My Thoughts. . .
There are multiple passages in the Old Testament which speak of fearing God (Leviticus 19:14, 32; 25:17; Joshua 4:24, 24:14). Even in the New there are several that cover that topic (Matthew 10:23; Acts 9:31; and Ephesians 5:21). Sometimes youth as well as older people respond to the gospel out of fear of God’s judgment. Even those who have been Christians for years continue to allow that fear to cloud their relationship with God. Fear is not wrong unless it is misunderstood. Due to that misunderstanding, some are cheated out of a wonderful relationship which God. The key word revealed in the New Testament is the word “Father.”
If a person grew up with an abusive father or one that was present but personally absent, that shortcoming may paint God as an identical twin. Some view Yahweh as an angry Father who finds very few things to brag about concerning His children. They believe He is disappointed with them because of their lack of perfection.
Misunderstanding is the devil’s tool to misguide disciples of Jesus. The apostles continually misunderstood the Lord’s purpose. They thought they had found a second David who would restore the first David’s kingdom. When Peter’s sword removed Malchus’ ear, he may have thought his active blade would begin the demise of Rome’s control. Jesus pulled the proverbial rug out from under Peter’s plans when he told the apostle to holster the sword. The blade remained in his possession, but Peter had no future need to use it. Jesus’ kingdom was not of this world! The apostles disappeared into the safety of darkness. Their beloved Rabbi would soon suffer a criminal’s punishment. Priests and Pilate could sigh with relief. Another enemy of the State was executed. The fear which gripped the apostles has been inherited by 2021 disciples! Yet that fear can be replaced with joy when we understand how much the Father loves us.
God is our Father. God loved us so much that He gave His Son to save us (John 3:16-17). God does not want us separated from His love (Romans 8:39). Realizing how much God loves us will cast out that fear (1 John 4:7). Satan wants us to develop the kind of fear that causes us to mistrust God. Sadly, some develop that type of fear rather than cultivating an appreciation and gratefulness for God’s love.
What is fear doing for you?