I simply see the word written on paper and my mind floods with painful memories of times I’ve been in the heat of it. Words like: death, disease, divorce, disaster come crashing into my mind as if to remind me, “Ah yes, you have met fear before. In fact, you have quite a past history with this character.”
But is this relationship- this history built- with fear what God intended me to know, to become comfortable with? Often, I toss my hands in the air as if to say, “woe is me- this is just the cross that I bear”. I take the blows of the fearful situations because I assume they are just the consequences of a messed up world.
I take this mindset and get comfortable with it as if to wear a pair of shoes that don’t fit. Let’s face it, shoes that don’t fit are terribly uncomfortable but, if it’s all you’ve got, you settle in them anyway- especially if they “make the outfit”. The good Lord knows I don’t mess up a good outfit with the wrong pair of shoes.
Could I present you with a new idea about fear- a new pair of shoes if you will?
I don’t know that, as Christ followers, we need to go around wearing these shoes that don’t fit. If we are going to be wearing shoes, it gets to be the shoes that are “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6: 15 NIV) Interesting that the exact contrast of fear is peace, huh?
What if the meaning of “fear” has been tainted and twisted by the enemy to scare us and keep us in bondage to that thing of which we are scared?
What if God does want us to fear, but we have become so saturated with sin that we can’t even locate the authentic meaning of what fear is- the origination of the word by Him, through Him, and for Him.
In Philippians, Paul talks about fear by saying, “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12 NIV) Or how about the English Standard Version which says, “…show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”
What if the authentic meaning of the word “fear” has less to do with a result (of a situation) and more to do with a response (of reverence for our Savior)?
Ponder this up and pray this out.