Afraid of God

All Christians have respect and reverence for our Creator. We can see in His handiwork all the love, beauty, order and majesty He pours into all that He touches. He is truly magnificent. As Christians, we know that God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die as a sacrifice for us, so that we could live eternally with Him. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus, we can become a child of God and participate in His plan for the world. That love and gift is what drives so many Christians to be excited and joyful, serving Him feverishly and wanting everyone to know how amazing God is.

There are, however, other Christians, who don’t exactly share that same joyous spirit of God, because their faith is based not on love, but FEAR. Yes, there are many Christians who are AFRAID of God.

For those Christians, there is too much uncertainty, insecurity and ambiguity about Him. Their fear has overtaken all the goodness and love that God has poured onto them. Their fear makes them serve God with only one thing in mind, how to appease a God they don't understand and whose only concern is when we sin. This fear drives these Christians to distraction trying to save themselves. Unfortunately, for many Christians, that fear is more a motivator to their faith than love is. They see God with nervous eyes of fear.

All Christians, at some point along the way, have heard that we should be afraid of God, (by many pastors, ministers and churches) and that He will punish and send to hell all those who are disobedient and not good enough. Because of the idea in our minds that God absolutely HATES sin, we become obsessed with our own sin. We know that we are sinners, so we feel guilty. But many of us are unable to completely turn around our lives, so we are in a constant state of fear that God will "GET US". We want forgiveness, but believe God won't grant it to us because we are such failures. Our obsession and failure convince us that God is frowning.

Many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians struggle with God because of this same issue. We fear that God will not understand us. We have been told that God punishes sin and if we don’t repent, we will not be saved. Most all of us have tried to "repent" from our sexuality, but have found we are still GLBT and now know we cannot change ourselves. Because God doesn't seem to "DELIVER" us from our sexuality, some of us begin to doubt God's love. Why would He create us like this, and then condemn us? This issue alone makes us uncertain of what kind of God we are worshipping. Many of us have been fooled by Satan (and those religious people who yell at us) that God doesn’t love us unless we change. For many of us, this is devastating and confusing. It doesn't seem right. But this confusion is because many of us still live in fear of God...fear of punishment.

The irony is that a Christian whose faith is based on fear will never experience the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace… and will always live in fear, under a dark cloud, confused, unsure and never joyous because that fear doesn’t allow God Himself to come in.

Fear of God manifests itself in so many destructive ways and the longer a Christian continues this path in fear, ambiguity and uncertainty, the more they will grow negative, unsure, depressed and bitter towards God.

Not only are fearful Christians afraid of God, but they are afraid of everything else. They don’t associate with “sinners” because God may disapprove. They also fear "contamination" by non-believers. Fearful Christians don't participate in life, thinking they may engage in “ the ungodly behavior of the world" and be tempted to sin. So they separate themselves from ordinary life and people. And worst of all, fearful Christians are afraid of themselves. They fear that their own emotions, desires and behavior will turn God against them. They punish themselves hoping God will see how spiritual they are by their self-denial and suffering. Their life is not spent serving God and loving their neighbors, but spent watching their every move to keep from making a mistake. It is a non-stop self-centered pursuit. And even if they do everything they think they need to do…they are still afraid, because they are not sure what God wants. They worry that it might not be enough. They distrust God.

Fearful Christians have no joy or peace, because their fear of God paralyzes them.

We all sin and can never be perfect, but many of us think that God is not understanding, and that He doesn’t excuse us no matter what our hearts or what our motives are. We think all God cares about is sin.

If you don’t think God understands you then the feeling is mutual, you don’t understand Him either. When you don’t understand God, then you can’t trust Him to do the right thing, and if you don’t trust God, then you are afraid of Him.

You see, if you fear God and don't trust Him, then you CAN’T LOVE HIM.


It is impossible.

Some Christians are so afraid of God that they even suppress their own thoughts because they fear He knows how they really feel. So they even deny themselves their own thoughts and feelings. They fear that God will betray them. So they're not only afraid, but bottled up with years of unresolved emotions, frustrations and questions. “Am I saved? Does God still love me?”

If this doesn’t make a person crazy, I don’t know what will.

This is also why so many Christians become ex-Christians.

Because they have been falsely indoctrinated to be afraid of God, many drop out of Christianity all together, because the idea of worshiping a mean-spirited cold God is too much. They can’t relate to a God they don't understand and who doesn’t understand them.

Many Christians think that God is obsessed with sin, but if that were so, why would He create such an easy way for us to be forgiven of our sin?

Faith in Jesus Christ.

It is so simple. We believe and we are saved...our sins are forgiven. And the reason He has made redemption so easy is because He loves us. He wants to reconnect with us. He offers salvation to us freely.

He understands that we fail and He has much patience and grace. Jesus died so our sins could not keep us from God. All Jesus asks is for us to live in love. Love God and love our neighbor. (Matthew 22: 37-40) When we love God and love our neighbor we cannot sin.

And what is SIN?

Anything negative that keeps us away from God and our neighbors.
Hate, stealing, envy, prejudice, fear, anger…these are the sins of man which cause division between God and each other.

But the good news is God is LOVE.

The portrait of a cold, scary, stone-faced God is A LIE, spread by Satan to keep people from coming closer to Him and to render God’s children useless.

For the person who is afraid of God, his/her prayers are formal. There is a feeling of distance from God because they cannot feel His presence. That is because fear is a wall to getting close to God. He doesn't want you to be afraid of Him. He wants you to love Him.

Those who understand God to be all love, forgiveness and understanding, accept His love and experience Him. All of Him. It is those who "fall in love with God" who are then blessed by the outpouring of His Spirit, and the reality of the presence and joy of God quickly becomes evident. Opening your heart in love to God allows the Spirit to come in. His Spirit reveals the true personality of God.

God is every good thing that you can ever imagine.
God is not at all like how some Christians have portrayed Him.
And thankfully, God is NOT AT ALL like many of the negative, unloving, judgmental Christians who claim to follow His ways.

Think of the kindest, most loving person you have ever known. Now understand that God is infinitely more loving and kind than any person He has ever created. How is it, that a human person, created by God, could be kinder than He is? It is impossible.

Now understand that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He is the kindest, compassionate and the most loving person ever to walk the earth. He came down to us, to our level…as a man. This shows He does understand us. He knows what we go through. He knows this life is difficult and full of pain and struggle. He served us and humbled Himself and then sacrificed Himself for us. This is not at all the thunderous fearful God that has been portrayed to us. But He humbled Himself to live among us and prove His love to us.

Those who were controlling and harsh were the religious rule followers, the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were the ones who tried to keep up the image of a controlling, harsh, and rule following God…but Jesus went against them.

Listen up my friend. Jesus loves you with all His heart.

God created you exactly as you are and LOVES YOU!
He knows your heart and everything about you and STILL LOVES YOU!
He also wants the best of you. He wants you to grow, to heal and to love like He does.

And though others have told you that your sins will send you to hell, Jesus overcame sin. He died on the cross for our sin…so we would be free from sin. We no longer have to be afraid of offending God. Jesus took that offense in our place. God has proven His love to us.

There is nothing to be afraid of, because God is love.

God is true love. God is eternal love.
Search your heart and understand.

You have nothing to fear.

God loves you!

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
We love, because He first loved us.

1 John 4: 16-19


© 2008 Edrick

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