The Fear Of God

The Fear Of God

The Fear Of God — With The Eyes Of A Child

 

One of the harder concepts for me to come to grips with has always been the ‘fear of God’. The arrogance of my youth created anger and rejection in my heart whenever I was told that I should do so. I suppose it’s a natural reaction as a young person to believe (or to want to believe) that there is nothing to fear from your creator. It is a confusing message as well when an adult tells you that God loves you, but you should fear him.

Whether intentional or not there is a lack of clarification on these two, seemingly, opposite attributes of God. How and why would the entity that created us and loves us expect us to fear it?

Wrong Kind Of Fear?

 

From birth, we are conditioned to believe that fear is a negative emotion. We are taught to fear things that are bad for us. First, we fear the boogyman and the hot stove. Then we fear the bully in the schoolyard and the stranger on the street. When we are grown we fear the IRS and the next election. It is no wonder that someone saying that we should fear God illicit’s a negative response? That is all we know and there is rarely any further explanation.

When there is clarification it is usually structured as a form of control—fear the punishment for doing the wrong thing. This lack of clarification and abuse of messaging leads to the wrong kind of fear.

Right Kind Of Fear?

 

So what is the right kind of fear?

Imagine you are standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Now take a moment to think about what really lies before you—A true wonder of the world we live in. Think about the sheer size of the space, and the fact that the same space was once filled with the dense earth you are currently standing on. Think about the forces that joined together to create the wonder you are looking at—erosion, pressure, wind, water—and the time it took to make it all happen.

Now step right up to the edge and look down. That feeling you have as you gaze into the abyss—that it could swallow you whole and no one would ever know—is the right kind of fear. It is self-preservation, awareness of scale, and awe of immensity all wrapped up in one breathtaking moment. You do not fear it because it means you harm. You fear it because you could be harmed by it if you are not mindful of each step you take. There are a million ways to die inside of it because the physical danger is everywhere. There are also a million ways to live because the spiritual pleasures are just as plentiful.

All of these physical dangers and spiritual pleasures exist together in this space with no intent (either for good or for ill) towards you. They just are. It is up to you to guard yourself against what could hurt you and seek out what could help.

In other words, the right kind of fear is a positive force to guide you. It protects you from the pitfalls and the predators. It steadies your step. It keeps you safely on the path in an environment that is beyond your human capacity to either understand or control.

The Fear Of God — Understanding & Acceptance

 

Understanding this concept (in this way) was the key to freeing my heart. It allowed me to let go of my anger at the notion itself. My fear of God guides me daily. It strengthens my resolve whenever life starts to beat me down. I fear nothing but God. Everything else is either a negative to be avoided or a positive to be embraced.

Ditching The Dogma – Asking God Into My Life

Ditching The Dogma – Asking God Into My Life

One Way - Another - Way

Lost & Found

 

I was lost for a long time before I made the decision to ask God into my life. I always believed in God, but never knew how to connect to God’s light. I have a somewhat complicated relationship with the church and organized religion in general. I allowed these complications to become obstacles in my relationship with God. One day I ditched the dogma and simply asked wholeheartedly for God’s help.

Of course, there is more to the story than simply asking God into my life. There was so much (good and bad) happening around me when I finally broke down. There are two things in retrospect that are important to know about my decision. They are relevant to you if you are considering doing the same.

 

 

Thing #1 – The Decision

 

There is a huge difference between going through the motions that have been programmed into you since the day you were born (church, communion, meditation, confession, etc.) and making a conscious decision to open your heart and invite God into your life. The former is reactive and the latter is proactive. That distinction makes all the difference.

As you begin to study different systems of thought and make your way along your spiritual path you will find that intent is the key to every form of progress. Your intent interacts with the world around you to facilitate all the tools and situations you will need for growth along the way.

Like most people, I had asked God for help countless times in my life up until that point. The problem was that it was always in the moment and born of a desire for self-preservation. There was no intent behind the request(s)—just knee-jerk reactiveness to whatever situation was confronting me at the moment.

This time was different though. It was deliberate and full of intent. I took a moment to clear all other thoughts from my mind, closed my eyes, and asked God to come into my life.

Thing #2 – The Consequences

 

God is always there. It does not matter who you are, what your beliefs are, or where the world places you on its sliding scale of good and evil. Saints, sinners, priests, and pedophiles—God is there for them all.

The funny thing is that the previous statement is anathema to both atheists and secular believers alike. The atheist scoffs at the idea of God. The secular believer scoffs at the idea of God being there for anyone who does not share their secular belief. It does not matter—God is there for both the scoffer and the scoffed.

But there is an important difference between being ‘there for’ and being ‘with’. The moment you make the decision—and go through with—asking God into your life ‘there for’ becomes ‘with’ and everything changes! If you have honestly and wholeheartedly asked the question the answer is immediate, definite, and unalterable—God is now with you and leading the way!

The consequence—and the blessing—is that you will never be alone again. You will now begin to understand yourself as a part of the whole and that can be a scary (or downright undesirable) notion for a self-involved human being. There will be no more hiding from yourself. The little white lies that used to get you through the day will now point out the unlimited amount of things you’ve been doing wrong all this time. Please do not misunderstand—I am not trying to dissuade you from making this decision. I just want you to understand that there is no going back.

Moving Forward

 

Faith is what comes next. Relax, breath, and let God be your guide. Tools and situations will be provided to guide you along the path. You will begin to notice ‘spiritual waypoints’. They might come in the form of life events, harsh words from a friend, kind words from an enemy, or even stumbling upon a website like this. The further you travel, the more it will makes sense—good luck and God Bless!

Dave

 

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