“…And the fear of Me is not in you” (Jeremiah 2:19, NKJV).
So, I thought. And, in the maze of my mind, something occurred to me, something I strove to understand— what does it mean to fear God and what is God’s will?
Big questions. No easy answers. Ask and ye shall receive. I asked.
What is God’s will?
Leslie Weatherhead wrote, “One thing is incredible, that God should allow circumstances to happen which inevitably defeat his ultimate purposes. If He did, it would mean that He had abdicated from the throne of the universe, whereas the truth is that, though the revolt against Him seems formidable, the Lord God omnipotent reigned…no possible situation can ever arise which itself has the power either to down us or to defeat God.”
Has anyone defeated God? If not, and he has not abdicated and is not defeated, His will is determined and above any circumstance. I discern from this His will is good and has no bearing on my participation in it, though I am commanded to fully participate. As purpose, His will is intentional. This I find easy to understand and hard to do.
Then, what does it mean to fear God?
And as I thought about fear, I prayed for understanding. I considered fear not as a child feared the dark or some imagined monster under the bed or as an adult feared a real possibility like a thief or deranged person seeking to do harm. I considered it more as self-will, a desire to take matters, that belong to God, into my own hands, a temptation, really, not to trust God. Had I not silenced God with effort and attributed to Him those events that were not His will?
Seeking, my answer came simply reading Mary Oliver,
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
Then God added. Blessed is he who knows he does not know and seeks Me. And here I found God’s will and fearing Him, or not, to be of the same coin.
This is fear’s essence, to acknowledge God and Jesus as Lord, to seek to serve His purpose, which is to love neighbor as self and God above all. To serve God’s will, His purpose, is to fear Him, and find humility. To go our own way is to, at least, forget Him and His purpose, and at worst, not to fear Him at all.
Of not knowing, humility, then, is a restraint, a recognition and acceptance of our smallness. A form of satisfaction never remembering, never contemplating any idea to consider or to desire significance, humility is neither selflessness nor unselfishness, but she does forget self. She is the pale, blue dot among the heavens.
In the maze of my mind, I find…
“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).