Back in ’92 I was at a horse auction with Arlie, the Executive Director of the camp that I worked at, hoping to find a couple of quiet old horses for the horsemanship program I led. Into the ring was led this tiny pony with a small child on his back. I was amazed to realize that Arlie was one of only two people bidding on him. We got him for fifty bucks.
After the sale he seemed a little skittish when I put a halter on him, but with all the he’d been through that day I didn’t think much of it. That was the last time I touched him without fight. When we went to unload him he tried to kick my knee right through the trailer wall.
I’m no horse-whisperer, but I have had some experience starting and developing horses. I spent nineteen hours in the round pen with that pony. I got him to face up to me and even take a few steps toward me, but he never once let me touch him. I would imagine the poor little guy had seen some rough handling because nothing I did could convince him that I had his best interest at heart. Somewhere along the line he had learned to trust only in himself.
Some of you are like that toward God. All that you have known about or been told of is the wrath of God, and so you avoid him if possible. In the moments when you have to acknowledge his presence you do so with fear and never let him close enough to touch you.
What you don’t understand is that God has your best interests in mind. True, the Bible talks much about God’s judgement and wrath, which is justified and what we all deserve, but what it says is that God poured it all out on Jesus so we wouldn’t have to face it. “God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that . . . we can live with him forever. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
If you are afraid of God’s anger, and you may even be a Jesus-Follower, you can be free from that fear but it will require you to let God close enough to touch your life. In other words you will need to submit your will to his in order to allow him to express his love for you.