My Thoughts. . .
Are you afraid of God? Although the reply may come in several descriptive layers, it is usually “Yes.” Of course, that just supplements that long list of fears some have developed over the years. What do we expect to see when God reveals Himself to us? The lack of knowledge about God usually strengthens misguided information wrongly developed over the years. Although some recognize God as good, they still retain that “boogeyman” persona which may have been instilled in them when they were young. Some parents may have thought their disciplining was noble when they reminded the child, “If you don’t be good, God is going to GET you.”
At His appearance, some believers will realize how shallow their lives have been. Boasting will evolve into tears of confession and failure. When souls are laid bare, and there is no place to hide, one will realize how much his need for God has been. There will be a place for fear. It will no longer be a condition to question, but a reality to experience. Are you afraid of God?
Some may be as bold as Paul was when he wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Some do not see Jesus as an indignant judge vainly searching for perfection. They see him as the Savior who lived among men and smiled as well as laughed about life’s amusing moments. Even in serious moments when Peter first met the risen Lord, Jesus did not brow beat him over his denials. Those word never left Jesus’ mouth. Instead, Peter heard Jesus ask, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). Even though Peter did not reply using the specific word Jesus gave, he told the apostle. “Feed my sheep” (vv. 15-17) and “Follow me” (v. 19).
Jesus did not call twelve perfect men to be his apostles. He gathered liars, hotheads, men who would curse or swear, men who would deny him, men who did not see eye-to-eye with one another, men looking for prestige and control, and men and women who were not always society’s cream-of-the-crop. Yes, he gathered people just like you and me. He gathered people who needed saving and each one responded to him in their imperfect way. Daily they walked with him. They listened to his lessons. They saw the life he lived. They argued with him. They disagreed with him. They attempted to correct him. He did not fire anyone, nor did he attempt to replace anyone. He was not looking for the sinless, he was looking for folks like us! You and I may fear God the Father, but He sent Jesus to show us who He is. Do not miss His love by dwelling on your fear. Allow Him to grow you from inside (1 Corinthians 3:16). No, spiritual growth does not happen overnight, but it will happen. Even as you mature, you will continue to be inconsistent due to sin in your life. We all are guilty. That is why you and I will always need Jesus! Follow him and He will keep you cleansed. Guess what? With that growth your “fear” will turn to respect, and you will find “comfort” in your relationship with the Father.