Whom Shall We Fear?
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fear is a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)
I. Types of fears:
A. Noctiphobia- Fear of the night.
B. Catoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors
C. Batophobia- Fear of being close to high buildings
D. Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables
E. Ergophobia- Fear of hard work
F. Autodysomophobia- Fear that you have a bad odor
G. Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens
H. Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.
I. Peladophobia- Fear of bald people
J. Gamophobia- Fear of marriage
K. Homilophobia- Fear of sermons
II. False fears and Negative fears
(movies, anxieties, worries, nightmares, phobias, panic attacks)
Tools used by Satan in order to keep us focused on more of the things of this world which prevent us from bringing God glory.
(1John 2:15-16) Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.
A. Anxieties of Daily Life: Food, clothing, shelter are some basic requirements that can causes anxieties.
(Matthew 6:25) Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on.
1. Loss of pleasure: Food taste good
2. Loss of health/life: We could get sick or possibly die from diseases
3. Loss of human praise: The admiring glances and compliments we get from having nice clothes
B. Worries: About failure, security, marriage and children are temporal perspectives fear that take a control over our lives and enslave us.
(Matthew 10: 28a) “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…”
1. More than birds:
(Luke 12:6-7) (Matthew 6:26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value then they?
2. More than beautiful flowers:
(Matthew 6:28-30) So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin…
3. Cannot change a thing:
(Matthew 6:27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
III. Godly fear
5339,phobeo, V; 5401 phobos, N – (NT)
To put to flight by terrifying, to treat with deference or reverential obedience; reverence for one’s husband
(Luke 12:4-5) “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”
A. Respect His Power: The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct, and whatsoever the infinite purity of His will may resolve. . . . As holiness is the beauty of all God’s attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the Divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God’s power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature. (S. Charnock 1628-1680).
(Isaiah 40: 12) Who has measured in the hallow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?
B. Give Him Reverence: To regard with deepest respect, deference, and esteem. Deference – Submission or courteous yielding to the opinion, wishes, or judgment of another (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Languare: Fourth Edition. 2000.)
(Hebrews 12:28) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and goldy fear.
C. Proper Reaction to His presence: Do we allow His presence to cause us to react differently?
(Exodus 3:5-6) Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God Isaac; and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
D. Aware of His Punishment: Through the fear of God’s discipline we seek to live our lives in a way that pleases Him.
(Romans 11:22) Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
IV. Fruit from having Godly Fear
If…Then theme permeates throughout scripture. God throughout the Bible has this unchanging desire to bless His children. So what can we expect to get from having a fear of God?
(Leviticus 26:3-13) If you walk in My statues and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the filed shall yield their fruit…..9. For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you…
(Psalm 111:10) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments, His praise endures forever.
B. Intimate Relationship
(Deuteronomy 10:12) “And now, Israel what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, serve the Lord with all Your heart and with all your soul.”
C. Safety from Sin
(2 Corinthians 7:1) Therefore, having these promises, beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
(Proverbs 16:6) In mercy and truth; Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
(Psalm 25:12-14) “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
(Psalm 33:18) Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His loving kindness
Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Reponse
1. How does one balance false fear vs Godly fear? If God wanted us to achieve His will, how would He use fear?
2. Does it make a difference if the fulfillment of a desire is attained through false fear vs Godly fear?
3. How do we focus more on having Godly fear rather than false fear? What does this say about our perspective on life?
4. How do we know if we are living with the fear of God? What does that look like? Why is it important?
5. How can we express our fear of God in our daily lives? Can one be ‘blessable’ if we don’t have this?
6. What do you think is the best motivation for fearing God?
7. Does the fear of God look any different for a mature believer vs a relative young believer?