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The Good Kind of Fear - Girlfriends in God - March 17, 2015

March 17, 2015
The Good Kind of Fear
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

Friend to Friend

I was a tween with pimples, long lanky limbs, and an attitude the summer we went to Ohio to visit friends of my parents who lived on a farm. I didn’t much care if these people were nice. I didn’t much care what we would eat for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. It wasn’t the beach and I wasn’t overly thrilled to be in Ohio for a vacation. (No offense, Ohio people.)

But I had heard they had horses and that calmed my grump a good bit because, truth-be-told, I was giddy to ride one.

I just knew I was born to ride! My cousin Beth had horses, but up to that point she hadn't had the chance to teach me the ropes. Finally… I would have my chance.

The sun danced with a summer breeze the morning we journeyed past the barn out into the pasture for our horse adventure. It was beautiful. A perfect day for an eager girl to do something new and exciting.

I got a quick bit of instructions, then, I mounted the gorgeous creature, grabbed the reigns, and ventured out into the grassy fields. All by my big-tween-girl-self.

Freedom met me in the tall grass as Butterscotch and I became fast friends.

We walked. We cantered. We even galloped! I was so good at this!

And then I turned him around – back toward his owner and the barn… and Butterscotch got hisrun on in a fierce way.

Scared. Me. To. Death.

I didn’t know what to do. I screamed, dropped the reigns, and held on to the horn of the saddle for dear life. The owner was waving her hands trying to tell me what to do but she sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher and the moment was blurry mayhem.

Then, when I was sure we would crash into the barn causing me to meet Jesus way too young, Butterscotch came to a halt.

And I went inside to change my pants. (Joking.)

I was so scared that I collapsed into an ugly cry. Couldn’t even control my emotions. And on that day one thing became crystal clear to me: I do NOT like to be afraid.


If I see a snake, a mouse, or a spider, (generally anything with more or less legs than I have,) chances are I’m going to run the other way screaming louder than a middle school girl at a Taylor Swift concert. Why? Because they freak me out. It’s an unsettling kind of fear. And – remember? I don’t like to be afraid.

But the Bible says we are to fear the Lord. Hmmm.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

How does this make sense?

I’ve come to understand that the fear of the Lord is a good kind of fear… it’s a righteous fear. The best kind. It is my awe of Him. Those times when I’m completely undone with reverence before the One who dwells in unapproachable light… yet who lovingly invites me to encounter Him intimately as I worship.

So I fear God by giving Him the honor, esteem, and adoration due Him. And in doing so, I am ushered into a fresh beginning. To a starting gate that opens wide to knowledge, wisdom, and instruction – all of which are worth far more than any understanding this world offers.

Straight up: the world is a faction of fools that laughs at godly wisdom. It whispers venom to our souls like a snake. You don’t have to pay attention to God. Do things your way. More! You need more! It’s okay to watch that raunchy movie or read that trashy novel. Blah. Blah. Blah…

No thank you, world. I’ve got a mad-crush on my God and I do not need your help with misguided direction.

The fear of the Lord leads me to depth in a beautifully sacred way. And that’s a fear worth running toward full force.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are holy, and powerful, and full of grace. Please forgive me of my independence, arrogance, and stubbornness that keeps me from Your best. Please lead me in Your wisdom, knowledge, guidance, and depth today. I’m running to You, Jesus.

In Your holy name,


Now It’s Your Turn

On a scale of 0 to 5 (0=never, 5=always), how intense is your fear of the Lord? How often do you prioritize Him, honor Him, reflect on His attributes, worship in spirit and in truth, fall before Him in awe of His God-ness?

What number would you LIKE to be able to say? What are you going to do about it? What should that look like for you? Who can you tell for accountability? (I’d love to hear your heart on this. Swing by my blog or Facebook page to leave a comment and take this conversation deeper.)

More from the Girlfriends

Gwen’s book Broken into Beautiful will help you to experience God’s healing and hope in your life. To order the book, go to Amazon, your favorite Christian bookstore, or order from her store.

Gwen Smith is a speaker, author, worship leader, and songwriter who wants to help you think big thoughts about God – and inspire you toward His grace and truth. Her website is filled with videos, posts, songs and resources that will be a deep well of encouragement to you. Click here to visit her site. (Get 3 FREE song downloads when you sign up for her blog!)

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