I am a God-fearer. Nothing in my life has ever made me as terrified as the fact that there is a holy God who rules this universe. I have trembled at His Word. The fear of His Name has purged me of many sins. I believe that the heavens and the earth shake in His zeal for His righteousness. I believe that His mercy is all that stood between me and utter destruction.
Before I was a Christian, I always had the nagging feeling that something was not right in the world. It was something intangible that I could never quite put my finger on. I was afraid of God. I was afraid that one day He might judge me. But it was not a fear born of knowledge; it was a superstitious fear that any pagan might feel. I was oblivious to the true horror of my condition and the peril that my atrocious behavior had put me in. I had no idea that my sin had shaken the heavens with righteous indignation.
One day, I saw that very thing. I was sitting in my apartment, minding my own business, when suddenly the day dawned in my heart in the face of a crucified Christ. I knew that I was a sinner. I knew that God was holy. I knew that hell was real and deserved. Formerly, I had heard it, but now my heart had felt the weight of truth and the depth of glory. Spiritually, the veil was lifted from my heart and my blind eyes opened. What I saw was not a grandfatherly God who smiled at me and coddled me. What I saw was a magnificent, holy God dressed in battle array. The God of the Universe had armed Himself to make war with me. His honor was offended. His goodness was assailed. My rebellion had not gone unnoticed. God was coming, and He was coming for me. I knew it in my entire being. I knew that He would not spare. I knew that I deserved His wrath. At that moment, in that blink of an eye, I felt the grip of fear and knew what it was to fall dreadfully into the hands of the Living God. In that moment of fear, I became more alive than I had ever been. I dreaded Him, but I could not look away. I knew the consequences of His wrath, and for the first time, I truly worshipped.
Is that so odd to say? I worshipped the God who I was convinced was about to justly through me into hell? It may sound odd, but it is true. All doubt was driven from my mind at that time: I had seen the King of Glory and He was magnificent. I would have gone as a willing captive to His fury.
That night, I begged the King for mercy. I fell on my face and asked Him for mercy. Mercy was granted to me from that throne through Jesus Christ. I was clean. The King had frightened me to life in Jesus Christ. It was a holy moment, one for which I will rejoice for all eternity.
In this little reflection on the dawning of my salvation, I cannot reflect the greatness of that night and the glory of the God who saved me. I cannot express what I learned of Jesus Christ in those moments. But this I can say without doubt: The fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom for me. It was a real fear, more real than anything I had ever experienced or have experienced since. It made a believer out of me, and I am eternally grateful. I am forever grateful to Jesus Christ who saved me from my deserved fate that night. May God grant others the gracious gift of learning to fear Him.
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