The Beautiful Fear of God

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Labels: | |

The Christian who follows God only in fear of Hell often finds themselves in bitterness and anger. These things are often a result of following guidelines of a self-created impersonal creator. Yet, the Christ of the Bible is a personal God that is uniquely Christian, and our following ought to be a fearful reverence of Gods wisdom, not a fear of damnation. This would be a shallow faith indeed. For through Christ we are free'd from that damnation (John 3:16), and through him are free'd with the holy spirit to have communion with our father.

The Christ relationship is the same idea that a son follows his fathers advice to avoid a certain individual or keep away from a certain street. Although the son may not fully understand why his father would ask him to do such things, he has faith that his father is much more knowledgeable and wise than himself.

But no Christian always listens to their father just as no child always listens to their own father. Many times we find ourselves in extreme curiosity or in what we perceive as overwhelming circumstances violating that which our father warned us about. Perhaps the child was just gathering with their friends their father approved of and so-and-so showed up, or perhaps, in their dangerous curiosity, went to explore that street to find out what the big deal was.

When we violate the words of our father, his warnings may become apparent very quickly, and his wisdom is once again reassured. Other times, we find ourselves continuing to violate his rules until what he inevitably warned us about comes to pass. "Perhaps he was wrong about this," we often tell ourselves "what a silly father, he was just paranoid." Later on, the subtlety of sin creeps into a part of our lives we'd have never expected.

After the damage has been done, and if the Christian comes to the realization of his error, there is an inclination to admit it to their own father. Just as a son sometimes is driven instead of hiding his violations to admit them to their own father. The father is often disappointed that the violation took place, but that soon is immediately replaced with respect, love and appreciation for their son confessing to them their mistakes. To do so is admitting to their own father that his own son, of whom he loves, is beginning to understand his wisdom. Admittance of ones own sins is a sign of growth to the father. This is why it is beautifully built into God's revelation that the Christian repent and turn from their sins. It is in that personal contact that we often see the deceptiveness of the wisdom of our own hearts next to the beautiful wisdom of a perfect Lord.

God's desire is not to punish nor is it to have followers who only follow him out of fear. God wants us to understand that he knows what is best for us in our lives, and that his rules and warnings are ones out of a fathers love for his child not a impersonal creators guideline for the created so they can "get" heaven. In this, Christ gave us that connection with our father through the holy spirit. He gave us communion with God to seek his council. The Christian God is not one who is controlling or belittling, he is but a father who advises his children and lets them choose to follow it, never leaving them, and always being with them to try and bring them back to truth when they suffer in the pains of denying it.

If one has not yet seen that the Lord is our father, and not an impersonal detached force determining ones salvation. I encourage them to pray for the holy spirit to work in them by accepting and reaffirming Jesus Christ as their savior. It is through Christ and the Spirit that communion with God and salvation are possible.

Let me close with this final thought that God has brought to me:

I want to know you, my child, just but give me a chance and I will bring to you a place beyond your universe and your imagination, for I have created this universe in days and for all eternity have been beyond all imagination.

and this scripture:

Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23:24)

Craig Chamberlin