by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | The passions of Fear and love for God coexist together because the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is One and the same God. “The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.” Isaiah 8:13
I have the fear of heights; yours may be darkness, small spaces, spiders, mice, snakes, etc. What we are afraid of literally cripples us when we must face it. But is that what the Fear of God is all about? How then can God invite us to draw near and have fellowship with Him?
There are two main uses of Fear of God in the Bible: Reverence and Dread. A positive fear of God is built on the foundation of love which motivates us to live right in order to please God. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” Deut. 10:12. A negative fear of God drives us to live right out of fear of punishment – “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10:31. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:29.
Both types of fears are necessary. The dread of punishment may drive us to God, but once we arrive our reverence and love of God is what will keep us there. The passions of Fear and love for God coexist together because the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament is One and the same God. Apostle John exhibited both passions: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.” Rev. 1:17. Lord, help me to have the FEAR of you. Amen!
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.