[CF Devotionals] 2014-01-28 - Fear Not

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It's with joy that we at CFDevotionals present this devotional from David Massey, and welcoming him back out of retirement. We hope this is only the first of many more devotionals to come!

Proverbs 9:19 NIV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

2 Timothy 1:7 NLT For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

My granddaughter recently turned one year old, and she is teaching me a lot about life!

Usually she stays with us about one night a week, or least a few hours a day, to give her mom and dad a break. She’s up and walking, and acting like she can talk. She can say a few words, like "daddy," "no more" and "bye."

She runs around the house with no fear. Falls and bounces right back up again. We have been telling her, since she started to crawl, not to touch the electric outlets or the stove. “The stove is HOT!” we tell her, and “Don’t touch! It will hurt you!" We and her parents have done a good job of instilling fear of the stove in her. This weekend, she walked by the stove, waving one finger at it and said, “No, no, no!”

I thought about that and wondered about the above verses. The Bible is stating in the first verse “fear” is the beginning of wisdom. The second is saying, “God does not give us a spirit of fear.” So which is it? Do we fear or not fear?

If my granddaughter grows up fearing stoves for the rest of her life,she might be institutionalized. It will be an unhealthy fear. At some point, she will learn to use the stove, perhaps even to cook Spaghetti O’s® and other healthy food!

Fear, in itself, is neither good nor bad. It can be both good and bad.

In the first verse,the fear is more of a “respect” for the Lord. Early in my walk, I had a misguided fear of the Lord, rather than a healthy respect. As a child, I imagined a giant father in Heaven, just waiting for me to do something wrong so He could punish me. As I grew older, I understood the second verse. We are to have a healthy respect of the Lord. We fear his greatest, but we respect His love for us, as well as what He can do for us.

Where are you along the fear/respect journey? Are you like I was, nearly trembling of an unrealistic view of God? Are you like my granddaughter, walking by and saying, “No, no no!” Perhaps you are at the beginning of your journey, and have a good fear of the Lord. You are on your way to a balance between fear and respect.

Don’t touch that stove! Until it’s time. Then you will be very glad you did. You will be amazed at what the great stove can do for you!

[email jan] David

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