The first “let us” statement in the book of Hebrews says, “Therefore…let us fear” (Hebrews 4:1). Does that statement surprise or offend you? Most Christians have no room for fear.
The people responsible for bringing me to the Lord were a fine Christian couple who lived in Yorkshire, England. When I visited them after World War II, they were not doing well—spiritually. The man believed that there was no room for fear in the Christian life. I pointed out that it depends on the kind of fear you are talking about. Psalm 19 says, “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (verse 9). There is never an end to that kind of fear. This man had decided never to use medicine, a position that conveys a sense of arrogance. I linked it with his attitude that rejected fear of any kind. Tragically, he developed diabetes, and his leg had to be amputated. He could hardly get over the shock that his faith had not brought him healing. I think the real problem was a failure to understand that a certain kind of fear is very much a part of the Christian life. The words in Hebrews, “let us fear,” are addressed to Christian believers, not unbelievers. Bear in mind that there is always a possibility of not getting what God has appointed for us. The entire verse says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.”
Every promise is two-sided. It offers you good, but if you fail to claim the promise, you are deprived of something. So much in the Christian life is the same way. The good is available, but there is always the possibility of missing it. I believe that we have to come with this attitude of fear if we are going to be able to enter into God’s rest.