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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

..: Holy Fear

Been hearing a lot about fear this last couple of months. This Sunday, the Alter607 folks talked about Holy Fear. I've always heard that the fear of the Lord, proper fear, was more of a reverence, respect for God. Like a reverence for Grandpa. I think, I am missing something. In the old testament, people were honestly afraid of God. There was that one guy, charged to protect the Holy Ark, and touched the Ark to keep it from falling. God struck him dead on the spot: he wasn't supposed to touch it. Then there was that guy, and his whole family that were stoned for keeping the spoils of war to himself -- he, his whole family, even their livestock were stoned to death. Geez. Not to mention, what would happen when God would lay waste to the enemies of his people, in fact God had a reputation as being an unstoppable foe. Their enemies were afraid of his Chosen, they knew their God was able to really mess them up. There is a picture here, of a different God, that I have totally missed. God the warrior, the dangerous, the unpredictable. I don't really know this part of him.

In my reading, I am seeking how to be a good husband. I'm reading this one book, about the Christian Husband. In it, the author tells me that before I can be a husband, I have to be a man. Before I can be a man, I have to love God. Before I can love God, I have to fear God. This is the start.

Let's work through this again. Before I can be a husband, I must be a strong man. People often talk about marriage being unity, like addition. They talk about becoming whole in marriage - you know, one-half plus one-half equals one. In reality, it is not addition, but *multiplication*. One-half times one-half yeilds one-quarter. A person that is not whole, wed to another person who is not whole, yeilds greater chaos. I can personally attest to this, and tell you it is true. There is less chance for iron to sharpen iron there. So, I must be a whole person, regardless of where my wife is at. I entered marriage totally aware I was not a whole person. The more I do the marriage thing, the more I know I am incomplete. Being complete starts with manhood.

They say that manhood is not necessarily to mimic the stuff I see other men do... Run into burning buildings to save people. Drive fast cars with no fear. Go off to dusty places and fight wars. Manhood comes from loving the Creator - if I love Him, I will do the things He wants me to do, and all those things bear fruit - peace, goodness, kindness, humility, etc. All that stuff in the Book. And damn, there is a lot of stuff in there to do. Anyway, I can't love God if I don't have a reason to.

I didn't have a reason to, sometimes I think I still don't. The closest I have ever come to understanding the next bit, is the first time I met with one of my friends from Epic. We met, and I told him everything I struggled with. Not the easy admission of problems, but really laying bare how helpless I felt to the things that ruled me, kept me from being healthy as a person. I mean, these admissions really cost me my pride. My buddy listened, and understood. Without going into detail, I can tell you that the things I told him, are so secret, so shameful to me, that I expect he and I will carry those things we said to our graves. Shame, bud. He listened, he accepted, and for the first time, there was a glimpse of a loving, forgiving God. In that He would accept me, I realized I wanted to do the same back. A god that could welcome me the way I am -- really am? Tough to turn down.

No love before there is fear. I remember there were things to fear when I was a kid. I used to fear dying, then feared getting married (leaving mom). I used to cry and cry when I was boy. Mom would comfort me, more with her hugs than what she said. What she said always carried bleakness. When I was in high school, I heard for the first time, the youth guy talking about the End Times, the judgement and massive death the world was yet to experience. I was terrified that night, it changed my life, I could barely move, my heart was so scared. That night, I had a picture of a God who could care less about me - He was so powerful, and was carving and sculpting history like it was nothing. I feared death, all I knew was I wanted to be on God's side. This king was dangerous, but he would win.

I am missing some kind of healthy fear. What comes to mind is Jackson's Lord of Rings movie, the grey wizard catching Bilbo's attention: "Bilbo Baggins, do not mistake me for some cheap conjurer of tricks! I'm not here to rob you, I'm here to help you." Did you catch how scared Bilbo was? And his reaction was to hug his old friend, he was like a little kid, he was scared, but scared into sanity. Leave that frickin ring behind, it possesses you, it gives you unnatural life, you don't know what it does to you. Leave it behind, for your own good.

I could use that wake up call. I did a stupid and good thing this weekend, I prayed for that wakeup call. God, show me how scary, how in-control you are. I need to remember that you are not an accessory in the Christian life - you ARE my life. How can I be faced with the reality of who you are, and not face crisis - crisis that my life must change if what i believe is true? At work, I only fear men. The gospel warns me to not fear people who can only kill the body. I am warned to watch out for the god who can kill body *and* spirit. At work, I am afraid of the wrong things. I want to do good so people will not harm me. I should do well, b/c of God who tells me to do good.

Not everyone needs this kind of wake up. Just me. I need balance. All I've heard all these years is that God is love, blah blah. Meaningless stuff, if you don't have anything to fear. I am a deep sinner, I have plenty to fear.

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