I was born in a non-Christian family but I probably had a notion of God. So, if I went to a Buddhist temple for a school field trip, I bowed down to the statue of Buddha and when I heard that I needed to pray to the moon on the first full moon of the year, I did. However, whenever I was in trouble, I sought ‘God’. I did not know when I attained this concept of God, but He was always the one I prayed to when I took a college entrance exam, had a job interview, or whenever I needed help.
However, in spite of seeking Him in times of trouble, He was not a comfortable one to me. Actually, He was someone whom I rather wanted to avoid and someone whom I was afraid of. I felt that He accused me of my faults and laughed at me for my mistakes and looked down on me when I sinned. Therefore, rather than going to church, I wanted to hide and avoid Him.
Why did I seek God but at the same time avoid Him? There may be several reasons. One was my view of ethics. I could not follow my own standard of ethics, which gave me a feeling of failure and at the same time I had an impression that God did not like me. However, one main reason for the fear was because I repeatedly fail to keep my promise to God.
Like many people, I made many promises to God such as I won’t do it again if you forgive me, or if you do this I will attend church, etc. God did not say anything about my promises or conditions. However, I did not keep my promises and after many recurrence of this kind, I accumulated a still greater fear of God. Maybe that is why many people who have a concept of God, but do not receive Jesus have the fear of God. People who have a notion of God also have a concept of ethics, but they cannot meet the standard. This failure combined with the inability to keep their promise to God becomes a basis for the fear of God.
After long wandering from the right path, finally I came to church. There, I experienced inexplicable peace. I was able to solve many misunderstandings about God. When I received Jesus, I realized the ethics was not a futile attempt to achieve something unattainable, but a guideline to help us in the process of transformation. This process can be achieve gradually with the help of the Holy Spirit. This understanding gave me a great relief and peace. More than anything, I am so happy that I can call on God without any fear or guilt.
There are some people who do not attend church but know God from some experience in their childhood. They may seek God but may not feel comfortable toward Him just as I did. The fear they have results from misunderstanding, and when they come to church and meet God the fear will dissipate. In addition, when you experience God, you will be relieved from unwarranted anxiety and unreasonable guilt traps.
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