“WISDOM OF LIVING”(1): FEAR GOD By Pastor YAU
Proverbs 1:7 September 12, 2004
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INTRODUCTION: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but the fools despise wisdom and discipline.” These are the words of King Solomon who was believed to be the most wise man in human history. We all know the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is the result of study and experience and wisdom is the in-born capacity given by God. People make use of wisdom to acquire knowledge through study and experience. Solomon ascribed to the idea that fearing God is the foundation of wisdom, the capacity to learn, to knowing and to understand.
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE DON’T WANT GOD?
It is impossible to list all the reasons why so many people don’t want God in their lives. The following are just a few which are common in many people:
1) They don’t want authority: People from their very young age don’t want authority in their lives. They want to live their lives THEIR way. Authority symbolizes restriction and loss of freedom. Ever since Adam and Eve rejected the authority of God restricting them from eating that particular tree, men try so hard to live their lives on their own will.
2) They don’t want to change their life style. Many people realize that their life style doesn’t measure up to that of God and they don’t want to change. Even many of these life styles are harmful, selfish and destructive, men rather keep it that way than to have God who demands changes.
3) They don’t want to admit they have needs. Admitting to have needs exposes their human nature: finite and fragile. Many people today want to believe they can handle everything and in control. They believe only those who can’t handle their lives need God.
WHAT IS FEAR GOD?
The word fear may render better as “respect” or “revere”. God doesn’t want people to be afraid of God. He wants people to respect Him, honor Him and pay reverence to Him. To fear God means:
1) To acknowledge God as being wiser, more powerful and dynamic, can do things we can’t and see further than we see. This is a mental acceptance of a BEING who exists and is in control.
2) Respect God and seek His advice in the path of life. George Washington’s declaration of his dependency on God as he said, “It is impossible to govern rightly without believing in God,” gives us a clear understanding what fearing God is about. We NEED Him in our lives, in government and in everything we do.
3) To trust, follow and obey His leadership, teaching and direction in our lives. Even sometimes, His leadership of direction may not be OUR likes, if we respect Him, trust Him, we will follow and obey. It is ironic that we obey and follow directions of human doctors on the needs of our bodies, but we are reluctant to follow and obey God on the needs of our lives and souls.
WHY IS FEARING GOD THE “BEGINNING” OF WISDOM?
1) The word “beginning” means “the starting point”, as the foundation of a building. When a person fears God, he has the right foundation to learn, to know and to understand because he has a humble attitude of himself and respect of God. He acknowledges his ignorance, inadequacy and limitation. From there all wisdom and knowledge are available to him.
2) People who fear God acknowledge God as the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge. From creation to the end of the world, from the physical world to the thoughts of men, nothing ever escape the eyes of God. Those who fear God has the capacity of knowing not just the physical world, but also the spiritual world. They know more than just things our eyes can see but also things human eyes cannot see. Men of the world live only this life, those who fear God live their lives from this world into eternity.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO:
1) Be humble before God, acknowledging our ignorance and needs. Start it right with God and the rest of your journey will be secured.
2) Seek His words and direction in all we do, Proverbs 3:5-6, and He will direct your path. Trust Him and obey His commands.
CONCLUSION: So many people, books, ideas on the internet, etc. will tell you what to do and how to live your life and be happy. But none of them may come close to what God can do to your live. If you really need a fresh start, start with the best, GOD.