Fear of the Lord
Proverbs 1:7 says, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," but what exactly is it talking about when it says the "Fear of the Lord?"
We're all scared of things; we all fear things. One of my biggest fears is heights. I'm terrified of heights. But I don't fear God the same way that I fear heights. I'm sure we've all seen at least glimpses of a horror movie. There's definitely fear involved in that. That's why people watch it; it gets their adrenaline pumping. But I don't fear God in the same way that I fear a horror movie. Some people would argue that fear of the Lord is respect - fear and respect that you would have for a father. And that's partly true, I mean, God is our heavenly Father, and he does discipline us so that we can grow closer to him, but I don't think "respect" entirely grasps what this verse is talking about when it says, "Fear of the Lord."
Now, I want you guys to pause for a second, for a minute, however long it takes, and I want you to think about something. I want you to think about eternity. Because I want to let you guys know something - you are going to live forever. Our souls are going to live forever. And if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and have a relationship with him, then you're going to spend that eternity with God in heaven. I want you to sit and think about that eternity. Think about spending eternity with God, spending eternity worshiping God. I want you to try to grasp the fact that there will be no end to you. There will be no end to you worshiping God. I want you to think about that and try to grasp that, and when you've taken time to ponder that, continue reading.
I used to think about eternity. I would sit in my bed at night when I couldn't sleep, and I would ponder eternity and the fact that I would spend forever and ever and ever, without an end, with God, and it would terrify me! I had a relationship with God. I wasn't fearing that I would spend eternity away from him or eternity in hell. No, I knew that I would spend eternity with Jesus Christ in heaven, worshiping him. That's not what scared me. What scared me was the fact that I could not grasp it. It would bring me to tears sometimes, just because I couldn't grasp this fact about God - that he was and is and forever will be.
I want to share with you guys a revelation that God gave to me recently. I was thinking about those times when I thought about eternity and how it would bring me to tears, and I shared it with a group of friends at a bible study. God revealed this to me. He said, "Matt, in those times when you sit and you think and you come to the realization that you cannot grasp this part of me, that is fear of the Lord. When you realize that I am God, that I am ungraspable, that I am not understandable, that I am higher than your ways, and that my thoughts are higher than your thoughts, when you realize that I am God, and it humbles you and brings you to tears, that is fear of the Lord. That's where wisdom begins. That's what that verse is talking about, Matt. When you realize that I am God, when you come to the realization of who I am, that is when you can begin to understand wisdom."
Guys, I urge you to spend time in prayer. Spend time thinking about that, because God is so much greater than anything in all of creation, and he was and is and is to come. He is the great I Am. Fearing him is not about being scared of him. A loving God wouldn't want us to be scared of him all the time; then we wouldn't want to approach him. And it's not just about respect, because we can give respect to anyone who respects us. And it's not just about being in awe and reverence of him. It's a combination of all those things. We fear him because he is God and he could wipe us out at any minute. We respect him because he is God and that's what he deserves. We are in awe and reverence of him because He. Is. God.
Say this prayer with me. "Lord, I love you. And I ask that you would show me more about who you are. Give me more understanding about who you are and your love for me so that I can gain wisdom in this world. Give me wisdom, God. In James you say that anyone that asks for wisdom, it will be given to them. Lord, I ask with a willing heart that you would give me wisdom today so that I can proclaim your name in the best way possible. I love you and I praise you, because you are worthy of all my praise. Teach me what fear of you means. It's in your name that I pray. Amen."