Several months ago I reviewed a book entitled What Women Fear by Angie Smith. Last night, I finished working through the book with a group of friends from church. Talking and working through it was even more powerful than just reading it. Maybe because there were certain things I just couldn’t gloss over when I was sitting in a discussion with a half dozen other women!
I love the way Angie closed the book. Her final chapter was on fearing God and it really articulated well the positive role that fear can play in our lives. So many times in Scripture we find the command to not be afraid. But, we are also commanded to fear God. How do we balance the two?
You know how very visual I am. I need to see things. Pictures in my mind, so to speak. Those word pictures come from many sources, and two sources came together in my mind as I pondered this question of balance.
The first one comes from Doctor Who, a British sci-fi television show featuring an alien who travels through time and space, typically with one or more human companions. Like most sci-fi stories, this one is created by people who believe that everything can be explained through science. That leaves little, if any, room for God. But, they never can totally eliminate the powerful underlying reality that everything, and I mean everything, lies within God’s realm, power, and authority. I love that!
An episode I watched recently depicted the Doctor and his companions arriving at what appeared to be a hotel. But, each room in this hotel held a fearful thing. Every person was eventually drawn to “his” room – the room which held his greatest fear. But the interesting thing about confronting these fears was that each person immediately fell back on their faith. Different people had different sources of strength upon which to lean. But, whatever their source of faith, they found what they needed to stand strong against their fears.
Not to spoil it too much for you just in case you ever decide to take the Doctor Who plunge, but for these people, this faith is what eventually caused their deaths. But for us the story is different. Why? Because our faith is placed in One who has authority over all else. Not only can He save us, but He will! Maybe not the way we anticipate, but still perfectly. The Doctor Who example of a reliance on faith, combined with the truth of our relationship with Christ, offers a picture of what our fears should do for us…they should drive us to lean even more heavily on Jesus Christ Himself. Instead of being debilitating for us, our fears should be catalysts that give us an even more passionate hunger to seek out our Rock and draw as close to Him as we possibly can!
But, that still leaves the fear of God Himself. How can we fall into His arms in response to the things we fear if we fear Him? For this answer, we will turn to a picture from literature…in Monday’s “part two” blog post. Stay tuned!