Rooted Recommends: A Holy Fear by Christina Fox
Author and Rooted writer Christina Fox’s new book, A Holy Fear: Trading Lesser Fears for the Fear of the Lord comes along at a time when we need it most. Fox assures us that come what may, we can rest in the character of God. We can do that by replacing our worldly fears with a reverent awe of our holy, and wholly good, God.
Though her book is not specifically written about parenting, Fox is herself a mother, and she aptly describes many fearful parenting moments moms and dads will recognize. She outlines what a fear-filled life looks like (fear of man, fear of harm, fear of the future) before turning our attention to fearing the Lord, which Scripture tells us is the “beginning of wisdom.” Often we misunderstand what it means to relate to the Lord in this way because we mistake a servile fear for a filial fear. It is this filial fear, the knowledge that in Christ we have been adopted by God and we are His, that begins to set us free:
… by His grace He rescued us from sin and death through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. He shelters us in the shadow of His wings. We are protected from His judgment. The fear of the Lord is our response to being in that place of safety and of knowing we are loved.
In the most valuable and practical help of the book, Fox then provides a guide for how to move from a fear-filled life to the freedom we find in fearing the Lord. First, we get to know His character. Through Scripture, we see His track record of faithful action on behalf of His chosen people. With this foundation, we can grow in our awe and reverence for the Lord and begin to shed some of our tormenting worries and sleepless nights. We can begin to enjoy the wisdom, humility, and trust that comes from rightly ordering our fears, and trust in His promises to those of us who have long struggled with fear.
This volume would be ideal for small group study, either among parents or for a youth group; each chapter is dense with wisdom but also easy to read and understand. There is a study guide in the back that invites readers to go deeper into the Bible and explore more of God’s Word says about holy fear. Diving deeply into God’s word, Fox reassures us that we do not have to remain captive to our worst imaginings or petty anxieties. She leaves us with a note of hope:
Over time, God will grow bigger and greater in your eyes than your lesser fears. While the fears of this world will always exist – until Christ returns – your fear of the great I AM will weaken those lesser fears. Their grip on your heart will lessen. These fears may linger on the sidelines of your life and remind you they are there, but their power will fade in the face of your glorious God.