Proverbs 28:14, “Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.”
There is a false notion today among some Christians that believe because God is now our Father there is nothing to revere about Him anymore. The idea is rooted in misunderstandings of such verses where the believer is told to call God “Abba” and that perfect love drives out all fear.
Yes, it is completely true we now can approach God as our “Heavenly Daddy (Abba)” and not have any fear of punishment in regards to our sins. At the same time, King Solomon reminds us in the above proverb that we should always tremble before God. In other words, we shouldn’t lose our deep respect for who God is and how great His power is.
On one hand, I don’t believe Christians should always be walking around shaking like a leaf or quaking wherever they go because they should have a confidence of God’s love and genuine mercy in their lives. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be so hardhearted and naïve to think that God is now our “tame lion” that only roars when we let Him because He cannot be tamed or controlled by man.
Therefore, I believe balance is the key to understanding how the believer should both be madly in love with God and always tremble before Him. We should have the balance to understand in regards to sonship, adoption, and salvation that God has covenanted with His people to always love and protect us. And we should also have the balance to understand that for those who turn away from God He will destroy and eternally damn. Thus, in the presence of God as judge we should always tremble and at the same time be comforted because He is our Father.
Take for example when God would appear to His people- they would first tremble and then be comforted, Revelation 1:17. Thus, trembling should be our reaction to God and love and comfort is His reaction to our trembling heart. However, those who refuse to tremble (humble themselves), like people in the time of the Anti-Christ will be destroyed, Job 15:25 & Revelation 19:19.
Therefore, always tremble before God and don’t let your heart become hard because of the deceitfulness of pride and sin, Hebrews 3:13.
- Ask God to reveal any pride or misunderstandings you may have concerning God’s greatness.
- Allow your heart to tremble in God’s presence when He reveals His great power to you like He did with Isaiah in Isaiah 6.
- Always love and revere God for His is worthy of both.