Welcome to the month of March!!!
If you have read through the Old Testament, you would find out that what was predominant among the Israelites was the fear of God. (Gen 20:11, Exo. 1:17, 1 Chron. 16:25, Job 1:1 etc) Ah! The people feared God! By fear, I mean the kind of feeling you have when you’ve just been caught after doing something terrible. It’s a terrified feeling. That’s the kind I’m talking about here.
But you see, this kind of relationship is limited; very limited. That’s why you find out that the Israelites kept returning to their vomit. Asides the fact that they had not been empowered to live above sin as the Holy Spirit was only upon a few people, their ‘fearful relationship” with God was a great hindrance to them.
On the other hand, the New Testament shows us a better way around our relationship with God; the more excellent way.
A Christian who has only recently given his/her life to Christ may begin at the stage of the fear of God however, if he/she remains there, it will be to their detriment. The love of God must be known and encountered. Love for God is like an advanced stage of the fear of God. Prov. 9: 10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom..” (emphasis is mine). So, we can safely say the fear of God is only the beginners’ level. Rom. 8 says we have been adopted and therefore we can say Abba Father (Rom. 8:15), and 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear”. From these passages, we can see that the relationship between God and His children gets to a point where it’s no longer that they fear God, as in the terrified fear, but they love God, and that love makes them fear Him reverently. The Israelites only knew the “Deity” side of God; they never knew Him as a Father. Hence, their relationship was limited to the Deity-subject relationship. However, we have the opportunity to know, understand and experience God’s Fatherly side, which is full of love.
So, my advice for you today is to go beyond the ‘fear-of-God’ level of relationship. Seek to know the fatherly side of God. Seek to have a relationship with Him and relate to Him as your Father. Let His love saturate your heart and cast out all fear and formality, because perfect love casts out fear.