Deuteronomy 10:12 (VOICE) And now, Israel, what is the Eternal your God asking of you? Only that you fear Him, live as He wants you to, and love Him; serve Him with every part of you, heart and soul;
For much of my faith journey, I have struggled to understand how a believer can both fear and love God. It always seemed that fear and love were an antithesis to one another. Through many preachers I had been told that God had the right to wipe me from existence for any one of my sins. How could I love and get close to someone who had the power to take my life?
Yet God’s sovereignty is multi-dimensional. He has supreme authority over all of existence, and that means He has as much power to command life as He does to command death. As Judge and King, He sets the rules for what is permissible and what is not permissible. And like the laws of physics, the firmness and truth of His existence and His commandments are not dependent upon our acknowledgement of them. YHVH our God has been, is, and ever will be. We can’t help but have reverential fear for God when we are able to grasp the breadth of His sovereignty.
However, our love for God can also be found as we acknowledge who He is in both character and power. He has a deep understanding of the forces of existence; therefore, He knows which forces bring about life and which ones bring about death. As His children and His heirs, He hasn’t brought us into being only to abandon us to the chaos of creation. He is a Father who has loved us enough to give us His instructions—His Word. That Word is our guide, meant to show us how to remain in God’s light where we will always have access to life.
Our Father and King, calls us to follow Him and walk in the Light. And yet, if we are to follow Him, we must do so with fear and respect for who He is and the authority that He holds. We are to acknowledge God just as we acknowledge our earthly authorities—our parents, teachers, pastors, police officers, military, and so on. We fear these authorities because they have the power to discipline us when we are out of line. And yet, we also love them because they provide for and protect us—our livelihood, future, and safety rest in their hands. How much more ought we both love and fear God, our ultimate Father, Teacher, Judge, and King?