Fear of God and His Great Unknown
Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11 NIV
Fear of the Lord for this generation is a troublesome thing. We are busy casting out all fear and calling on God as good buddy and companion to do our bidding. We stand mistaken about God’s ways – for they are not our own.
Abraham, friend of God, leaned this fearsomeness of God first hand. God called him out upon an unknown path, far away from anywhere he called home. Away from family, away from everything familiar.
“Come with me,” God had invited. “Walk with me through desert lands and under starlit skies ad I will bless you and your children to come.” There would be famines and foreigners and failures along the way.
Starting out on his journey, Abraham would never have imagined the greatest blessing that God could provide: friendship. But it would be a friendship that found its foundation in awesome and holy fear of this larger than life, Creator, Provider, Almighty God.
I think sometimes we want the friendship but not the fear. I think sometimes we want the relationship but not the journey.
Fear of God. It is standing at the edge of the ocean. The waves lap against your legs; the power of the water pushes you and pulls you. The salt stings your eyes. Creatures you cannot see swim beneath its depths and the water stretches beyond the line of the horizon.
God pulls up in His boat; sails billowing in His wind, wood from His trees provide a floating platform. “Come with me. I have things to show you, places to explore,” He invites. Creator of the unknown ocean waters. Creator of the sailing ship. Fear and trust fight each other in our hearts as we stand there. Do we get in?
There’s the very real possibility of storms and sharks and getting lost in the vast unknown. We will most certainly get wet.
But there’s the possibility of the wind in our hair, glorious sunsets and the warmth of the sand under our feet in lands unknown. Do we get in?
Or do we turn and walk away for the safety of our air-conditioned condo with a balcony view of the ocean?
You call me out upon the water The great unknown where feet may fail…
And there I find you in the mystery In ocean deep my faith will stand…
(Oceans, Hillsong United, Ligthelm, Houston, Crocker)
David’s prayer helps us: ‘Teach me so that I may walk with you. Your truth can fight my fears of the unknown. Unite my heart to fear You alone.’
A divided heart is a terrible thing. It leaves us frozen with indecision on the edge of the seashore, the waves only lapping at our ankles.
Unite my heart to You, O Lord. Test me so that I will learn that you are trustworthy. You are more fearsome than the deepest ocean and the unknown journey. Your name is greater than all other names. You alone demand my respect, my obedience, and my allegiance. Unite my divided heart so that I may know Your truths and walk in Your way, and Your wind will fill the sails.
Question: Is God calling you to step away from the safety of the shore and into His great unknown? What is holding you back?