At a time of judgment for the year, people are remembering that fear of God’s judgment is important, even in a close and trusting knowledge of Him.
There’s another type of fear, which may even be more important and is more naturally stirred up: the fear that’s inherent in love and obedience. The closer we come near to God, the more He raises the stakes of the relationship… then, the smaller are the things that can hurt or even sever it. And it’s a beautiful place to pursue with Him and be in more forever because it means He is our everything and we are His only. The fear that if we turn our hearts into apathy, our deepest love will hide from us, is inextricable from the joy that we can run to Him at all times. The only way to run away from turning from Him is just to run to Him in love.
This is only part of the picture. But in trying to be mindful of the reality of dependence on God for every judgment of His will in our lives, if it is hard to remember or truly see what should be felt… maybe all that we need to do in order to stir up that fear in an appropriate and vital way is simply stir up love in the minutiae of the everyday walk with Him, and the constant humility and trust of coming back to knowing Him in love.