Friday, May 15, 2009

Who Do You Fear? And Why?

There are a gazillion reasons to feel fear every moment of our lives it seems, not the least of which dealing with people who might seek to harm us. We venture out on the roads and are reminded of aggression, which also ironically is caused by fear, and we are tempted to either shrink or react. But this is not the way life was ever supposed to be.

Christians deal with fear all the time as everyone else does, but as a Christian I can tell you that it was Ghandi’s resolution that converted my thinking on the subject. God used Ghandi to switch me onto what it means to fear and reverence God and not my fellow human beings or anything else in this world, one day at a time.

Regarding this comprehensive fear of God, I find the following very motivational:

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can human beings do to me? –Psalm 118:6 (TNIV). And also a variant on this last verse, “So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’” –Hebrews 13:6 (NRSV).

Learning how to fear God is not just the adoption of a philosophy—it, like so many things of spiritual life, needs to be practiced, internalised, and practised more and more until we do it routinely... by that I mean it eventually and inevitably becomes habitual that we refer everything we see and hear through the God-filter i.e. the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within us.

And the more we implement the fear of God, the more the Holy Spirit prompts us, even in little minute things.

The natural thing is to cut God out of our thinking, and this is what needs changing. We can actually go backwards too, re-adopting carnal, worldly thinking anytime if we don’t maintain and grow our vigilance. Our fear of God and the health of our relationship with the Holy Spirit are contingent on our putting of both these as No. 1 priority.

And, at the end of the day, what is the fear of the Lord? Perhaps at its most fundamental it’s looking at God from the viewpoint of eternity. One day we will not be able to escape him; the day we die (and every one of us meets God!) we will suddenly be faced with the truth of the fruit of our lives.

Fear of God is living for truth, but it is also loving the commands of God and living them.

God knows what’s best for us. Fearing him is the way to the most freeing, empowered and enabled life; truly the best thing we could do for ourselves, through the grace of God.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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