Who Makes Me Safe?
I personally live with a lot of fear. This shows up in my life in the form of worry and anxiety. Worries for me tend to be about past regrets and about worst possible futures whereas anxiety dredges around all of time often for no apparent reason. I suppose it was only natural for me to want to talk about fear for this week’s Empty Conversation. I feel that is is safe to say that everyone feels afraid at times and has things that they are afraid of.
I personally love examples of what a person means. Sure, tell me your premise, but after you have philosophized one point a bunch of different (but the same) ways, just give me a general example of what you mean. I am assuming (I didn't check) that in my blogs I probably give examples and if I don't then shame on me. Here are three things that make me uncomfortable doing:
- If I can get away with not making a phone call, I won’t. In fact, call me, I’d rather answer than have to initiate the phone conversation. This is generally true for me with the exception of close friends and family. If it’s a more official call… forget it.
- I hate driving (weird for a guy right?). I have gotten better about it in recent years but I still think hard if I really want to do something if it means I have to drive. The fear component with driving is more when it is somewhere I don't know who to get to (which is everywhere haha).
- I have a thing against banks, drive-throughs, and gas stations. Could be because I have the first drive there, but I also see them as places people would rob you at.
Sure my examples are a little comical but we all have things that may seem silly to others but are genuinely causes of fear for us. People fear failure, rejection, shame, and a host of other humiliating things. Yet, the Bible constantly tells us not to fear.
Click play to listen to Another Empty Conversation
We discussed that fear is a reoccurring topic in the Bible and that fear is has a hand in sin. We have pride that we know better than God fueled by fear that He is keeping something from us. Bad can only exist when we want something good and go about it in the wrong way. To some degree, perhaps we have an innate fear because we some how know that our relationship with God is fractured and THAT is something to fear. We should fear God when we are at odds with Him because we have been found guilty. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
Yet, I am afraid of being found guilty.
That’s why we lie, deny, and manipulate people and situations in order to have things work out better for us, even if we deserve it. We fear the guilt. even people who plead guilty often do it to better their chances in sentencing or in an effort to ease their conscience. It is still about how it will help me. We play the system to see if we can get off scot-free or with a lighter sentence as so that we are less guilty.
"The Fear of the Lord"
But there is another fear of God that is different than a guilty man’s fear of his judge, jury, and executioner.
The Bible says that fearing God is where wisdom starts. What?! Didn't you say that the Bible says not to fear? I think it comes down to believing that God is important. If you own a business and someone who is important (maybe a celebrity or a politician) you may be more inclined to give them better and normal service or even fulfill requests that you normally would not, all in an effort to make a good impression and perhaps improve our business since the person has a perceived higher standing than other costumers. The only difference is that we CANNOT impress God. He already loves us. Some would have you believe that since He already loves us that means we can do anything we want, yet that is not loving God in return. To revere God is not to take His love lightly. He is just as much love as He is just. We often expect love without justice.
“The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]. Their praise of Him endures forever.” - Amplified Bible
This is a different kind of fear. It is not a fear that binds us and causes us to freeze up. This fear helps us see from God’s perspective and to know that there is nothing else to fear. He has us. This is the most basic fundamental to applying anything to our lives. To miss this is to forget that God is in fact God. Do you believe that God is actually who He says He is? Or are you just following a religion based on a god that you do not believe? I hardly act as if God is who He says He is and I make so many other things out to be bigger than God by fearing them and not Him.
God makes me safe.
P.S. My idea and His idea of safety often differ, but I am learning to trust that his safety is better.