Today’s Truth

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.

Proverbs 1:7

Friend to Friend

Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be afraid.

Case in point. I was a tween with pimples; long, lanky limbs; and an attitude the summer our family 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, and then I mounted the saddled creature, grabbed the reins, 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 his run on in a fierce way.

Scared. Me. To. Death.

I didn’t know what to do. I screamed, dropped the reins, 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 fewer 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 those creatures freak me out. It’s an unsettling kind of fear. And remember? I don’t like to be afraid.

Yet the Bible says we are to fear the Lord. Come again? 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. When God says we are to fear Him, He’s saying we are to be in awe of Him, to revere Him as the One who dwells in unapproachable light. To recognize Him as the eternal eminence who sits on the throne of grace and lovingly welcomes us to encounter Him intimately as we worship.

I fear God when I reflect on His greatness, when I whisper, “Good job on that flower, God!” when I trace the jawline of my sleeping, whiskered man-child and give thanks to the loving Creator who created him.

I fear God by giving Him the honor, esteem, and adoration due Him. In good times and bad.

I fear God by recognizing that He is God and I am not.

I fear God by understanding that all of the power in heaven and on earth is His. And in doing so, I’m ushered into a fresh beginning. To the greatest resource of power. 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 who laugh at godly wisdom. It whispers venom to our souls …

“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 don’t need your misguided direction. The fear of the Lord leads me to wisdom 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, indifference and stubbornness that keeps me from Your best. Please lead me in wisdom, knowledge and depth today.
In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

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?

Read Psalm 112:1-4. Write out a prayer of response in your journal or click here to write a prayer response on the wall of my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s new book, I Want It All.

GIVEAWAY: Enter to WIN a copy of I Want It ALL by Gwen Smith. In celebration of this new release, Gwen’s publisher is giving away 3 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 3 winners and email notifications to each one within the week.}

Order your copy today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite retailer.

12 Responses to “Stop Running From Fear”

  1. Angie Lamarche says:

    I want to thank God everyday for the many blessings He sends my way, be they obvious or disguised! I would love a copy of “I want it ALL” to help me on my spiritual journey!

  2. Gracie says:

    Would love to win this book, great blog today!

  3. Carolina says:

    Yesterday night I had my weekly meeting in a small group. We talked about Romans chapter 9 and God’s sovereignty. I guess that I understood that He chooses to be merciful and how He chose to save us giving His only son. That solemn act makes me fear the Lord!

  4. Diane says:

    Gwen, Thank you for your brave confession about fear, and describing the difference between Godly fear and earthly fear. I use to be very fearful of almost everything. However, the closer I have gotten to know God, the less fearful I am. I am grateful to share the Godly fear, since this is the beginning of an everlasting relationship and desire to know more about God. Who is all knowing!

  5. Añicia says:

    I enjoyed this article very much because since I was a little girl my mother used to said God is everywhere .
    I grew up fearful to God since he can see us all the time and that make us aware of our sin or at list be careful of the din that we consciously know that we need to remove from ours lives

  6. Lisa says:

    Thank you for giving me an understanding of what it means to truly fear the Lord .

  7. Tammy Ledesma says:

    Thank you for your devotional. I enjoy reading and then applying the wisdom in my life. I find that I am most afraid of how other people view me! It is a constant struggle. I pray that I am able to rest knowing that Jesus loves me, so why should I be afraid. I appreciate your devotinals.

  8. Bonnie says:

    Loved this posting of my nieces about this subject. So I wanted to share it with you.
    “Yesterday, on our way home from church, Noelle asked why she should be afraid of God. I went into a watered down theological explanation, and at the end of it I asked her if that answered her question. Her quiet, “No” was a little frustrating to me. As I tried to figure out what I said that was not clear, Lee started talking. “Noelle, you know how if you are in the middle of doing something bad, you should be worried about getting in trouble with daddy. You know that what you are doing is wrong. You should be scared, you are probably going to end up getting in trouble with me. But, if a bear was coming for you, who would you run to? Who would help you as much as he could?” Her quiet, “Daddy, I would run to you. You would shoot that bear if you could.” Lee-“The same with God, He gives us rules, and we have to obey. We should be scared of making Him mad when we disobey Him, but He is also waiting for us to run to Him.” Noelle-“I get it now!” Yup. My eyes filled with tears….I would have NEVER come up with such a good picture. I really do love this man I married who loves our girls so well.”

  9. Kelly says:

    I am so grateful for this devotional. I to what to practice my fear of the Lord everyday. god has been so good to my family and I. Praise him for being such a wonderful and faithful God. Beautiful devotion

  10. Tirza says:

    I recognize that I don’t like to fear God. I just like to be loved by God. But now I realize that I can’t amaze by God’s love if I am not amaze (fear) God, Himself.

  11. Makay says:

    wow,God bless you for this amazing insight. I’ve learnt a lot about fearing God.

  12. Mike says:

    Nicely done, I read this to my daughter who is struggling in your walk with Christ please pray for her her name is Ashley

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