Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scared out of My Mind

Yes, being close to God will, in fact, strike fear into your heart.

I don't know why, but for some reason, many modern preachers have taught something along the lines of, "When the Bible says that we fear God, it simply means to respect Him."

Are you crazy!?

Ok, let's boil this down a bit. Do you not fear being caught in a natural disaster such as a tornado or thunderstorm? Revelation 4 describes the throne of God in this way: "From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder," while God's appearance on Mt. Sinai was accompanied with darkness, thunder, lightning, fire, and smoke enveloping the entire mountain. I would flip out at this sight and fear for my life, just as the Israelites did: "When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance..." (Exodus 19-20)

If you're a guilty man standing before a judge, do you not fear the man who has the power to condemn you to jail? In the throne room of God, there exist a specific type of angel called the seraphim. These are perfect angels who are given a ridiculous amount of power for the single purpose of covering themselves before God and shouting to each other, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6)

If these perfect beings cannot even bear to look at the perfection of a Holy God, how much more do we, who are sinful, have to fear before Him? This is what Isaiah was talking about when He wrote, "'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.'"

So, why on earth (actually, heaven) would we want to be around something we fear? Why would we want to seek God in order to spend time trembling at the feet of an awesome God?

Now, check this out, because what I'm about to say won't sound like it makes sense: When we realize how small, sinful, and screwed up we are in light of God's grandeur, holiness, and perfection, we come to worship when we realize that this is the God who sent His own SON to die on a bloody CROSS for our sins, despite our failure. And to add on to that, we find the most joy in in bringing God glory, because that is the fulfillment of the very purpose for which we were made.

That is why I seek to know God, even though I realize that as I come closer, I will be more and more intimidated by the amazingness of His glorious grace.

So, yes. I am scared. If it wasn't for Christ, I would be scared to death, so to speak. But if I'm correct, fearing isn't so bad, because "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom."


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