"The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death."- Proverbs 14:27 (NKJV)
"Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death." (AMP)
Today I headed out the door with my brand new running shoes (Mother's day gift) for a 4 mile run. At the 2 mile point in the run, where I usually turn around and head another 2 miles back home, I decided that I had too much fuel in my legs and I was loving my new shoes too much to stop. I remember thinking at about mile 5, "What did I have for dinner last night?" My legs and energy level were so great that I thought I must've accidentally eaten an excess of carbs that were fueling these extra miles. Although I went back through my meals for the last 24 hours
1 bowl of Life cereal 1/2 a burger from Ruby's 1 peanut butter and honey sandwich 2 cups of coffee
I quickly realized that there were no extra carbs that I had loaded myself with that had snuck in without my realizing it. Did I get an extra good night of sleep? Nope, my daughter woke up twice during the night needing to go to the bathroom and then again bright and too early this morning. Was it an extra good running playlist on my IPhone? Nope, I was listening to an old and worn out playlist that I kept skipping through because I am bored with the songs.
It must've been the shoes.
I knew that my old shoes were, well, old. But I guess I didn't realize how much they had an effect on my running. My poor legs have been struggling to drag my body around on worn out, tired and dusty shoes. All their energy being sapped and drained, making my runs feel more job than fun.
Not today though. Thank you daughter/husband for the thoughtful gift. Those shoes carried me through a fairly quick 7 miles and probably could've carried me even further if I had more time to spend on the trail and in the sun.
Since my run and fuel thoughts lingered long past the run, I couldn't help being led to this verse in Psalms. When it comes to needing fuel/a fountain of life that keeps us from sin we need to have a deep reserve of fear of the Lord. That seems simple except what in the world is the fear of the Lord? Isn't fear a bad thing?
When I was about 19 my family had a horse that we adopted. She was a thoroughbred racehorse that the previous owners couldn’t get to climb in the starting stall, so we adopted her. She was 1200 pounds of pure speed and power. I spent days and weeks getting to know her and letting her know me before I ever ran her. I would talk to her, touch her, and over time I eventually got on her back and walked her. I learned how she responded to me directing her with the reigns and then eventually with just my knees. Finally my mother and I decided it was time to run her. There are different speeds that horses move, a walk, a trot, a canter, and a gallop. A walk is self explanatory, a trot is the uncomfortable bounce up and down that feels a little bit like you’ve placed your seat on a jack hammer, but the canter and the gallop are the smooth run that you see in the movies where it looks like the horse and rider are gliding together. That’s what I wanted to do with my horse. We had a large field to ride her in but it was riddled with cactus and large rocks, so, to say that I was afraid was an understatement. I trusted this horse though. I knew this horse and I was in awe of her. On that day I warmed my horse up from the walk to trot and then into the gallop. I don’t think you could remove the smile from my face for weeks. I was in awe of my horse, her power, and strength to run that fast even with me on her back. I feared her and I respected her.
Websters dictionary says to fear the Lord is to have reverential awe of Him and reverence is to have a feeling or attitude of deep respect. So we are to have attitudes and feelings of deep respect towards the Lord.
The world has exchanged the reasons for respect from being correct behavior or character like being honorable, trustworthy, faithful, truthful, hardworking, giving, loving, etc., to the way a person dresses, how much money they make, how fit their body shape is, how much they are photographed, and who they are friends with. They have mistaken popularity for respect and have become consumed with being star struck by someone famous and forgotten what it is like to be in awe of something that is purely good.
We can’t be in awe of something that we don’t know. No one’s jaw drops when just any random stranger walks into the room, but, your jaw would probably drop and your eyes grow huge if Billy Graham walked into the room. What if the person sitting next to you didn’t know who he was? What would you tell them? Did you know that by 1993 more than 2.5 million people came forward to receive Christ at his crusades? Did you know that as of 2008 his lifetime radio and tv audience topped 2.2 billion people? Did you know that he is one of the few Americans including the current president who can be delivered mail that simply reads his name and the country- “Billy Graham, America?” Did you know that Gallup produced a poll for the most admired people of the entire 20th century and Billy Graham was #7 just under others like Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa?
The feelings we should have toward a man like Billy Graham are respect and awe of what he allowed the Lord to do in and through his life and we can have these feelings toward Billy because we know about Him, about his ministry and the amazing godly life he has lived.
Now take a man like Billy Graham, a man that presidents and world leaders look up to and admire and respect, and look at who he looks up to. He is in awe of the Lord. He fears the Lord.
If we truly know the Lord then fear of Him will be our response. If we fear Him, if we stand back in awe and reverential worship of Him then we will be able to avoid the snares of death. Yeahhh! Oh this gets me excited.
So let's do it. Let's spend our lives getting to know Him more and more. Come on. Start right now...
(This is my newest blog in a weekly series where I share my thoughts behind some of my favorite scriptures out of the bible. If you want to see why I've started this weekly undertaking you can go back and read my blog called "Pirates And Their Knots...")