When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. Luke 1:12 NRSV
Zechariah becomes so full of fear in the presence of the angel of the Lord, that he ends up not believing that what God is telling him will happen. Here is where fear is not the right emotion to have in the presence of God!
I looked up the word fear on the Internet recently and learned that fear is a basic emotion that even animals have. Fear is good for survival but it is not a good thing to have on a continual basis. In fact, fear is one emotion that can be overcome and might someday even be extinct.
This makes me wonder if our modern society has not already overcome their fear of God. Would having a healthy dose of fear be good for us? If we find ourselves in the presence of God or even God's messengers and have no fear, where will we be? If we use Zechariah as an example, I suppose we can say that we would actually believe what we are told. But I am not so sure we would.
I think we must at least have a healthy respect for God in order to avoid thinking we think we can do it all without God's help. Healthy respect is not fear but it is certainly a related emotion.
God, may we always have a healthy respect for You! In Jesus' name. Amen
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims