Evangelical Outpost has a great repost today about the proper attitude that Christians should have toward Christ. Is He simply our best friend that we hang out with? Is He some large cosmic Creator God with a booming voice? Or is He somehow both or neither?
Largely dependent upon the denomination and culture, Christians relate to Jesus on very different terms. Today’s evangelical Christian culture, unfortunately, has ignored any and all Biblical commands to “fear the Lord” and gone straight for the cuddly plush Jesus toy that lights up when you hug him. He’s more comfortable, more friendly, more…marketable. We can’t make an action figure out of the other Jesus and sell him at a Christian bookstore.
We were discussing this very thing in my small group Tuesday night. People have forgotten about the fear of the Lord. Of course, it is not a “I am terrified of you!” type fear, but a reverence, an awe, type fear. It is more about respect than shaking, but some times I think we may even need to shake. My friend talk about in his life, how at one of his lowest periods, he could hear God telling him not to do something, but instead he said, “I spit in God’s face and I told him, ‘Sorry, God, I have to do this and I’m going to do this.'” At that moment, he didn’t need the fluffy Jesus that he had created in His mind. He needed the Jesus that had his very life in His hand and could end it if He saw fit.
Over and over in Scripture, it talks about “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” In the Bible, wisdom is consistently connected with fearing the Lord. If nothing else, if you have a healthy fear or respect of God, it will keep you from doing things that you would regret later.
I do have a personal relationship with Jesus. In some ways, He is my best friend, but it cannot stop there. My growth as a Christian depends on me acknowledging all the facets of who He is. It is to my detriment if I leave off any side of God’s personality.
A commenter at EO, brought up children coming to Jesus and how He didn’t expect them to fear Him. That is very true, but we have to understand that Jesus was dealing with children not adults. As adults we are expecting to grow in our relationship to God, not remain in the same state of the little child. Paul tells us that when we become a man we put childish things behind us.
Yes, Jesus tells us to come to Him as a little child, but He didn’t say to stay that way.