Scared of God Versus the Fear of God

Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin. Exodus 20:20

There is a clear difference between being afraid of God and fearing God. John Bevere writes about this in his book Drawing Near. He shares a story in this work that illustrates the importance of living here in fear. I'll share part of it -

I will never forget visiting a well-known minister who was in prison for fraud. I questioned, "When did you fall out of love with Jesus?" He looked at me and said without hesitation, "I didn't!" Puzzled I replied, "But what about the fraud and adultery?" He said, "John, I loved God all the way through it, but I didn't fear Him."

here in fear

And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: I Peter 1:17 KJV

In the past few weeks I have given a good deal of thought to essential things. I don't think we have an endless supply of chances to do what we are called to do. We are passing time and time is passing. While we are HERE we do well to live in the FEAR of God. We don't need to fear God like we fear a wicked overseer. We do need to respect him as the holy creator he is. We are called to live for his glory. It is in this life of holy fear that find both wisdom and joy.

July Reading

I'm going to Baylor in a couple of weeks. I'll for sure be checking out David Dockery's new book.

The Big One

I have one clear goal. I want to glorify God. I know that sounds Sundayschoolie but it is true most days. I once thought people with clearly defined life goals were a little sophmoric. How could I join their tribe. I was so wonderfully complex that I needed to be defined in a number of ways or excape definition all together. I was the dunce. Wrapping life around a single core commitment is the only way to make sense of the complexity. It allows us to avoid bondage to fake freedom which make us unstable in all our ways.

I've been reading Galatians over and over lately. I've given the most time to the bio. stuff in the beginning. I used to skim that on my way to the theology. I'm learning that the best theology is found in the narratives of our lives. Paul's best theology is buried in his testimony. After sharing about the way Christ changed his life Paul said, "And they glorified God in me." What a statement. I'm driven by a desire to have people say that about me. I want them to see the kind ways God has dealt with me and think big of Him. I want people to see quality changes in me and attribute them to their true source. I want God to receive His Glory - because of me.
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