Go read Philippians 2 the whole chapter. Now reread Phil. 2:12
Different Types of Fear
There is an adrenaline-rush-funny-thrill-seeking type of fear. It is the motivation for why people love scary movies, why they ride down raging rivers in tiny little plastic boats, ride roller coasters, etc. It gets your blood rushing and your heart pounding.
There is a paralyzing-bad-will-destroy-your-life-if-you-are-not-careful type of fear. It’s best friends are mindless worry and fretting. It is the motivation for why your mom calls you twenty-three times a week to make sure everything is ok. Seriously though, this type of fear can be very dangerous when people get paralyzed by irrational fears and can’t make needed decisions or progress in their lives.
There is also a good fear. There is a type of fear that is accurately based and that motivates to healthy movement. It is the fear in a child’s eyes when his parent is freaking out because he is in danger. It is the kind of fear that will save your life.
<> What types of fear do you see in your life? What makes you afraid?
<> Can you see examples of each of these fears in your life?
The Good Fear
Go read Matthew 10:28-31
<> In what ways do you fear man and act based on what people think about you?
<> Who is worthy of fear?
The good fear is established and based on understanding who deserves fear. God is WORTHY of fear. If you take a few moments to meditate on who God is – on what God can do – on the shear power of His complete control of the universe, and the only reaction you have is, “Wow that’s neat”, then you should trade your brain in for a couple gumballs. Gumballs would be more beneficial to you right now than your brain is. SERIOUSLY, God’s nature, power, actions, abilities – His GOD-ness has to strike a little fear in your heart if you are alive. He can send you to hell after you die, AND be completely justified in doing so.
Wait, but doesn’t vs. 31 say “don’t be afraid”??? Yes, it absolutely does. This is the nature of the good fear. Based on accurate understanding of who God is, we fear Him in response. AND, He tells us that He loves us more than the sparrows and takes complete care of us, so we stop walking in fear of Him. The good fear is more about understanding who deserves fear and less about cowering in fear.
<> Do you have a healthy understanding of how worthy of fear God is?
<> How in your actions do you treat God like He is small and/or undeserving of fear?
The healthy balance is learning that God is in and of Himself completely worthy of IMMENSE fear, AND relationally He chooses to love us so we don’t have to walk forever in the what-would-be-well-deserved paralyzing fear of Him.
Why Does It Matter?
Obedience. Obedience hangs in the balance. If you never understand how worthy of fear God is, then you will ignore what He says. The Scriptures will come in one ear and fall out the other because you don’t think that is God is really worth listening to – or that He is trustworthy. On the other hand, if you don’t understand that He relationally loves you and doesn’t abuse His power like a bully to try to beat people into worshipping Him out of fear – then you’ll still end up disobedient. You will either live as a pious, penitent religious person who can’t imagine any goodness in life because you don’t get God’s goodness and so you’ll obey rules but never walk in relationship with Him. OR equally bad you will rebel against God and mock Him. You will live in the adrenaline-rush-exciting fear of challenging God to His face and seeing where it turns out. It won’t turn out good. He’s worthy of good fear. He loves you enough for you to walk in confident obedience.