The fear of God is absolutely requisite

God gave to those who fear Him an inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven. We hear these verses full of humbleness on Sundays at the Vespers from the Great Lent. How deep is the meaning of these few words of David, the prophet!

In the same way a father divides his fortune equally between his children before dying every child receiving his share from it as a true inheritor that he is for supporting himself financially and for comforting his soul, our Heavenly Father gives eternal inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the heavenly Jerusalem of those unspoken blessings of heaven to His true children.

But what does this fear of God mean ? It is the torch which enlightens to walk on the right path leading to the Kingdom of heaven. As when we have a torch, a light and walk in the darkness this becomes our salvation, if we have fear of God before our eyes and in our minds anywhere we`d be, anywhere we`d stop, no matter if it`s day or night, outside or inside the house, this enlightens us.

The fear of God is absolutely requisite for keeping the paths of God for it will escape us of robbers as a shining light helps us to see where is the trap, the enemy, where is his shelter. In the darkness we may encounter a wall, a mountain, a big stone and stumble on it and fall into a precipice or in a river and drown. While if we have the light of the fear of God we pass over all these dangers. On the contrary the lack of fear may lead us to many huge mistakes.

Of course there are two kinds of fears, the filial fear of the son of God and the fear of the slave. This last fear is the one which commands us to show obedience to everything God commands us because what awaits us otherwise is the whip and jail and the ejection from work having as a result the lack of a wage, of food and of all the rest. The filial fear is like that one when a child loves his father. He doesn`t want to do anything wrong because he doesn`t want to sadden him. It`s his father and he has the duty to be obedient to him because the Law of God ordains this and the intellect and all the structure of justice does the same. When the child listens in this way it means he fears his father not because he would punish him but because he loves him, because he begot him and is bigger than him. In the same way in our relationship with God, if we make a spiritual progress we go away of the fear of slave and approach the filial fear which is the noblest part of the fear of God.

From everything we see created around us we ascend by logical deduction to the faith in God, from man to God, from creature to Creator. This true faith in Go dis born in this way from the caused to the Cause. Thus we come to believe in the existence of God even if we don`t see Him with our physical eyes. God as an absolute Spirit is invisible. We cannot perceive Him because He is imperceptible.

We cannot enclose Him because He is boundless. We cannot close Him in our mind because He is unclosed, above all the Universe.

The Universe is like a microbe before the endless God. In the same way a microbe  is invisible for the human eye and we need a magnifying glass to see it, we can compare the Universe with the endless God. Think now if the whole Universe is like a small microbe before God what we are. We are an absolute nothing, non-existent and dependent.

With the faith from creature to Creator we reach the faith in God. This faith generates in jus the fear of God. Of course in our nature there is from the beginning of the Creation the inclination to feel that there is something above us which cannot be perceived by us but to Whom we owe respect and obedience. It is impossible for the man to see the face of God and live. This is what God said to Moses: It is not possible for the man to see My face and live.`[1] However Christ came and took a human body, made Himself man, came near us, spoke to us face to face about the heavenly Father, about our destination and all the rest. We heard all these from the mouth of God and we cannot doubt them. God doesn`t make any mistakes and the commandments which are given through the mouth of God are those which God requires from the man.

But how will we cultivate the fear of God within us ? This happens when we believe in Him. The more we believe, the more are opened the eyes of our soul by faith and we see Him. But in order to have the eyes of our soul opened our life must be virtuous, careful, ascetic. Then the state of our heart changes in what regards God. The less we saw Him the less we feared Him. When for instance we see the car of the traffic police following us all the drivers decrease their speed for not being fined.

[1] Exodus 33, 20.

Except from the book The Art of Salvation published by Evanghelismos.

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