The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. –Proverbs 9:10
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! – Psalm 33:8
One of my most treasured Christmas decorations is the nativity scene my parents had when they were first married. The figures are exquisitely painted, especially the wise men. I spent many hours gazing at them as a child. The thought of wise men seeking Jesus from afar captured my heart. Their search of the child King carries a lot of weight in the gospels’ birth narratives. During the Christmas season, I start the wise men one side of the fireplace mantle and they make their trek across it until they arrive at the stable at the infant Jesus’ side on December 25. It is a journey I want my heart to remember and do all the time.
Wisdom literature has a lot to say about the heart’s journey. The journey of wisdom begins with the reverence and awe of God (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of the LORD is not a cringing guilty dread before the Lord saying, “Oh no, God has it in for me now.” The fear of the Lord is reverential awe and admiration, which motivates glad obedience. It’s an affectionate reverence that results in humbly bowing to the Father’s will (Genesis 22:12). It’s a desire not to sin against Him, because His wrath is so awful and His love is so awesome. It’s openness to him, eagerness to please him, and humility to be instructed by him (Proverbs 15:33). The fear of the LORD ultimately expresses sincere submission to the Lord’s will and thus characterizes a true worshiper. As Pastor Ryan profoundly said, “if we don’t bow in worship, we’ll never walk in wisdom.”
A.W. Tozer writes, “I believe that the reverential fear of God mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and admiration and devotion is the most enjoyable state and the most satisfying emotion the human soul can know. In fact, fearing the Lord means counting on our fellowship with God to make us happier in the future than anything else could…” If we want to walk in wisdom and live in the fullness God offers, we need to give serious thought to cultivating this wisdom journey in our heart and lives. Our attitude, feeling, goals and decisions reveal our love relationship to God. Just as obedience to the Lord is an indication of our love for God, it’s also a proof of our fear of him. (Romans 3:18). Wise men still seek him. Use this song, The Fear of the Lord, by Tommy Walker to intentionally position your heart today to bow before your Creator. Pray God would ready your heart to actively apply his wisdom throughout this series.
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
– Psalm 128:1
By Donna Burns