I'd like to share with you about something that can hinder your walk and progress in the Lord or enhance your walk and relationship with God, and that something is the "Fear Factor." The use of the word "Fear" in the Bible can lead to confusion if you are not careful in your study of God's word.
I can remember a time when I was newly saved, working in fulltime ministry for the Lord. God was providing for all my needs, I was on fire, fasting, praying, and consecrated unto God. God was using me to win souls by blessing my testimony and anointing my preaching, all was right in my world as far as I was concerned. One day all that changed when I fell back into drug use, and when I fell I fell hard. During that two day run, I brought shame on myself and on God's ministry. It was then that I came to my Pastor and he said to me something I will never forget "Brother Darrell, this happened because you don't fear God."
The words he spoke stung me, and immediately I began to defend myself. "What do you mean? I fear God! I do, I just don't understand how I let the devil trick me." I did not understand what he meant, and that statement haunted me as I went back into rehab and discipleship as God began to restore me.
To me the spirit of fear was a bad thing, didn't the bible say in 2nd Timothy 1:7 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
I knew that we were not supposed to be afraid of God, and I knew that I loved Him, so what did my Pastor mean "You don't Fear God." I knew the Devil tries to bring fear and paranoia into our lives as he tries to destroy us and hinder our walks with God, but what was I missing? What did I need to do to improve my walk with God?
God's word says in Proverbs 1:7 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. I knew this scripture, but I did not fully understand the meaning behind it. This went on for a few years, I made many mistakes and bad decisions. I left the program and fulltime ministry and returned to the working world. It was then, that God began to teach me what it meant to "fear" Him.
First of all, He stripped me down. I had no job, and could not get one, no matter how many degrees or nursing licenses I had or experiences I had. To make a long story short, God used this situation as a teaching tool. For all my love of God, my brokenness when He saved me, all my service, and sacrifice in His name, the bottom line was I did not "respect" God. That was the "fear" that was missing from my life with Him.
I had yet to realize that it was God who was in control of every aspect of my life, not me. There is no job, no career, no life, no anything without God's okay. The fact that I wake up every morning was at His pleasure, not mine. The reality of who God is finally became real to me. I had been trying to hold on to some of my own control, thinking I was doing something, achieving something in my own strength, I had to realize that my WHOLE life was in His hands, and once I did that I felt another burden lifted from me, now I understood what Jesus meant in Matthew 11:28 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Once I put down the burden of trying to do things in my own strength, wisdom began in my own life. I realized what my Pastor meant back then, you don't want to anger or disappoint the one who has your life in His hands. He was right, I probably would not have done what I did if I truly had "feared" or respected God totally for who He was and still is back then. God had mercy on me and allowed me to avoid learning this lesson in jail. He allowed me to learn from my mistakes.
The fear of the Lord is a good thing. I just would like to leave you with the following scriptures.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
God Bless You All, Brother Darrell, Speaking Off The Wall