I believe Christians also fear getting to know God well because they think it will require an unwelcome change in their hearts and lives. They are afraid it will demand a lifestyle change - a complete overhaul of the way they have always lived and of the way they enjoy living. It is uncomfortable and unsettling to consider the difference a vibrant relationship with God would make.
People who are friends (that is, who enjoy a relationship) have similarities - shared characteristics and interests. Friends do not need to be identical, but if their friendship is to flourish, they must agree on basics. If Person A is on a higher or nobler level, the only hope for lasting friendship is if Person B admires and aspires to that higher level. At the very least, Person B would have to make concessions, conforming to Person A's ideals while they are together.
This sharing of ideals and values must also be part of a close relationship with God. In fact, God Himself expects and requires it. "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy'" (I Peter 1:14-16). God wants His children to be like Him. A close relationship with Him requires that, and a quest for such a relationship reveals it.
Christians are afraid that as they seek to know God better, they will come across commands or instructions that will place unwelcome demands on them. In fact, the Bible will reveal general instructions like the following. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2). "'Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you'" (II Corinthians 6:17). "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:27).
In the pursuit of God, Christians will also be confronted with specific commands and instructions like these taken from Ephesians. "Showing tolerance for one another in love" (4:2). "Laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor" (4:25). "Do not let the sun go down upon your anger" (4:26). "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth" (4:29). "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you" (4:31). "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other" (4:32). "But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you" (5:3). "And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting" (5:4). "And do not get drunk with wine" (5:18). "Always giving thanks for all things" (5:20). "Wives, be subject to your own husbands" (5:22). "Husbands, love your wives" (5:25).
If Christians have a mindset that they cannot do those things or a predetermination that they will not do certain things, they will understandably be reluctant to seek a close relationship with the God who demands them. What makes this fear even more powerful is that Christians are already aware of many of God's requirements; they are afraid of the many more instructions they will find of which they are not yet aware. They are afraid that being truly devoted to God will make their lives miserable.
Another aspect of fear is that of becoming extreme. In the course of their lives, most people have come across some pretty weird Christians. I'm thinking of people who are out of balance spiritually or who have a vital deficiency in their understanding, and who truly are extreme. There is perhaps a fear of becoming like that (or even that those people represent what a devoted Christian should become).
Even ignoring these unbalanced Christians, there is a certain amount of uncertainty about dedicated Christians. In my earlier years, I remember observing spiritually-minded Christians. As I heard them talk about God, discuss sermons or books, and pray spontaneously, I rolled my eyes (at least mentally) and asked myself, "Are they for real?" I thought those people were talking a certain way in order to impress others or appear spiritual. Maybe it wasn't so weird for older Christians, but it sure seemed fake to me when it came from college students. I realize now that my skepticism reflected my own spiritual shallowness. At the time, however, I could relate to the fear in becoming that kind of person. It seemed extreme to me, and surely I would appear radical or freakish to others.
Getting to know God well will demand change. A close relationship with God requires all-out commitment to live for Him on a daily basis. Being a Christian is not merely a brief conversation that leads to understanding salvation and praying a prayer. Neither is being a Christian defined by being in church for an hour or two each week (or at least most weeks). Being a Christian involves getting to know God and having a constant relationship with Him. Such a pursuit will regularly reveal new truth, consistently reinforce known truth, and repeatedly challenge complacency.
Such change, however, does not make Christians' lives miserable. Even in human relationships, someone "in love" will find himself doing and enjoying things he never thought possible, because those activities are part of interacting with the one he loves. This is even more so with God, because God is able to work supernaturally in hearts to make Christians enjoy new things as they progress in their relationship with Him. The anticipated changes can bring nervousness or fear, but a vibrant relationship with God will chase those fears away. Devoted believers will find that they really would not want it to be any other way. The changes that God brings open the path to unprecedented peace and blessing.
"You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:11 (NASB)