"He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success." -- 2 Chronicles 26:4-5
In all my years of living on this earth, God has taught me many lessons. These lessons have been painful at times, especially when they have involved my children. As a parent, I see my children making many of the same mistakes I made during the years I wandered far from God. Although I realize that the mess I made of my life was the very thing God used to draw me back to him, it breaks my heart to know that my children are going to make their own mistakes no matter how hard I try to convince them that the stinging effects of sin are not worth the pleasures of the present. My own experience and words alone will not keep them safe. They will have to reach a place in their own lives where they embrace God's Word for themselves.
Life has taught me that there is no fear in fearing God. There is only freedom. That is to say, if we walk in the fear of the Lord by obeying his Word and surrendering to his lordship, then there is really nothing for us to be afraid of. His Word assures us of provision, forgiveness when we confess our sins, and protection when we follow him. But try to tell that to a teenager who is listening to the voice of his peers and living life based on the world's value system! He is more afraid of missing out on fun or being labeled a Jesus freak than he is afraid of being outside God's will. Isn't the same true of many of us? Age is no respecter of foolishness.
What are you afraid of? Are you afraid that if you choose to follow God in total submission, you will have to give up your friends or all that you have worked so hard to accomplish in life? Does obedience to his Word mean that you will have to give up all those dirty little habits that have become so comfortable to you? Maybe, maybe not. As one who has struggled with these very questions, I can assure you that whatever things were gain to you, you will eventually count as rubbish for the sake of knowing Christ more and being found in his righteousness (Philippians 3:7-9), if you choose to walk in the fear of God rather than be afraid of him and his truth.
So, what are you afraid of? Don't let fear of what others think keep you from walking in the fear of the Lord. Dare to face your fear and surrender everything to him. There is no safer or more pleasant place to dwell than in God's presence and purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).