Tuesday, August 10


“And, now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul? Keep the Lord’s commands and statues I am giving you today, for your own good.” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 HASB

Fear is a state of reverence, a regarding of God with profound respect and reverence according to wordnetweb.princeton.edu . And that is the type of fear that we are called to fear God….as He tells us in this series of verses……walking with Him, loving Him, and to worship Him with all our heart and soul. Hardly the expression of fear that Charles Darwin speaks of in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals:

“Fear is often preceded by astonishment, and is so far akin to it, that both lead to the senses of sight and hearing being instantly aroused. In both cases the eyes and mouth are widely opened, and the eyebrows raised. The frightened man at first stands like a statue motionless and breathless, or crouches down as if instinctively to escape observation. The heart beats quickly and violently, so that it palpitates or knocks against the ribs... That the skin is much affected under the sense of great fear, we see in the marvelous manner in which perspiration immediately exudes from it... The hairs also on the skin stand erect; and the superficial muscles shiver. In connection with the disturbed action of the heart, the breathing is hurried. The salivary glands act imperfectly; the mouth becomes dry, and is often opened and shut.”

Yet that is the type of fear that we often imagine when we come across the word in the biblical text. Fear of a God that doesn’t love us to the point of death, or desires us to the point of anguish and definitely not to join Him in the work that He is doing in, through and around us. No, we face God like Adam and Eve did in the garden after the fruit.

“I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” Genesis 3:10 HASB

God calls to us, knocking on the door of our imperfections and sinfulness, and we cower in fear, the state where we are frozen in fear….astonished that He would still be pounding at the door to our hearts asking for permission to come in. We tremble and shiver in abject terror at the All-powerful, All-knowing, and All-everything God who stands at our door, pierced hands gentle held in a fist that knocks and knocks with barely a whisper on our door. We don’t want to open, because we are afraid like Adam was in the garden, for we are in our sinfulness much like our forefather in our alienation from God.

Even when we cross the room of our hearts and open the door, throwing it against its hinges in such a manner that it never will be closed again, even then….we live in fear. The wrong kind of fear. The fear that seems like astonishment, an utter awe of what we see, what we know and what we can only imagine in our flawed humanity. And we sin again, for God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear…….we limit God because we limit ourselves.

God calls us to a purpose; as simple as being a loving wife/husband to our mate to as complex as being a missionary…..from feet called to move the body into the darkness of the world to eyes to discern the Truth from the lies and direction from chaos. This isn’t something that only a few are called to, something that requires the elite of the elite, the best of the best. It is a calling to each of us, a commission that is uttered for each and every one of us….to proclaim the Good News and to make disciples of all that has been taught to us. No fear of astonishment, no fear of failure, and no fear of mistakes……a reverent fear that draws us not into a competitive state of evangelism but a respectful relationship with our God and our charges to discover the wondrous grace, fulfilling joy and gentle love that our God still holds for us……fearfully worshipping, fearfully loving and fearfully walking in relationship with Him as He once did in the garden with Adam and Eve in the fresh evening air.

I have my fears that are preventing me from fearfully serving my God; in relationships, in the body and in my life…..fears that cause me to hid in the bushes as God calls my name, asking where I am……for there is work to be done, there is a battle to be fought and I am fearful that I am too inadequate, too much still a broken and sinful man, to stand next to my Savior and be worthy of the fight.

But He doesn’t use ‘worthy’, He uses those broken, bruised, battered and inadequate for in those things, it is His strength, grace and mercy that provides the means to overcome and achieve the prize……..

And if that God is for us, if it is His love that drives Him to be with us, then what kind of fear should we experience but the reverent, respectful and dedicated fear of our love for Him?

That is the question I ponder today……..what fear do I have for the Lord my God?

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