‘they . . . did not choose to fear the Lord.’ Proverbs 1.29
Throughout the book of Proverbs, we often find the writer contrasting those who follow the way of God and those who do not. This verse comes into that context as it speaks of the danger of not following God, or as the verse puts it - choosing not to fear the Lord.
The phrase, the 'fear of the Lord', could probably be described as a sense of awe about God. It is about grasping the implication of who God really is. We like to think that we know who he is, but the reality is that there are many moments when we also 'do not choose to fear the Lord'.
Anxiety has a tendency to rear its head in all our lives, and the more we dwell on whatever is making us anxious, the worse it becomes. There is an option - and that is to choose to fear the Lord. We can make a deliberate choice not to fix our attention on whatever is causing the anxiety, but on God’s power and incredible love for us. As we fix our attention on these things, the anxiety lessens.
It all comes down to a simple choice: when fear and anxiety come knocking, will you open the door to them? Or instead will you choose to open a different door that is all about standing in awe of God, fixing your eyes on him and recognising his presence with you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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