It is often when we read certain parts of Scripture that we become all too accustomed to them. When they are thus explained, we gain a deeper understanding of the God we worship. Here are four reasons why our fear of God guides and directs our life:
(bold titles added by me)
1. The character of God.
How we understand the person and character of God the Father affects every aspect of our lives. It affects far more than what we normally call the “religious” aspects of our lives. If God is the Creator of the entire universe, then it must follow that He is the Lord of the whole universe. No part of the world is outside of His lordship. That means that no part of my life must be outside of His lordship. His holy character has something to say about economics, politics, athletics, romance-everything with which we are involved.
2. The presence of God.
God is inescapable. There is no place we can hide from Him. Not only does He penetrate every aspect of our lives, but He penetrates it in his majestic holiness. Therefore we must seek to understand what the holy is. We dare not seek to avoid it. There can be no worship, no spiritual growth, no true obedience without it. It defines our goal as Christians. God has declared, “Be holy, because I am holy” (Lev. 11:44).
3. The suffering of God.
When it is said of Jesus that “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isa. 53:3), it is clear that He stood in a long line of men whom God had appointed to such suffering. The prophet’s curse was solitude; his home was often a cave. The desert was his traditional meeting place with God. Nakedness was sometimes his wardrobe, a wooden stock his necktie. His songs were composed with tears.
4. The essence of God.
Right now it is impossible for us to see God in His pure essence. Before that can ever happen, we must be purified. When Jesus taught the Beatitudes, He promised only a distinct group the vision of God: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8). None of us in this world is pure in heart. It is our impurity that prevents us from seeing God. The problem is not with our eyes; it is with our hearts. Only after we are purified and totally sanctified in heaven will we have the capacity to gaze upon Him face-to-face.
The ironic danger of assuming holiness.
It’s dangerous to assume that because a person is drawn to holiness in his study that he is thereby a holy man. There is irony here. I am sure that the reason I have a deep hunger to learn of the holiness of God is precisely because I am not holy. I am a profane man-a man who spends more time out of the temple than in it. But I have had just enough of a taste of the majesty of God to want more. I know what it means to be a forgiven man and what it means to be sent on a mission. My soul cries for more. My soul needs more.
Questions to consider:
1. When you think of God as holy, what comes to your mind?
2. Describe a time when you were overcome by God’s holiness.
3. Are you attracted to God’s holiness?
4. What does it mean for you to be holy in the coming week?