REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on July 21, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“God is Certainly Loving but Don’t Forget that He is Really Holy as Well”
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
As much as I am a proponent that God our Father is one whom we can run to with such intimacy, I am aware of the holiness and the paradigm of God as creator, as ruler, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We see Isaiah falling to his face in literal fear as he cried “Woe to me!” when his eyes caught a glimpse of the glory of God in Isaiah 6. We see John in the New Testament, when he sees Jesus, the incarnate glory of God, falling at his feet as though dead when coming face to face with Jesus in the book of Revelation. The holiness and majesty of our God cannot be downplayed. No matter how much we see God as our loving and doting Father whom we can go to with our problems and just sit as his feet (and we should!), we cannot disregard the glory of God that is so glorious it would immediately bring us to our knees. So why is the fear of the Lord the beginning of all wisdom?
Having a healthy fear of the Lord is not the same as being afraid or being timid and having a spirit of fear. After all, the perfect love of Christ casts out all fear in us. Rather, a healthy fear of the Lord is knowledge and being in awe of who God is in the grand scheme of things; it is the understanding that his ways are higher than ours and his thoughts are higher than ours. It is being aware and conscious of who he is and who we are.
A healthy fear of the Lord drives us toward greater love, greater gratitude, and greater obedience, as we begin to fully understand the magnitude of his sacrifice for us. We begin to grow in awe of our great God, who laid down his life, for the sake of wretched sinners like us. And paradoxically, that fear is also what pushes us towards intimacy, knowing that he absolves us so that we can run into the arms of a great God like ours. Granted, there might be trembling and fear when we are actually in the presence of our glorious God, but just like the moments Isaiah and John experienced, the blood of Christ will cover us as He says to his people, “Do not be afraid.” As you ready yourself for another week, take a moment to ponder his glory so that the fear of the Lord would be the beginning of wisdom and understanding for you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to love You and fear You at the same time, for You are a loving and holy God. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 16