Fear is a natural emotion of self preservation. The fear of God is a good kind of fear. It doesn't mean dread but reverential awe. It is the only possible response of a created being to an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Creator, God.
Fear can also be healthy. It is good to be afraid to jump off the top of a tall building with no parachute. It is good to be afraid to drink or stick your head in the mouth of a hungry lion.
Fear was given to man to keep him safe and protect him from harm. It was given to help him nurture a wise respect for things more powerful than he.
Although fear is a natural emotion,it is an emotion that has to be micromanaged because fear has more than one side. Fear can be good or it can be bad for us. Fear can prevent us from doing foolish or harmful things but it can also prevent us from doing things that are right and good. Fear can prevent us from obeying God if we don't manage it correctly.
Here are a few verses on fear and timidity:
2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
1 John 4:18(NIV)
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 27:1 (NIV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?
Romans 8:15 (NIV)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ""Abba," Father."
Unmanaged fear can become a stronghold in a person's life. Fear leads to anxiety and worry. It robs the soul of peace and will always surface when we are not trusting wholeheartedly in God. Fear is the expectation of bad things happening. Fear can even paralyze a person and immobilize them. However, when we trust God's perfect love for us and the good He intends for us, fear is cast out of our mind. Faith is realizing there is no evil power in the universe great than the good power of God's love for us.
I was commenting on another of my blogs about selfishness and it occurred to me that a selfish person is actually a very fearful person. They are afraid that they will go without unless they do it for themselves.
They see themselves alone as their only reliable source of protection and provision. No one else can be depended on. They are afraid to trust and the very thought of loss makes them extremely anxious. They can only see their need continually and feel an irresistable pressure to take in but don't see the need to share what they have with others.
This actually is very sad when you think about it. We all have come in contact with selfish people in our lives or we may even be that selfish person. We often look at selfishness as just plain evil because self-preservation controls all that a person can see or do. It's not that they don't care about anyone else but that they are afraid to care more about them than themselves. But have you ever looked below the surface or wondered why? It is so easy to judge, isn't it. Especially when we just look at the outer appearances of things but God looks at the heart. He sees inside their hearts at the spirit of fear that has them held captive and He alone knows what traumas in life may have led them to that sorrowful place.
This tormented person needs to be set free from fear by the power of God's perfect love. Only then will the fear that is at the core of their selfishness and self survival be cast out so faith can replace it.
My prayer is that all be free from the plague of fear and be filled with the power of faith.