For many people, October is a scary month. Why? Because it's the beginning of a change in seasons. It's a transition toward thinking about the holiday season that is fast approaching. And because of Halloween. This post is not going to be about Halloween and my opinion of it. I'll just say that we don't do Halloween at our house and leave it there.
I'm more fascinated with the idea of "fear." Not so much because I am afraid but because of some of the things I have read lately in the Bible. Just this morning I read Nehemiah 7:1-2, which says, "1 After the wall was finished and I had set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. 2 I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most." (NLT) Why did Hananiah fear God more than most and why was that such a big deal, so big a deal that Nehemiah mentioned it as he introduced him to us?
Understand that this "fear" mentioned here is not so much "terror" as much as reverence and respect. Much like the "fear" of a coach or your principal in school or some other authority. You are not really afraid of them, you are more afraid of messing up and disappointing them. You want them to be pleased with you so you carefully, respectfully do what you should in order to make them happy.
While there is no way to know why Hananiah feared the Lord more than others, we can draw some insight as to why it was important.
According to John Maxwell, leadership genius, everything rises and falls on leadership. In other words, your organization, team, home, etc, will only be as good as its leaders. So it makes sense that if we want those things to be the best they can be, we need the best leadership we can find. Nehemiah knew that one of the most important characteristics of the leaders he appointed was a healthy fear of the Lord. He wanted the leaders to be so in tune with God's leading and so aware of His power that they did not dare do anything without His approval and leadership. Leaders who truly fear the Lord are leaders who effectively lead others to God's Best.
Check your fear level. Don't be afraid that God is going to strike you dead if you mess up a little in your leadership. Instead, be afraid of missing out on His Best for you and those you influence. that fear should guide every decision you make, every step you take, and every word you speak.
I pray that we will all be known as those who fear the Lord more than most.