It’s audio devo day!
Where does fear come from? What Scriptural secret can we find that sends the spirit of fear running? Today we launch a new series for our Friday audio devos to explore this matter. Get comfy, snuggle into the Lord’s presence, and get ready to be blessed as you listen here:
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“Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear” (Isa. 8:12-13, NLT).
During one of the most difficult seasons of my life, Holy Spirit made this Scripture His rhema to me. He spoke it to me personally. It became like a lifesaver ring to cling to in the ocean. It kept me from drowning.
There was a problem, though. Through it, He was instructing me not to fear and not to dread. And there was so much that was scary during that time. There was so much in my natural circumstances to be afraid of. There was so much about the uncertainty of the future that lent itself to a sense of dread, dread that wanted to sit over me heavily and tie my stomach in knots.
So how to follow His instructions? This conundrum presented the perfect opportunity for the Lord to teach me something new. Holy Spirit pointed out that this Scripture itself gives the answer: “He is the one you should fear.” From that moment on, He began to train me in understanding the fear of the Lord. I want to share with you what He has taught me. I know it will make all the difference for you, as it has for me.
I wonder, though… are you like me, and never felt a strong personal connection with this concept? Of course, having grown up in church, I was quite familiar with the phrase, “the fear of the Lord.” I had heard pulpit explanations that it meant having a profound reverence for the Lord. Mentally, I would acknowledge that I do indeed revere Him with my whole heart. But that’s about as far as I got with it. Can you relate?
How, then, does this concept help you and me stand against terrible onslaughts of fear and dread? How does fearing the Lord make us strong in the face of intense adversity? Well, my friend, that is exactly what we are going to dive into in this new podcast series. Holy Spirit wants to unpack this for us in a brand new way.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the concept of fear. Why would you fear something? What would cause you to be afraid of it? It basically boils down to two factors. One, whatever that something is, it seems to potentially be able to hurt you. And two, whatever it is, it seems to be more powerful than you. So you probably would not be able to prevent it from hurting you.
It’s bigger than you. You can’t control it. So you fear it.
What about this, though? What if the thing that is bigger than us is God Himself? What if His power working on our behalf is infinitely bigger than what is coming against us? What is the love that drives His actions is immeasurably stronger than anything that hates us? What if the radiance of His being is incalculably mightier than all the darkness in the universe? What if the One who is in us is inestimably greater than the one who is in the world?
Once we begin to perceive these truths, truly, deep-down-in-the-marrow-of-our-bones perceive them, that, my friend, that is where the fear of the Lord begins. The fear of the Lord is to be impressed by how much bigger God is than anything else that exists.
Let’s look at our Scripture again. “Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe.” Does that seems like a contradiction? “He is the one you should fear… He will keep you safe.” After all, usually we fear things exactly because they threaten our safety, and here He promises to guarantee our safety, quite the opposite! But you know, this Scripture is not a contradiction. Instead, its two phrases compliment and explain each other wonderfully.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is big enough to keep you safe. Those other things that seem bigger than you and therefore scary? They are termites in His presence. They are dust in the wind before the blast of breath from His nostrils. They are nothing before Him.
So instead, fear Him. Be in awe of His bigness. Be in awe of His holiness, of His otherness. Be astonished by the way He sits enthroned upon the circle of the universe. Be stunned by the way His enemies flee before Him in abject terror when He reveals Himself. He is the One who should make you tremble. If you truly see Him for who He is, this will be your spontaneous response.
Remember this. Fear lies. Fear tells you that it’s big and strong enough that you should be impressed. You shouldn’t. Refuse to be impressed. Fear tells you that it can harm you. But it can’t. You are in the hands of the One who rules over everything. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords assures you, “If anyone attacks you, it will not be my doing. Whoever attacks you will be defeated by you” (Isa. 54:15, GW).
The One who created and sustains everything is backing you up. So what is the antidote to the spirit of fear? The fear of the Lord. When you fill your inner visual field with His majesty, fear’s lying voice recedes into the background and fades away.
That is what Holy Spirit trained me to do during that painful season I mentioned to you at the beginning of this episode. He taught me to intentionally step into the fear of the Lord as the way to send the spirit of fear running. He trained me to put this instruction into practice: “Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow…” (Isa. 8:12-13, NKJV).
To hallow means to set apart, to lift up, to exalt as holy. Here’s what Holy Spirit would instruct me to do. As I would actively train my focus on Jesus, enthroned above all else, I would begin to exalt Him. I would lift my voice and sing with everything in me, looking at Him there, focusing on the way He was far above everything that I was facing. In this way, my heart became impressed by His glorious majesty. Everything would come into perspective. My enemies became tiny ants far, far below Him.
Every time I repeated this exercise, fear lost more and more space in my life. And you know what? Everything fear whispered to me about my future during that intense season of my life was a lie. None of it came true. Every last threat was empty. This is why the Lord instructs us, “…Do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14, NKJV). You know what else? The enemy doesn’t even know the future. Unlike God, he has not been there yet. He has no accurate way of predicting it to you.
But the One who holds the universe in the palm of His hand knows what your tomorrow holds. And He’s got you. Be impressed by Him. Not by His tiny enemies. He is the right One to fear. And He will keep you safe.
Is the fear of the Lord a concept that is dear to your heart? If so, how did this come to be the case for you? What additional insight has God given you on the subject?