Proverbs 2:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP): “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
1 John 4:17-19: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”
In these blogs dealing with Bible Answers, one of the most puzzling topics to some is the difference between godly fear and tormenting fear. We must resolve what may seem like a contradiction when the Bible tells us that Jesus loves us and came to set us free from fear, while on the other hand we are told to fear God. The two scriptures above define those two kinds of fear and will give us a better understanding of what the Bible has to say about the subject.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Jesus knew we would live in a time where we would be exposed to multiplied fears all around us; yet the Bible tells us in many places that God does not want us to be fearful. He also explained that fear does not come from God, but rather God wants us to walk in His power, His love and to have a sound mind. People who yield to the spirit of fear can, at some point, become emotionally unstable or end up in bondage that keeps them from functioning normally. I have known a number of people that allowed fear to rule them to such a degree that they no longer fly on an airplane because of fear of it crashing, or they refuse to drive on freeways for the same reason. No longer can they make decisions based on the will of God, but rather fear keeps them from doing the things the Lord wants them to do. Fear has torment and it can even affect our bodies by the stress it causes. Actually fear is at the root of stress and anxiety. Years ago, I personally suffered with this tormenting emotion until the Lord set me free. I was one of those people who was tempted never to fly again after a long stressful flight years ago. However, I was determined not to allow the enemy to keep me from doing anything the Lord wanted me to do.
Coming from a background that taught eternal security to the degree that “once you are saved, you are always saved,” I am very well versed in all the Scripture that supports this view. However, when I came into the Spirit-filled walk, I began to study and read opposite views on this subject and came to embrace them. However, I could not find a peace in the extreme of needing to be saved again every time I sinned, as that certainly had no security in God’s keeping power. Both extremes cause problems in the body of Christ. Let us look to God’s Word and find the balance between these two extremes.
God does not want us to take our salvation lightly, nor does He want us to be constantly insecure with the fear of losing our salvation. Therefore, He gives us Scripture to prevent both of these extremes.