Someone once bypassed a safety procedure while I had my hands in the guts of a machine powered by 3,000 volts of electricity, and I found myself waking up on the floor a few seconds later. From that point forward, you can be sure I followed and even triple-checked the procedures before I would do any maintenance work. I wasn’t afraid of the electricity, but I had a healthy respect for the power within those cables and the rules and procedures that kept that power where it belonged.
The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God has not given us the spirit of fear,” yet there are many places in scripture where we are told to fear God. Psalm 34:9, for example, says “Fear the Lord, you his holy people.” If we are not given a spirit of fear, why are we told to fear the Lord?
The way I best understand this difference is to compare it to my fear of electricity. Even though I’ve come face to face with it, I don’t live in fear of it. I turn on the TV or the computer without a second thought. I do, however, treat it with a great deal of respect because of its power.
In similar fashion, I don’t live in fear of God in a way that keeps me away from Him. Knowing that He loves me, and there is no power greater than His, frees me from fearing anything else as well. I also have a deep respect for His commands. His commands about sex, money, love and other ideas help guard us from making decisions that lead to unpleasant consequences, much like the safety procedures at my work help guard me from the electricity in the machines.
- How would my life be different if I were absolutely convinced that there was nothing in the universe to fear when I am ‘in Christ’?
- What does being ‘in Christ’ look like as it relates to my respect and awe of God? (seeHebrews 5:7)
- How does worship relate to the fear of God? (see Hebrews 12:28)
This blog was originally written by Newspring Church and appeared on their website. For more about Newspring Church, visit newspring.cc.