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Tension of Loving and Fearing God

Jerry Bridges, in his book The Joy of Fearing God, describes the healthy tension between loving and fearing God:

In the physical realm there are two opposing forces called "centrifugal" and "centripetal." Centrifugal force tends to pull away from a center of rotation, while centripetal force pulls toward the center.
A stone whirled about on the end of a string exerts centrifugal force on the string, while the string exerts centripetal force on the stone. Take away one and the other immediately disappears.
These two opposing forces can help us understand something of the fear of God. The centrifugal force represents the attributes of God such as his holiness and sovereignty that cause us to bow in awe and self-abasement before him. They hold us reverently distant from the one who, by the simple power of his word, created the universe out of nothing. The centripetal force represents the love of God. It surrounds us with grace and mercy and draws us with cords of love into the Father's warm embrace. To exercise a proper fear of God we must understand and respond to both these forces.

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