Marks of Wisdom: Fearing God - Encouragement Café - April 13, 2018

Marks of Wisdom: Fearing God
By Luann Prater

Friday, April 13, 2018

“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?” Hebrews 12:25 NIV

We had the 3-strike rule with our kids when they chose to misbehave. One was a warning; two was an extra chore; three was the dreaded ‘death march’, as my son called it.  They would fetch the wooden spatula, aka, paddle from the kitchen drawer and meet me in the family room where they received three swats.

Now before you call Social Services, know that they rarely chose to get to strike three.  They had learned to believe my promises as well as my threats.

Choices we make each day have consequences that develop our character.

Proverbs 2 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that it becomes our most valuable possession. 

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5 NIV

There is a link between God’s active participation in our lives and the responsibility we have for our choices. There are three ‘ifs’ followed by ‘then’:

If you accept My word

If you cry out for discernment

If you search as for a hidden treasure

THEN - you will understand the fear of the Lord.

When we accept God’s Word, it’s a package deal. We can’t just decide that God is only into mercy, love and grace. Yes, He longs to shower us in grace, but honestly, Hollywood chooses Old Testament stories because it’s loaded with battles and destruction.

God’s Word spells out His promises along with His threats to teach us about the powerful Jehovah we trust and serve.

When we discover that He created the world in great detail, yet was also powerful enough to destroy it, we begin to understand He can handle anything, even the trouble we might be facing right now.

God doesn’t bust down the door and demand His way in our lives. He provides the map to guide us, then we choose to cry out and ask for directions. He loves to hear our voice.

It’s an ongoing process.  We won’t arrive one day at church and receive a gold star for having all the wisdom we will ever need.  It is a daily search. 

The search for wisdom begins with the right attitude of fear.  Ecclesiastes 8:12 says life goes better with God-fearing men (and women) who are reverent before God.  It’s a solemn respect for an all powerful God.

How do we wrap our brain around that on a daily basis?

Bury His Word inside our mind and heart. Memorize it. The fear of the Lord is hidden in the pages.  But we must have the drive of an explorer.  Dig in expecting to find.

Read a passage of scripture. Ask 3 questions:

What does it say? Literally,

What is the lesson? What is God trying to teach?

What does He want ME to learn? What in my life does God need to shift?

Take a hike.  No really, let’s begin checking out everything God created.  Stand in amazement.

Discover God’s promises and His warnings.  Develop reverent fear.

Lord, We know You are a loving Father, yet if we believe Your Promises we also must know that You are the Ultimate Judge who will make everything right when You come to take Your children home.  Teach us what reverent fear looks like. We long to understand Your Word so that our choices will be in line with Your will.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2018 by Luann Prater.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 13 April 2018.