The Fear That Produces Faith

img_0826We went up a mountain yesterday and as I was turning a corner of a winding mountain road, came face to face with a herd of sheep. Thousands of sheep were being pushed down the mountain and we were going up where they were going down.

When we were sitting off to the side of the road to let them pass, they were too scared and the shepherd started to lose control. They started running up the mountain and all over the place. We had to back up to a wide turn with extra space off to the side for them to pass on the road.

Same situation from two different perspectives produced two very different results. We were having a blast. This was so unique and fun to be in the middle of this scene that most of us had never imagined. We gave the shepherds bottles of water and talked with the trailing owners overseeing the large operation. It was a highlight of our day.

The sheep, however, were scared to death. They were panicked and freaking out. We were a perceived threat although we actually presented no threat at all.

There have been times that we’ve gone up the mountain with a different group where members of the group were scared to death. They didn’t like the mountain roads with drop-offs on one side. They didn’t like heights. They didn’t like being out of control. Fear will paralyze us and distort our perspective.

Later in the day, I spent time by myself on the side of a different mountain as I sought the presence of God. At least once during that time, I perceived the fear of the Lord in the sense of His awesome sovereignty. At one point, I literally spent time on my knees before Him.

The fear of the Lord is real and it is the only fear that will actually clarify and motivate. Realization of God puts us in perspective compared to Him and humbles us. It clarifies perceived threats we are facing  and puts them in perspective under His grace and love, as well. We can face the threats knowing that they aren’t as threatening as He is promising.

In this world, we are going to have trouble whether we know the Lord or submit to Him or not. Only through submission to Him can we find peace the surpasses the logic of the fear. Some things are scary, and only perfect love casts out fear.

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