Reverent Fear Of God

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 27, 2011

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

Psalms 96:9 (ESV)


“I don’t see much terror today among the followers of Christ. In fact, when I say that, people look at me as if I am crazy. Well, I want to know what happened to the bone-chilling, earth shattering, gut-wrenching, knee-knocking, heart-stopping, life-altering fear that leaves us speechless, paralyzed, helpless, and glad. The terror I am speaking of is a mix of wonder, awe, fear, and worship, all happening at the same time.

I am beginning to wonder if we modern followers of Christ are capable of being terrified of God. No fear of God. No fear of Jesus. No fear of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we have ended up with a feel-good gospel that attracts thousands…but transforms no one.

It is time for Christianity to become a place of terror again; a place where God continually has to tell us, ‘Fear not’; a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or doctrine or theology, but the constant awareness of God’s terrifying presence in our lives. The nice, non-threatening God needs to be replaced by the God whose very presence smashes our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. A healthy, childlike fear should make us more in awe of God than we are of our government, our problems, our beliefs about abortion, our doctrines and agendas, or any of our other earthly concerns. Our God is perfectly capable of both calming the storm and putting us in the middle of one. Either way, if it’s God, we will be speechless and trembling, and smiling, too. It’s time to become people whose God is big and holy and frightening and gentle and tender and ours; a God whose love frightens us into His strong and powerful arms where He dares to hold us in His terrifying, loving presence.

How did we end up so comfortable with God? How did our awe of God get reduced to a lukewarm appreciation of God? How did God become a pal instead of a heart-stopping presence? How can we think of Jesus without remembering His ground-shaking, thunder-crashing, stormy exit on the cross? Why aren’t we continually catching our breath and saying, ‘This is no ordinary God!’? ”

Michael Yaconelli

Dangerous Wonder, 110-111

Posted in Reverent Fear