The Antidote to Me, Myself, and I

“The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” – Proverbs 15:33

The fear of the Lord. This phrase used to confuse and frighten me, but now it feels more like a grounding reassurance, a safety and security, a binding to God in love. How does one avoid the pitfalls of pride? How can we avoid a posture of arrogance? How can we walk in humility?

By the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, says Solomon, and only a fool will despise it (Proverbs 1:7). It is a posture of humility, recognizing that the eternal and all-powerful Creator God, in all His mercy and sovereignty, made us, chose us, before the beginning of the world – that He sees all, knows all, and yet still loves us (Eph 1:4). It’s hard to strike a posture of arrogance in light of God’s faithful love to us, despite all our shortcomings. The longer I walk with Him, the more grateful I am for His still being here – His still drawing near.

The fear of the Lord is a posture of awe, sitting at the feet of His incomprehensible majesty, allowing the reality of His beauty, grandeur, power, and love to break through the low hanging clouds of hustle brooding over our days. It’s hard to remain self-important when His presence puts our lives in their proper perspective (Psalm 8:4).

The fear of the Lord is a posture of reliance, sitting humbly under His Word, knowing that because He is God, He alone is able to define our world and our lives in Truth. It is a willing submission and yielding to His Word, a hunger for His Word, a seeking and meditating and prioritizing of the Word of the living God. There is hardly a greater contrast from “you do you/I’ll do me” and “Lord, not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

The fear of the Lord is a posture of gratitude, recognizing what an honor it is to be able to call on the living God, by Name – by His own Name! – with assurance that He bends near to hear out of His compassionate love for us (Psalm 116:2). Just the very thought of being able to commune with our Creator, by going to His throne room boldly, at any time, to make petition or to praise or to cry out or cast our cares upon Him – what treasure! What a gift! We are privileged to conform our lives to Him and His Word in response.

Fearing the Lord is a posture of humility that allows us to behold Him in all His beauty, truth, love, and awe, and orient our lives accordingly. It is the very beginning of wisdom and knowledge, which cannot be found without it. It is the thing that prompts us to approach each other with a posture of deference. It is the thing that encourages us to seek out wisdom from those who have gone before us, knowing we will always have something to learn. There can be no humility without the fear of the Lord, and it is impossible to remain proud with it. It is the very opposite of ‘me, myself, and I’ and for that, we can all be grateful.

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