But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind. Therefore, I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face.
I have been in meetings where the praise and the prayer seem like they could burst through the walls at any moment. I have heard music that is so full of the power and presence of God that it feels like it shakes the ground and reaches within to touch the soul. I have heard prayers so sincere and discerning that I can almost see the face of God smiling in response. Those are times when one basks in the presence of God and desires more because it is evident that there is so much of him that we have yet to experience. I can recall times when the presence of God was so heavy that it made me wonder what it would be like if we had not just a small portion of him but all of him there with us. The problem is, it would be more than we could stand.
You can lump me in with the group of people who have misunderstood what the fullness of God’s presence actually would look like and feel like. Perhaps I simply thought about the spiritual benefits to standing before him without considering the natural, physical effects it would have on a person. No one can stand before the almighty God, fully in his presence and without protection, and actually stand. He is mighty in a way that we cannot comprehend, and He is to be feared. This is a fear that comes from respect as well as terror. It is not that He desires to frighten his children, but we simply do not have what it takes to withstand the full power of his glory on our own. Without his intervention, that truly would be a terrifying prospect.
Job had a lot to think about during his suffering. Not knowing what had brought such calamity to his life, he was searching for answers. He reached a point where he had to admit that God will do his will, and we are powerless to change what He has determined will come to pass. Job was in fear of God’s presence because he recognized that it was a place where he had to acknowledge his lack of power in relation to God’s infinite might. The fear of God, the terror at his holy presence, comes from a greater understanding of his power and position and from knowing how lowly we are in comparison. Father, help us to grow in a right understanding of You and your might, that we would have a proper fear of the power of your presence.