Fear vs. Awe

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Understanding how fear can make you wise is so much more than learning to not touch fire because it burns. I think the preaching of that kind of limited revelation has separated more people from God than it’s drawn to him.

I know if God physically appeared in just a fraction of his power, I’d immediately be on my face. But even in that kind of reverence, there wouldn’t be the kind of fear to make me get lost in a black hole of self-condemnation. Moses, Isaiah, and John were undone by revelations of him, and but were quickly raised up in his grace and strength. This holiness is the awe, wonder, and jaw–dropping glory of God which restores your heart, renews your mindset, and commissions you in his love.

If immersing yourself in his majesty isn’t your greatest reality, then your circumstances will be. They’ll dictate what you think, how you feel, and the way you relate to others. Cultivating a mind in awe of who Jesus is, and a heart in astonishment of all the love he has for you, puts problems into perspective, and enables you to deal with them in his grace, hope, peace, and joy. Developing a lifestyle of looking for his glory in people and situations opens the way for healing, transformation, and life-giving wisdom.

This wisdom, birthed in worship and nurtured in wonder, is an ongoing conversation with God, an ever-deepening relationship as you walk with him. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt lost in a storm of fear and uncertainty. Wondering how I was going to deal with this, I heard God speak to my overwhelmed heart: “My son, first, let your awe of me become greater than your fear of anything else.”

Let the majesty of Jesus displace every fear, and be a continuous revelation of what he’s really like, who you truly are, and what’s possible in your life today.

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