The Secure Fortress

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The “fear of God” has always been an idea that hasn’t “set well” with me. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me think, God, how are people supposed to feel comfy with you if you want them to be afraid of you too? In my busy lil’ head, I picture the individuals who have a problem with authority anyway, bucking at the very thought of bowing low to a God who wishes to be feared. I realize this is pride, not only within myself, but also within others as well. (We better stick together on this one…) Do you know what I mean? I catch myself in the shoes of an unbeliever a lot of times when sitting in services or worshipping and always have. I honestly believe it has a lot to do with my compassionate nature. I took a test once that showed my number one gift was hospitality. The last thing I would ever want is for someone to feel left out or alone. (And if anyone is ever uncomfortable in my home, Lord help me! I’ll make it right, I swear! Just gimme a chance!) This, of course, borders on unhealthy people-pleasing, but that’s another day’s therapy session.

In my ponderings, I think back to my own dad. He taught me more life lessons than he could ever know without even trying. Although I know he tried as he is very educated in human nature. I knew he loved me; that was never in question. Not once. I always knew he wanted what was best for me despite some of my decisions. He showed his love for me in numerous ways: from feeding me to clothing me to smacking me across the face once. (Oh, I deserved it, you can place your money on that.)Did anyone cringe? Because I still do. Not because it hurt, but because of the look in my dad’s eyes. It was one of hurt determination.  All I remember about that moment was that I had disrespected him and my mother. Eek. That doesn’t set well with me either…to this day.

Proverbs 14:26-27 lets us know that he who fears the Lord has a secure fortress (Can I get an Amen? I need that!) and for his children it will be a refuge.( I’ll take that too.) It also states that the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. (Can I get another Amen? Who doesn’t want more life in their lives?) I had a healthy, reverent fear for my father. I knew that he meant what he said and his reasons for saying so. I knew he loved me without abandon. I also knew that he wouldn’t tolerate disrespect in any way, shape, or form. I had a fear of my father, but not in the way one might think. This fear was about respect, reverence, and honoring his wishes.

God wants the same thing from us. Galatians 6:7 warns us that God cannot be mocked. We reap what we sow. I am thankful for a dad who was always seemed to be more than “just a dad”; he was a teacher as well, through both words, but more so through his actions. I am so thankful I had a father  who taught me solid, Biblical principles.

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