I recently had a man who had been attending our services ask to meet with me. He had a question about the references in the Bible to having a fear of God.
Some people feel that their relationship with God is based upon them and their godliness. It depends upon them. And when they mess up, they hope God will forgive them. And they pledge to try harder. But then they mess up again.
That type of legalism only leads to fear; there can never be a real peace.
Others realize the truth that God has rescued them from spiritual death. They know that He loves them so much that He paid the necessary cost to prove it so.
And knowing this, they have a reverent fear. It is not a sense of fright; it is an awe based on the awareness of God’s love and their unworthiness. They have stopped to realize what their life would be if God had not saved them. They realize what might have been. They realize what should have been. And they realize what is.
And it awes them.
We have all seen those television commercials in which they use an interesting visual effect; the whole background and environment are shades of gray, but one person has a splash of color. That could also be a visualization of a spiritually alive person living in a spiritually dead world.
As we see our culture and society becoming increasingly ungodly, we are urged to not compromise. We are encouraged that we are to not conform. We may believe that we are to lovingly confront. Some believe that we are to strongly confront.
“Not conforming” does not actually relate to compromising or confronting. “Not conforming” means “not fitting in.” It means not becoming the same as. The real answer is not how we live but how we are.
It is not about what we “do”, but about what we “be”. (I know, that’s poor English.) It’s not about “doing”; it’s about “being”.
The old nature has to die. We can change the outside with limited success, but God can create a new inside. And when the inside root is transformed, the outside fruit is different.
It is not “me for Christ.” It is “Christ in me.”