The Light in Awe
The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It doesn’t say the fear of failure is wisdom, nor fears of loss, getting hurt, or there not being enough. You just can't find a verse that says, "Fearing the future is a great way to deal with the world."
The fear of God is the deepest sense of awe, keeping your heart childlike enough to recognize and respond to the power, majesty, wonder, and glory of God. It’s living your life in full light of the revelation that God really is love.
I know the fear that isn’t God’s. And I know there are people all over the world who have given themselves over to fear, wasting their lives trying to control others with it, and using it to destroy anyone they can’t. If I let myself focus on those fears for any length of time, they take over my thoughts and emotions. I stop seeing God as all–powerful, and so stop seeing myself as powerful in His presence. I pray out of desperation at Him, instead of in delight of Him.
That fear will tell you to hide who you are, protect yourself from trusting anyone, judge anything different from you, and that it’s always too dangerous to move forward. But in the awe of God’s presence you’re empowered to occupy new territory in His love, hope, grace, joy, peace, kindness, and wisdom, transforming cities and nations instead of condemning and abandoning them. To judge anyone out of your fear is to make that fear your god. That's the great irony—in fearing evil, you become part of it.
Find some time alone with God today. If you have a Christmas tree, sit quietly with Him there. Let the tree stir up thoughts of His sacrifice and love, and the ornaments remind you of His presence in your life throughout the years. In that awesome peace, let your heart be healed, strengthened, and encouraged. Let His love for you, and His joy in you, displace every anxiety and insecurity. Let Him illuminate every dark thought, until every fear you had becomes another light on the tree.
“And as we live in God, our love grows more complete . . . This kind of love has no fear, because love formed in His presence always displaces it. If we’re afraid, it’s for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not yet fully experienced His amazing love” (1 John 4:17-18).