“Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.”
Christian philosopher Dallas Willard once said that God is not mean but he is dangerous. Huh? He’s dangerous? Yes, but he’s on your side. He’s on the side of good. He’s on the side of what is right.
So, to fear God is similar to the way a camper fears a campfire, to the way a sailor fears weather, to the way an engineer fears electricity, to the way a chemist fears his lab, and to the way a son fears his father.
I remember when I was a kid I loved my dad, and I still love my dad; we’re very, very close. But, there was a fear component in my relationship with my dad, or any child’s relationship with his or her parents, that is healthy and good. It’s a respect that, “If I cross the line, Dad’s going to uncross it for me.”
This comes into play if I were to go to the playground, a place where I might be bullied, where I might be afraid of some kid, or other scary things on the playground. If Dad is there, I’m not afraid of those kids, I’m not afraid of teachers, I’m not afraid of anything because I have a healthy fear of Dad for his power and also for his ability to protect me. Does that make sense?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your strength, love, and power that defends and protects me every day of my life. Amen.
Reflection: When have you felt protected by God?