Fear or Love? – Mark Appel

June 28, 2017
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In God’s Word we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Proverbs 9:10) and yet we also find, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). What does it look like to have a healthy and God-honoring fear of the Lord?

 

The majesty of our Lord is something that is incredible and awe-inspiring, demanding our respect. No human can grasp the entirety of His glory, but the more we do understand and experience it, the more we are brought to our knees in humility. The full picture of knowing how great, holy, righteous, merciful, and just our God is will completely overwhelm and overpower our lives. The more glimpses we see of His goodness, the greater understanding we have of our own imperfection and need for Him. His majesty brings us to a place of surrender.

 

After I signed my first contract in 2013, I had a great sense of pride, knowing that I had accomplished something I had set out to do. Signing was confirmation for me that I was on the right path. But shortly after, I found myself really struggling. There was a moment when I felt like I had everything under control but I soon realized I had my fingers wrapped so tightly around my life because I was afraid to fail. The Lord began to show me that He was in control and I needed to completely release my grip.

 

It’s a scary thing to fully surrender your life to the Lord. He has given me good gifts to be used for His glory—to be surrendered back to Him—not so that I would experience comfort or security on earth. This lesson was a great reminder that I need to make sure I’m worshipping the Giver of the gifts instead of the gift itself. I’m thankful for my gifts, which are good things in themselves, but never should they be more important to me than the Lord Himself.  

 

The more God revealed Himself and His truths to me through His Word by His Spirit, the more I realized just how amazing the Gospel is and how much I need it! The message of the Gospel is one that becomes sweeter and sweeter the more I taste it. It’s so great to know that this journey that I’m on with the Lord is all about Him, and the more we discover who He is, the closer we draw near to Him.

 

Because of our sin nature, we won’t have a perfect relationship with God until we are fully redeemed in Heaven. Until then, the forgiveness and grace He showers on me gives me a greater reverence and dependence on Him. When I experience His grace, my worries, fears, and insecurities are replaced with bold confidence because I know I’m loved, redeemed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit because of the work that Christ did on the cross.

 

By gaining a greater sense of awe and reverence for the Lord, I find my love and respect for Him growing deeper and richer.  

 

—Mark Appel

 

Mark Appel is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

 

View Mark’s Increase Profile here: http://theincreasebaseball.com/author/markappel/

 

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