Friday, November 17

God and motorcycles: live in awe!

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 7-10

2 Corinthians 7:1 All these promises are made to us, my dear friends. So then, let us purify ourselves from everything that makes body or soul unclean, and let us be completely holy by living in awe of God.


“Let us be completely holy by living in awe of God.”

What does it mean to live in awe of God?  Other translations render it “fear of God” or “respect for God” or “reverence for God.”  The Greek word is phobos;  we get the English “phobia” from it.  It meant fear, alarm, fright; and more positively, respect, awe or reverence.  I don’t think that God wants us to be afraid of Him, cowering in fear.  So what does it look like to “fear God”?

I think of things that I love, but am also afraid of, or have great respect for.  The ocean.  Laina. ? Motorcycles.  I love my motorcycle; I love to ride.  But I also have a healthy fear.  I know that one small mistake that may be inconsequential in a car can be fatal on a bike.  I ride cautiously, respectfully…reverently.  The most common years for motorcyclists to have accidents are year one when they are new, untested and over-confident, and year three when they have overcome their fear and grown over-confident again.  If you ride and want to stay alive, keep that healthy edge, that healthy fear.  It makes me a better rider; it keeps me from doing stupid things.  It makes me “holy”.

And that’s the idea here.  By living in awe of God, with that healthy fear and respect, I am less likely to do stupid things.  I am more likely to behave in a holy and healthy manner.  (Did you know that the English words “holy” and “healthy” come from the same ancient English root hal meaning whole?)  I am more likely to rid myself “from everything that makes body or soul unclean.”  I am more likely to be holy, different, unique—the person God wants me to be.

Live in awe of God…and be holy!

Prayer: Lord, I want to keep this in mind all day—I want to live in awe of God!