The Friendship and the Fear
Recording artist Matt Redman's 1997 album was entitled The Friendship and the Fear. The phrase is a profound one and contains within it one of the keys to living the Christian life.
The concept of friendship with God is central to us as believers. In 1 John 3:1 we read, â€œHow great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!â€ Jesus said to his disciples, â€œI have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to youâ€ (John 15:15). And Paul prays, â€œâ€¦that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundationâ€ (Eph. 3:17). Growing in our knowledge of Godâ€™s passionate love for us is foundational to the Christian life.
But what about the fear of the Lord? Paul writes in Phil. 2:12 that we are to â€œâ€¦work out our salvation with fear and trembling.â€ And Peter writes, â€œIf you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earthâ€ (1 Peter 1:17). The fear of the Lord is not just an Old Testament conceptâ€”itâ€™s a New Testament one, too. And it was a mark of the early church which â€œâ€¦grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lordâ€ (Acts 9:31).
Both the love of God and the fear of the Lord must be embraced by the Christian. Iâ€™ve found that the more Iâ€™m immersed in a deep sense of Godâ€™s love for me, the more Iâ€™m inclined toward obedience. And the more I walk in obedience and fear, the greater my joy. Jesus articulates this truth in John 15:9-11: â€œAs the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my loveâ€¦ I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.â€
Holding the friendship and the fear in a healthy balance and allowing them to work together is key to joyful Christian living.Log in to add a comment
Click Here For Content Archives