Most things we fear paralyze and enslave us. Fearing other people’s opinions makes us a slave to their responses and leaves us uncertain of our own worth, value, and ability to speak our mind. Joining in with our culture’s fears (fear of not being beautiful, important, successful, or relevant), transforms us into an insecure chameleons, always trying to be the person the ‘world’ says we should be. If we fear our circumstances (financial prosperity, future plans, health, job status) then we often end up on a sinful and anxious path—doing whatever it takes—in order to achieve the things we ‘can’t live without’.
There is a type of fear that is different from these fears, a fear that will set liberate you: the fear of the LORD. To fear the LORD is to stand in awe of God and to submit to Him commands with your heart and life. It is in a sense, it is to care more about what God says than what other people, the world at large, or what our circumstances demand of us. It is an affectionate, reverential submission to God. This fear will free you!
If you fear God, you will be free to love, know, and care for others around. You no longer need be anxious about what other people think about your appearance, status, personality, or speech–what drives your morals, actions, and motivations is God who created you(His estimation of you is supreme). Now you are free to share the gospel with your co-worker, to speak of God’s wonderful love in sending Jesus to die for our sins, to open up your heart and be known, and to take massive risks as you seek to help others.
If you fear God, you will be free to transform and enjoy culture. Culture is no longer the arbiter of your worth, image, or success—God gives you these things. God’s desires shape your desires and you begin to start thinking His thoughts after Him. Now you can engage in culture (movie, arts, media) and speak God’s truth without fear of losing face. You seek God’s face and want His Kingdom to expand here and now, and hope that all will embrace Jesus as Lord and be rescued from their hopeless state. You can enjoy films, music, and entertainment, while recognizing that not every ideology expressed need be heeded.
If you fear God, you will be free to act righteously regardless of your circumstances. You may have been sinned against and feel like your world is falling down, but your sure and secure foundation is God. The physical pain and uncertain health conditions do not determine your joy and final destination: God is your exceeding joy and heaven is your home. When things are prosperous—the bank account is full, you are healthy, you are being recognized by others, your plans are coming to pass—you are safeguarded from thinking too highly of yourself and falling into deceptive pride.