Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
As the new church grew 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, the Lord clearly moved both to bring people into the church family and to purify the same church as a people set apart for Him. The greatness of the movement by the Spirit to bring people to faith was equaled by the greatness of His movement to purify the church body. No doubt in any church of any period of the church age to know that God would strike people down because they exaggerated about what they gave to the work of the church would send great fear through the congregation. It is all too common a practice.
The sudden realization that they could not control God was a sobering thought to the early believers. All genuine movements of God have this trait, that He shows Himself to be God, that is, He is above all and can and will do what He deems right. Without this understanding a Christian fellowship is unable to grasp what it is that they truly are: the people of the Almighty and Holy God! As long as in our minds it is only the natural laws of the universe that govern our world, that there are no moments of the supernatural displays of God, as long as we live only as the natural man lives, we will not consider the greatness that is associated with being the people of God.
The holy fear of God is a wonderful thing, not a terrifying thing. Many the child of a famous man has told the story of when as they grew up they began to realize who their father truly was. Their eyes were opened to his greatness, his power, his wealth, or his talent, but this did not need to distance them from his heart. As children of God we also need to grow into the maturity of realizing who our heavenly Father truly is and be in awe of His greatness, His power, and His love. The fear of God means that we are afraid not to believe Him when He says that He loves us.
Lord, open our eyes that we may see You more clearly, that we may shudder at the thought of how great and mighty You are, that we may realize that You, the Almighty, hold us in your hands of love, and that You, the Holy One, also call us to live in purity of thought and action before You. Be to us a consuming fire, removing all that is impure in our lives. Amen.