Someone I know about says, "I'm absolutely terrified of God. I'm crying of fear. I think I'm an enemy of God and it terrifies me. What should I do?"
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Share the good news that God is not imputing the worlds trespasses unto us today (2 Corinthians 5:19)! We are not appointed to God's wrath, but to God's grace (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Romans 5:9)! We are offered the free gift of salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ and His performance made on our behalf at Calvary (Ephesians 2:8-9). There is no requirement on our part other than having faith alone in Christ to accept God's free unmerited gift! Jesus Christ took the punishment that we deserve, clearing the path for us to have a relationship with God through Him (Ephesians 2:18). All of our sins were forgiven by His death on the cross, and it is through our belief in this, the gospel of God's grace, that we are MADE the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are sealed immediately upon belief by the holy Spirit into the church which is the body of Christ until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30, Colossians 1:24)! Faith in Jesus Cheist and Him crucified is where true peace is found to all who believe (Romans 3:22)! We find the hope of eternal security and a glorified body from the promise of God through faith alone (Galatians 3:22). The gospel of Jesus Christ as given to our apostle Paul for God's Ephesians 3:2 dispensation of Grace from Christ ascended into Heaven: - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
There are clearly two 'types' of fear described in the Bible in relation to how we perceive GOD. One is a type of fear that GOD prizes and encourages because it creates a 'growing reverence' that we actually need in order to approach Him, since GOD is holy. The other is a type of fear that causes us to cower and obey out of abject dread or even basic animal instinct. GOD hates this kind of fear because it 'twists' our interpretation of His presence into something mundane and evil. How we choose to respond to witnessing this in others is based on GOD's holy inspiration. However, if we are listening to the Holy Spirit, there is a clear response we should be feeling and seeing. Both forms of fear are mentioned in a single passage of scripture, so this helps greatly in guiding us to a good understanding of the differences: "Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on garments; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible quality of a lowly and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. "For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being subject to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him 'lord.' You have become her children if you do good, NOT FEARING ANY INTIMIDATION." (1 Peter 3:3-6). So there is a type of fear that causes us to feel 'meek, open, still, quiet and attentive.' Then there is a fear that causes us to feel, 'combative and talkative, then closed off, anxious, and finally, unresponsive.' In a word, 'intimidated.' GOD isn't looking to 'intimidate' anyone into loving or obeying Him. He isn't even looking for groveling subjects who call him 'Lord' because He is scary to them. GOD wants us to call Him 'Lord' because nothing less truly fits the good way we feel. Interestingly, we learn to do this outside of GOD's presence first by honoring human authorities. Those authorities tend to reflect our own condition, so whether they are evil or not isn't actually relevant. They are GOD's 'stand-ins' until we develop the ability to approach Him. They are a 'twisted' version of His authority based on our own poor understanding of Him. That is why scripture says this: "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist have been appointed by God." (Romans 13:1). "[Those] holding to a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Keep away from such men as these." (2 Timothy 3:5). The word translated 'godliness' there is actually the word for 'divine reverence' (Biblical Greek: 'eusebeia'). Just above this verse in the same passage is a list of 'traits,' (2 Timothy 3:2-4), which we start to see when our 'fear' isn't reverence but is only its 'outward form' (i.e. 'intimidation'). We 'grumble and dispute' as soon as we experience these and that actually begins to 'corrupt' us too, (Philippians 2:14-15). We start 'applying' these twisted traits to GOD's motives as well, which eventually leads to either rejecting GOD or denying that He even exists. What is scripture's advice when this happens? In a brief word, 'social distancing,' (2 Timothy 3:5, 'keep away from such men as these'). Don't 'dress up' and go out to surround yourself with them. Be 'meek, quiet, still and attentive.' If you giggle at the idea of calling a man 'lord' or 'sir' because it offends your sense of gender equality, you probably just don't understand yet what it actually means. "And He said to them, “The kings of the pagans lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But not so with you; rather the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant." (Luke 22:25-26). When we say 'lord' out of respect, it is reverence for someone's great skill in serving others well. No one is a better 'Public Servant' than GOD.
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