Why is it that our skin crawls and we are sometimes uneasy when we sense that God will visit us and speak to us in a gathering? How is it that we automatically become defensive, we begin to repent of all sorts of sins so that God doesn’t see or refer to them? We even sometimes withdraw from anyone who can share a word of knowledge concerning us. Why are we so afraid of our Heavenly Father’s presence?
I am reminded of the story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. They hid from the presence of God because they were afraid. They, who went on walks with God on a daily basis previously, were now afraid of His presence (Genesis 3:8-10). Why were they suddenly so afraid?
This fear (dread) comes from a feeling of unworthiness due to our shortcomings which we often call human frailties. The focus on our humanity limits our willingness to engage with divinity because we know that the flesh (fallen human nature) cannot stand before God. God’s essence, His purity, is so intimidating that we cannot understand how He would stand to be with fallen, depraved humanity (John 3:3). Thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus, through which our humanity is saved and ransomed from the fallen nature.
We all need to be saved from the kidnapper (the enemy) who swindled us out of our authority on earth. Jesus Christ paid the ransom with His own blood. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are saved. Why then do we still get queasy in God’s presence?
Everyone can be uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. We can also become very uncomfortable with the familiar when we feel a rebuke coming along. We all get uncomfortable when someone calls us out on a disposition they do not appreciate, on a word spoken that they felt insulted by, etc. We are all uncomfortable when we make mistakes and when we embarrass ourselves.
We feel unworthy to be in God’s presence in certain gatherings because the focus has moved from God to us. We focus so much on our unworthiness that we do not understand God’s divine nature of love. There is absolutely nothing we can do to make us more deserving of God’s love. That is a done deal. Unfortunately, there is so much we do which limits our belief in and access to God’s love.
We must not limit God in our lives. We must return to the place of fellowship with Him so that He can work within us to be more like Him. Don’t limit God’s presence in your life by living in guilt and condemnation, by living at a low-level spiritually. Engage God! Have conversations with Him and stay with Him. When you flesh (humanity) feels queasy in His presence, that is a time to adjust your lens and focus on His love. That is the time to access His rebuke and His correction…It is the child that has the attention of his/her parents that is corrected; neglect is a sign of no loving parents.
Don’t be afraid of God. Love Him and you will become increasingly more comfortable in His presence. Even if you make a mistake, you will run to Him and repent, because it will be an honest mistake, it will not be a premeditated sin. Even if it is premeditated sin, please return to the Lord; don’t let the enemy keep you away from God (Luke 15:11-32).
One of the synonyms of fear is dread – as we have discussed. However, another synonym is reverence. The fear of God you experience should be the reverence of God, not the dread of God. Those who should dread God are the devil and his demons because they have no hope of salvation. Man, created in God’s image, has hope in Jesus Christ. We should revere God (Proverbs 9:10) and enjoy His divine presence when we gather in His name.
Blessings! Joy Isa