Monday, 5 December 2016

Should I fear God?

It's December...woop woop! I usually love December, a month where the birth of Jesus Christ is remembered by the whole world. A month where some people show the love of Jesus Christ by sharing gifts with their friends and families. Another thing that I like about December is the beautiful decoration at shopping centres and at various houses. What do you like about December?

Back to this week's post, it's about fears. When you think of the word fears, what comes to your mind? Keep reading...

Prior to getting married, my husband (who was then my fiancé) encouraged me to learn swimming as he believed it was a life skill to have. I took on board his advice and I attended swimming lessons once a week. So, after we got married, we went on honeymoon and I had our swim wears packed because I was ready to display my newly learnt swimming skills.

As the days of the honeymoon went, there were various opportunities for us to swim but I was scared to enter the pool even though I had attended swimming lessons. With hubby's encouragement and seeing how he was showing me different acrobatic moves inside the pool, I became audacious and entered the pool. But guess what? I was still terrified, I didn't float properly and I was scared and I feared for my life, I thought I would drown. When you think about the word 'fear', we don't usually have a happy thought, we have a terrifying feeling in our minds. 

When we think of our relationship with God, some of us have questioned why we need to fear God if He is a loving God. Check out the biblical stories below: 

- Think of the story of Adam and Eve, when God appeared to them, they became terrified because they knew they had sinned against God. What does that tell us? Sometimes we become fearful when we are afraid of the consequences of our actions.

- Think of the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Joseph shun evil, he refused to engage in any sexual activities with his master's wife because of his fear of God. This fear was not because he was scared of the consequences or he was afraid of God but rather, this fear was a profound reverence for God, he carefully thought about how his actions may offend God or discredit the name of God.

From the story of Joseph, can you see how fear is not always a bad thing but rather it can be a good thing to stop us from doing the wrong thing.

 A few bible scriptures for you to think about: 

- The Bible says God has put his fears in us to stop us from doing wrong things. Exodus 20: 20 says: "Moses said to the people, "Do not be scared, for God has come to test you, that the fear (profound reverence) of him may be before you, that you may not sin." The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:20).

- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalms 111:10 ESV). 

- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 ESV).

When Jesus Christ came, He changed the fears we had for God. Jesus Christ demonstrated the love of God to us and told His disciples and several people not to be afraid. In fact, He said, there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out all fears. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:8). 

Jesus Christ however told us about the type of fear that He wants us to have, He said in His absence, He wants us to work out (actively pursues spiritual maturity) our salvation with fear and trembling (using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Jesus Christ). This can be found in Philippians 2:12 (Amplified Version).  

Jesus Christ wants us to fear God but the fear is to respect and do things out of love for Him and avoid anything that will discredit the name of Jesus Christ.

 Finally, the scriptures say that the conclusion of our Christian journey is to:

Fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 AMP).

- Myss Lafunky

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