I got to do one of my favorite things this morning.
Sit outside for my quiet time.
I love the cornflower blue of the morning sky, the cool summer morning air and the cacophony of bird songs. I have been journeying through 1 and 2 Samuel and was struck as I read the following:
2 Sam 6:6 finds David and his crew transporting the Ark back to Israel. They load up the cart (gasp!) and away they go. As the Ark shifts, Uzzah reaches out to steady it, touches it and instantly dies. David became angry (v8) and “was afraid of the Lord that day”. This is the same word that defined the fear Adam felt when he covered himself from the Lord (Gen 3:10) and the same fear that the Lord told Abram NOT to have as God is his shield and his exceedingly great reward (Gen 15:1).
David became immobile that day. Verse 10 says he ‘would not move’. It is curious because up until this point David has moved all along with God. Going against Goliath, engaging in countless battles, in retreat even but always moving. Just chapters before this David inquires of God regarding fighting the Philistines and God says “Go” and he indeed went! So, this is not normal behavior from David.
There is a difference between fearing God and being afraid of God.
One evokes trust and strength and the ability to defeat giants (1 Sam 17), act with integrity (1Sam 24) and love an enemy (2 Sam 1). The other renders calamity and indecision.
What does all this have to do with me?
1. All my decisions need to be evaluated in the light of God. He is purposeful and so should I be. There was a reason the Ark should have been transported with poles and not a cart. There is a reason why mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience (Col 3) matter to God.
Because I am, We are His elect, holy and BELOVED!
2. If a situation seems cloudy, confused, without direction it may be that I am acting out of fear and distrust and not with fear and reverence for our God.
I tend to pray and then wait only so long.
The fear of being alone causes me to choose shallow friendships that leave me empty.
The fear of being unnoticed makes me interview for positions my family is not ready to pay the price for.
The fear of aging causes me to spend money I don’t have on things I don’t need to keep my self “relevant” to people who don’t care.
When all the while the true things that would fill my heart would come to me if I acted out of respectful, patient, fear for a God who truly knows me, loves me and longs to give me experiences, people and ministries that will not only bring Him glory but grow me to be more like Christ.
By Tonia BookerLeave a Comment
Amy Hunt says
My head was nodding and “mmhmm” was coming from my mouth as I read your words, Mrs. B. [smile]
I was just thinking yesterday about how we often don’t do anything because we’re so fearful we don’t know exactly what God’s will is for our lives–so focused on perfection it’s debilitating because of the fear we’re wrong; when all God wants is for us to do some. thing.–to live by Faith!
Acting out of respect that He is God, patience that He knows best and when, and that He does indeed love us so purely…*this* is how we love Him, not just the idea of Him.
Much for me to continue thinking about as He continues to transform my living.
Rich blessings as you love your Father…
Holley Gerth says
Great distinction between fearing God and being afraid of God. I had never thought of it that way!
I agree! It’s easy to think they’re one and the same.
Great post Tonia!
What a thoughtful examination of fearing vs. being afraid of God! I really appreciate your attention to detail and context in this piece.
This was my favorite line: “If a situation seems cloudy, confused, without direction it may be that I am acting out of fear and distrust and not with fear and reverence for our God.”
Thank you for sharing this. Grace and piece to you in Christ Jesus!
Thank you for sharing this! I needed this great reminder.
I love how you explained the distinction between the fear of the Lord and fearing God. I hadn’t thought about it like that! What just came to mind as I was typing this is the parable of the talents, where the last guy didn’t use his talents because he said God was a tough master. He was also immobilized because he was afraid. Thank you so much for sharing this, I’m going to mull over this and see where I may be holding back because I am afraid of God rather than walking in the fear of the Lord.
Treva Buchanan says
WOW…all I can say is wow! God really spoke to me about this. I’ve been running scared because of a new direction God is leading me to go. Thank you for being so transparent and allowing God to speak through you! Be Blessed!
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another…
Your comment just stuck with me all evening. That God allows us to participate in challenging and encouraging one another is a marvelous thing! Be blessed in your fearless pursuit of this “new direction”. I will be praying…
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
I think one aspect for me of the joy found in fearing God is the awe we have that we know He is Holy and Almighty, but we also know He wants us to call Him Abba Father and have an intimate relationship, without fear.
Love your post!
Kristen Strong says
Tonia, thank you so much for your Spiritual insights here. And your line about “praying and then waiting so long”…yep, I know about that. I will be paying closer attention and prayerfully considering the difference between fearing God and being afraid of Him! Wonderful post!
Rhonda J. Smith says
I didn’t want this post to end. Thank you for effectively unveiling what WE try to do when we don’t reverence God. Great post.
Dori Fraser says
Mrs. Booker….I love you!
You got it so right…we try to do many things that are of this world and not at all baout who God intends us to be. You are being fearless in your sharing of these very honest feelings.
You are my sweet friend and I couldn’t be more honored.