There are two types of fear I’d like to talk about today.  There is “the fear of the LORD”, and there is every other kind of fear which has nothing to do with the LORD.  The Bible says “the fear of the LORD” leads to wisdom. That means any other type of fear is not productive for us. Here are just a few scriptures from Proverbs about “the fear of the LORD”.

Pro_9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Pro_10:27  The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Pro_14:26  In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Pro_14:27  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Pro_15:16  Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Pro_15:33  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Pro_16:6  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Pro_19:23  The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

When you consider the term, “the fear of the LORD”, what comes to your mind?  Does it mean fear and terror of being hurt or punished by the LORD, or does it reflect your awe and honor of His Majesty?  Well, for me, it is the latter, for I know the LORD loves me and He is not out to hurt me in any way.  If He wanted me destroyed, I would already BE destroyed, so that thought instantly goes out the window.   The fear of the LORD is very real to me, and it means as I give Him the place of utmost honor in my life, FIRST PLACE, to actually OBEY Him, reverence and worship and adore Him, I need have NO FEAR of anything else, period.

I need not fear what is coming in an economic sense, for even if the whole economic system crashes all around me, the LORD will provide for me and my family from His own hand.  If war breaks out in the world, His hand will keep and sustain us.  The fear of the LORD therefore exempts me from all other forms of fear.  Even the simple verse from Psalm 23, The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…, tells me everything I really need to know.  Ever think about the fullness of that verse?  I am safely in His hands, what or whom shall I fear?

Rom 8:31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Think about the “other” kind of fear, the one that stops you from doing what you know the LORD would have you to do?  Mostly, that fear is fed from our flesh, fear of disapproval from family or friends, or non-friends.  It can be fear of failure, fear of lack, fear of ridicule, fear of fear itself.  I remember an old tuna commercial that referred to tuna as “chicken of the sea”.  Well then, fear must make us act like Captain Tuna: the chicken of the sea.  It makes us afraid to step out and do exploits for the LORD.  Instead of witnessing for Jesus, we assume our identity of Captain Tuna, keeping a low profile so as not to stir up the devil’s anger.  Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t care if the devil doesn’t like me to tell people about Jesus.  The devil didn’t bleed and die for me on the cross to buy my salvation, he didn’t love me while I was yet a sinner, and he hasn’t done a good thing for me in my whole life.  And he is NO LONGER my boss.  I have no fear of him whatsoever, for I know the LORD is for me and not against me.

The LORD has given me true freedom, and among those individual freedoms is freedom from fear.  You see, I’m wising up: day by day my confidence is growing in the LORD and the knowledge that He is Almighty, Omnipotent and Ever present gives me confidence to step out and do whatsoever He prompts me to do.  As it says in Psalm 23:4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The LORD’S staff shall lead me and prod me along His path, and when the devil sticks his nose in my business, the LORD will thump him with his rod, and I especially like it when that happens.

If you have “the fear of the LORD”, you will become as bold as a lion and not turn aside for any.  You can tell every other kind of fear to take a hike.  You can stand confidently on the promises of God, knowing His Word never returns to Him void, OR, you can continue to let fear rule your life and ruin every chance you have for happiness. The cost of fear is great, and you don’t have enough to pay it.  It will keep you sick and broke and discouraged all your life.  Your choice…but if I were you, I’d choose “the fear of the LORD”, for it will make you wise and courageous, able to overcome every obstacle the devil throws in your path, every time.  What do you say?