Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Fearing God, Being Loved

Wandering around Bloggerspace, I found this comment by Breezze:

"Know this is an older post... but just had to mention... I have been curious lately about "FEAR of GOD"... been working it out... I found some things I haven't heard before... like... God confides in those who fear Him... Wow... what is it really to "FEAR" God? I want to be God's confidant!"

God could squash me without thinking about it. In fact, if He even forgets about me for a moment I will turn to dissociated quarks, or whatever quarks break down to when God isn't thinking about them. The fact that He isn't interested in squashing me is one of life's biggest mysteries.

Start with the fact that God made a plan to bring all of us sinners to Himself. He did all the work, and continues to do so. This reminds me of all those stories about lost sheep and such, which along with the common images of God as a kindly old man, and Jesus as a shepherd with a lamb draped across His shoulders, could give one a sort of avuncular feeling toward God.

C.S. Lewis chose an excellent metaphor for Jesus in Aslan. Furry, warm, strong, fierce and never tame. Never safe, but good.

God brought me back to Himself in a way that combined humor, spectacle, kindness and great sensitivity. I overlooked the power. I learned about Him over ensuing months. One of the early lessons involved praying for friends. I noticed that I could pray for friends but the act rubbed off on me: whatever I asked for them, I also got for myself. Similar problems, similar solutions, and this was way of reinforcing responsibility. I, at that time, began to fear God because this showed me that not only is He not just some distant presence, but He is intimately involved in our lives, and He has the power to move things around. He has the power to effect change.

Yes, God is very kind. His kindness involves great power and obdurate patience beyond anything we've ever done. He doesn't quit. This is frightening.

God is gentle, but insistent. My image is of a large locomotive with a pillow tied on the front: irresistible force, soft, but you get the point. Brook him at my peril.

God is completely honest, and expects me to be so. I ask Him for something, I'd better be ready for it. Well, there's really no being ready, but I shouldn't be too surprised at the depth of what He does. He won't tolerate lies and obfuscation from me. He won't hammer me, no, He does something worse. Just waits for me to understand, with some gentle but persistent prodding.

I am very afraid of God. He is making changes in me that I haven't approved. That He has done so with kindness is the only reason I've been able to stay the course. So far.

It's an odd thing, to fear the One who gives me life. Some of my fear is unwarranted because God has never done anything to me that would justify a lack of belief in His good grace. That fear I need to get over because it limits what He can do.

The other fear is fully warranted. I SHOULD be afraid of Him! Think about what He can do. And only Jesus' sacrifice keeps God's honest and fully justifiable wrath off my fragile shoulders. Jesus made me acceptable to God, so the wrath is forgotten. The power is still there. Fear of God is good sense, but I don't want it to get in the way of our relationship. It's an interesting balance.

remember that line about Aslan?
"Is He is dangerous?"
"Of course He's dangerous! He's a lion, you know. But He is good."

I love that.

I get scared sometimes, too. Thankfully He's patient with that as well.
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