Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Charles Choe (Tapestry Church in Los Angeles), was originally posted on December 3, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Don’t Be Afraid of God but Do Fear Him.”
“He whose walk is upright fears the LORD l but he whose ways are devious despises him.”
When I first became a believer, it was easy for me to view God as being loving and forgiving; after all, it was the Father’s love shown through the cross of Jesus Christ, which compelled me to surrender my life to Him. But in my desire to grow as a new believer, I found myself rigidly trying to apply the “Bible’s rules.” Out of fear of God’s judgment, I tried hard to avoid secular music and R-rated movies. And of course, I took it upon myself to remind other Christians to refrain from certain behaviors and habits -which very often led me to judging them.
What my youthful zeal demonstrates is a misunderstanding of the fear of God. Although it may be true that too many of us lack having the utmost respect and fear for God, it doesn’t mean that God wants us to see Him as an overly strict ruler, just waiting to judge us for the wrong things we have done; that is not a biblical fear of God.
Solomon tells us to fear God so that we become better equipped to walk in a way that honors God and to keep us safe from danger. Fearing the Lord is not being “afraid” of God; after all, He is our Abba and our Savior. Rather, it’s about recognizing who God is and having a proper respect for Him as the God of the universe, which equips us to succeed in life.
God continues to display His power and might throughout this and the next chapter. He is truly the God of the universe whose understanding no one can fathom. He is the Holy God, and we need to put more care in the way we think about Him and approach Him. When we have this mindset about God, our walk is upright and we learn to shun evil. As we go about the day, it’s so easy for this mindset to leave us, but the more we are able to keep the fear of God in our hearts, the more we will find ourselves doing the right thing and living the right way.
Prayer: God, You are beyond my comprehension. Help me to recognize Your worth and Your glory. Keep my heart from taking you lightly for You are more wonderful than I can imagine.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 22
Lunch Break Study
Read Job 38:1-7: Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Questions to Consider
- How would you sum up God’s response to Job’s questions about why he was suffering?
- Does this passage suggest that we are to never question God?
- God’s rhetorical questions are meant to give us confidence in Him regardless of what we may be facing. What is one thing you feel helpless about that you need to surrender over your control?
- God reminds Job that He is God and Job is not. God is far wiser and more powerful than our ability to comprehend.
- The Psalms lend us words to our lament, but ultimately, we are to place our trust in the sovereign God, for He is good and omnipotent.
- Perhaps it’s your health, a financial issue, or even an ongoing relational problem; whatever it may be, know that God is wiser and He is able to guide you through it.
Consider how you feared the Lord this day? Did it lead you to fretting and worrying, or did you have more peace and poise in your heart? The former suggests that you have a religious fear of God and the latter suggests you have a biblical, Fatherly fear of God.