I know what fear is. I’ve felt it and I’m pretty sure it has moved into my life a time or two. It is usually not welcome – it just barges right in and takes up space. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by belief that something or someone is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat. Fear is not usually fun. I have been known to ride a roller coaster and have the be-gee-bees scared out of me. But normally I hate fear. I don’t like scary movies.
There is a healthy fear that exists that I should probably look in to. It can have a positive effect on my life. It still evokes some of the same emotion, but it carries with it a huge thread of respect. For example, the healthy fear of the power of a chain saw, or a car, or electricity is pretty important to staying healthy and unharmed. Jeremiah spoke to the leadership of Judah & Israel about a healthy fear of God. Check this out….14 Then the officers sent a man named Jehudi son of Nethaniah to Baruch. (Nethaniah was the son of Shelemiah, who was the son of Cushi.) Jehudi said to Baruch, “Bring the scroll that you read to the people and come with me.” So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went with Jehudi to the officers. 15 Then the officers said to Baruch, “Please sit down and read the scroll to us.” So Baruch read the scroll to them. 16 When the officers heard all the words, they became afraid and looked at each other. They said to Baruch, “We must certainly tell the king about these words.” 17 Then the officers asked Baruch, “Tell us, please, where did you get all these words you wrote on the scroll? Did you write down what Jeremiah said to you?” 18 “Yes,” Baruch answered. “Jeremiah spoke them all to me, and I wrote them down with ink on this scroll.” 19 Then the officers said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide, and don’t tell anyone where you are.” 24 King Jehoiakim and his servants heard everything that was said, but they were not frightened! They did not tear their clothes to show their sorrow. 25 Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah even tried to talk King Jehoiakim out of burning the scroll, but he would not listen to them. 26 Instead, the king ordered Jerahmeel son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet. But the Lord had hidden them. (Jeremiah 36:14-19; 24-26 NCV)
As I read this part of Jeremiah’s story, I was a bit appalled at the arrogance of the King. He didn’t respect the LORD, the prophet from the Lord or the message from the Lord. The King was so full of himself that he was deadly arrogant. I believe Healthy Fear carries with it an element of humility along with respect. I must clearly know who I am and who I am not. I must not think more highly of myself at the expense of others. I should recognize the power and strength that God gives when I lay down my pride. When I lay down my fear, I can rest in Him. I respect the Lord God. I am not afraid of what He will do to me, because He speaks into my heart and life daily and directs my decisions and my behavior. I don’t fear what is ahead because of have the Lord right beside me. He will not leave or forsake me. He is my “ever present help”. I love Him and I respect Him because of Who He is and because of What He has done in my life!Pressing On! Dwayne