Decisions, decisions, decisions…life is full of them. When you add to the mix being on the field, where we face our own set of difficulties, making the right choices can sometimes be daunting. Solomon was a man who knew a lot about wisdom. In Proverbs, he gives us a blueprint for how to make smart decisions, and it all starts with the fear of the Lord.
What exactly is the “fear of the Lord?” I used to be in the Army. When a superior tells you to do something, you don’t argue with them, and you certainly don’t ignore their command. Instead, you say, “Yes, Sir” or “Yes, Ma’am,” and you go about doing what they ordered. This is how I view the fear of the Lord. It’s not about being afraid. It has to do with recognizing God’s authority and obeying his will. It’s acknowledging that the Lord outranks us and it’s being ready to say, “Yes, Sir,” to his directives.
Only when we have this attitude do we have the necessary condition for wisdom. I wish it were a one-time deal with a “lifetime warranty,” but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Every decision we face must be first met with a “Yes, Sir” attitude as we ask the Lord for guidance. Just because I made a wise choice last week doesn’t mean I’ll do the same today.
Solomon’s life provides a warning for us. He began with such wisdom that his reputation reached beyond the borders of Israel. But somewhere along the way, he lost the fear of the Lord, and his decision-making suffered. To put it bluntly, he made many stupid choices, which negatively impacted both him and the nation of Israel.
Amazingly, we can simultaneously have both the fear of the Lord and friendship with God. The Lord doesn’t just relegate us to being a soldier who’s only good for taking orders, but he’s given us the Holy Spirit and has called us his friends. God delights to pass on his wisdom to us, if only we’ll say, “Yes, Sir.”
What kind of things help us grow in our “fear of the Lord?”