It’s kind of weird. Whenever an angel appears to a person in the Bible, the first words out of an angel’s mouth are “Don’t be afraid.”
When the angel appears to Mary to announce that Jesus wasn’t dead, but alive, those were his first words.
It raises an interesting question. Are you afraid of God?
There’s a strange sense in which fear is understandable and appropriate. We are, after all, dealing with God, in the same way that the people at Jesus’ empty tomb saw supernatural beings (and a dead man who was missing because he was, well, not dead anymore). If that doesn’t induce a bit of awe and fear, I don’t know what will. And it should. Awe and wonder are appropriate.
But fear…well, the angels say no.
All the reasons to fear had been taken away.
God loves you.
Your sins are forgiven in Christ.
An intimate relationship with God is possible through Jesus.
So here are two questions.
Are you afraid of God?
If so, why and what could you do today to take the first step in overcoming that?
Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
To what extent are you afraid that God will reject you? People who felt like they didn’t belong were actually welcomed by Jesus. Does that help address your fear?
Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
What would keep you from believing in Christ? Is any fear attached to it? If so, pray through that fear.
Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.
Are you afraid to get closer to God? Many people want enough of a relationship with Christ to go to heaven, but not a deep enough one to truly change them. Any of that inside you? Why? What’s underneath that?
Dear God, I want a relationship with you that’s filled with awe, but not with fear. Help me to learn to trust you so I can feel like I belong, come to believe or become what you truly want me to become. Through Christ I pray, Amen.
– by Carey Nieuwhof