Meditation Thought: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10)
To have respect for God and to believe that what He claims is true: that to perceive His will and do it is the best way to live – is to be wise; it is the means by which we can turn darkness to light, despair to hope and all things distressing into blessings. We don’t do these things ourselves, but God does them for us and with us as we “fear” Him, that is as we fear the consequences of not heeding Him – as we realize that He is the top authority, the greatest power, the most magnificent lover, and the most generous giver in the whole universe.
As we come, not only to realize this fact, but to be more adept at living with it, and taking advantage of it (which is what God constantly encourages in His creation), we have a totally different perception of what it ought to be . And we also have found the key to unlock our imprisoned souls – as we comprehend the glory of God’s love for us, and for all He has created, and as we perceive that His grand purpose is to enable us to love as He loves, we are eager to hear Him and to heed Him.
We “fear to displease God not because He is a terrible dictator, but because He is not a terrible dictator. We “fear” to displease Him because He is right; He knows what is best for us, and yet He allows us to choose to seek His way or to go off in our own direction.
The more we comprehend the miracle of free will given by a loving God, a hopeful God, yet a righteous God, the more we “fear” Him, if “fear” is defined as respect for one in authority, and the acceptance that our welfare depends upon our cooperating or defying that authority.
To “fear” God is not intended to be something God uses to coerce us into doing His bidding. It is intended for us to be able to choose wisely and well that our lives may be fulfilled and joyous, full of peace and love.