Faith and Fear
When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and observed the overthrow of the Egyptian army by the Lord, we read of their fear and faith. "Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD…." (Exodus 14:31)
Nehemiah speaks of Hananiah the leader as “a faithful man and feared God more than many.” (Nehemiah 7:2)
Noah, also, had both faith and fear. The author of Hebrews says "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark..." (Hebrews 11:7)
In thinking about the importance of both Faith and Fear this morning, I noticed that in my own life I am far more likely to ask the Lord for faith than for fear. A trial arrives and up goes my cry “Lord, increase my faith.” Doubts darken my heart and once again I plead with the Lord “increase my faith.” Temptations come like fiery darts and up again the prayer “Faith…I need more faith.”
While not diminishing the great need I have for more faith, I wonder if I have forgotten about the importance of growing in Godly fear. “The fear of the Lord is” we are told “the beginning of wisdom.” It is a “fountain of life” according to Proverbs (14:27). It was central to the growth of the church (Acts 9:31). Those men and women of God in Scripture, who seemed to serve Him best, also seemed to fear Him most. Noah (Hebrews 11:7), Abraham (Gen. 22:12), the midwives in Egypt (Exodus 1:17), Job (Job 1:1), Isaiah (Isaiah 6), and especially Christ Himself (Heb. 5:7).
And so, today, although I will continue to pray for more faith, I will also pray for more fear. A fear of God that will deepen my reverence and awe for His majesty. A fear of God that will weaken the grip of sin in my soul. A fear of God that provokes a holy watchfulness in my Christian walk. A fear that deepens my worship and love for God. A fear of God that puts His commandments before my convenience. A fear that stirs me to be a more loving husband, godly father and helpful friend. A fear that, above all, serves to mold me more and more into the image of my Savior Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, please grant my soul a more fearful faith and a more faithful fear.
"Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD."