I always appreciate the comments that I receive on blogs. Especially ones that cause me to grow in some way. Fear is necessary in our relationship with God, and that is undeniable. And while it is necessary to acknowledge fear as a wisdom, it is not in my mind the greatest known human emotion felt for Him. It is far greater to do something out of love for someone rather than fear. Fear says I have to. Love says I want too, freely. Freedom of choice. Otherwise, God could have forced us to Love Him, rather, He wishes that all would come to know and love Him on their own, because they see His greatness. And, they come to realize that He loves them unconditionally. God is good. Fear has everything to do with punishment. God took the punishment for me. I have nothing but praise for Him.
Fear is a natural emotional response to a perceived threat. As a child the fear of punishment by your parents is real, but their love you trust is stronger. As well, the fear of an unexpected event or impending doom is real. We as humans have a capacity for what we call "fear" as it is part of our human nature, a survival mechanism to a response to a threat of danger.
There is another side to fear, a learned behaviour. A child not knowing that a fly won't hurt him will fear it until evidence proves otherwise. If that fear is not confronted, the child who becomes an adult will still fear the fly. A small person will fear the larger when confronted physically, and will often avoid the fight. A show of not being afraid will influence anothers decision to attack you. There is something to be said about the insecure, small person who is defensive and aggressive, to ward off potential attackers having the "eye of the tiger" can make one fear you.
Fear is usually associated with lack of trust. Yes, it wise to observe that other's in authority can cause you pain and death. It is also wisdom to trust that a loving person, chooses instead to protect and care for you. Your faith in their love for you causes you not to fear them.
It is great wisdom to understand that while God is to be feared, His love for you is much greater, and it is His desire to Save. (A Loving God who dies for you, does not instill in you anything but praise and love.) It is in this that I trust, and in this faith, fear is diminished by hope and love.
Love can overcome fear. David never saw Goliath as a giant. Fear can be a learned behavior that can be changed by faith. Nothing will happen to me today that God does not know about. And I will put my trust in Him. Nothing is bigger than God.
Psalm 5 7-12 (The Orthodox Study Bible) The fixed psalms of the First Hour...
"But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
For their is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You.
But let all those rejoice who put their TRUST in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield."
Revelation 21 6-8
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolater, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death,"
""Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Father Paisios Eznepides, says it best:
"When someone leads a simple life, humbly looks upon himself and feels the need of God's providence, then he puts aside all his concerns and worries, and has faith in Him. When God sees that his soul depends on Him, and not on himself, He will mercifully protect it; this soul will intensively experience the sense of God's providence and feel contented."
No one has to force them to go to church, to praise and worship God. There is some wisdom in that!
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