~ Heidi St. John, Becoming Mom Strong
“Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.”
~ Proverbs 14:27 NLT
“Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life…”
~ Proverbs 10:27 NLT
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,”
~ Proverbs 9:10a NIV
“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.”
~ Proverbs 19:23
“The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he reveals his covenant to them.”
~ Psalm 25:14 CSB
“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,”
~ Psalm 33:18 NIV
Only 5 more posts to go until I finish my 30-Day Devotional for the Newly Diagnosed, from a (Former) Professional Patient. I hope these words have brought encouragement.
As always, if you see a typo, please let me know, and I’ll include you in the acknowledgment section. : )
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In His hands,
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