image courtesy of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
I have been reading Prince Caspian to my daughter and came away with a beautiful analogy on the fear of God. The fear of God has always been a tough concept for me to comprehend. How does fear and love coincide?
Like many I was taught that the fear discussed in the Bible referred more to an awe of God. While this helped ease my tensions about God’s love, I still had a hard time believing that was all it meant. Whenever people encountered the Lord, they always fell face down to the ground (Joshua 5:14, Ezekiel 1:28, Matthew 17:5-7, John 1:17). Gideon feared his life because he only recognized he encountered the Lord afterwards and had looked on the Lord face to face (Judges 6:22).
The image in Prince Caspian comes right after the children had made a long detour trying to get to Caspian. There is a small hint of this in the movie, but the book brings it out in more detail. Lucy had seen Aslan before the detour, but could not convince the others to believe her. In the end they made a long trek in the wrong direction.
When the children started back in the right direction, Lucy sees Aslan again. As they talk we find out that Aslan had wanted her to follow him even if the others had not. Lucy had feared the opinions of her siblings over what Aslan wanted her to do.
Here is the definition for the fear of God: to care more about what God thinks than anyone else.
The fear comes in the disappointment of hurting the one you love so much. Susan expressing this when she admits that Lucy had been right about Aslan. She said she could have had believed Lucy from the beginning but she listened to her fears. As she apologized to Lucy, she expressed anxiety of what she would say to Aslan.
How can you fear God and love Him at the same time? You love Him so much that you strongly protect that love by not doing anything to hinder it. You fear lessening your connection to God in any way.
Can you do anything to lessen God’s love for you? NO! Can you do anything to lessen your ability to feel connected to His love? Absolutely! God wants to be obeyed because it is an expression of trust in His unfailing love for you. To fear God is an expression of our love for Him.
Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:4