by Pastor Tim Burt
Proverbs 3:7 (NLT) says, “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” When people read these words, they often get stuck on “fear the Lord.” They think, Is this telling me to be afraid of God? Then they think, Why should I have to be afraid of God if He loves me? Others see these words to mean reverence God and they would be right. Reverence would be the better word!
What does it mean to reverence God? It means to meditate in your heart and realize that He is creator of all things. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and why He is called Almighty God. He doesn’t get things wrong. He doesn’t make a mistake. There isn’t anything He doesn’t know. And He is all powerful! and He is holy!
We should show respect to all people—even unrespectable people just as Jesus did. It doesn’t mean they deserve it. But showing respect is what love does! We don’t reverence any person because no one is without sin and flaws. But we are to reverence God because He alone is worthy! And, almighty God whom we are to reverence says, “…turn away from evil.” If you don’t think it’s necessary to heed what He says, then you are impressed with your own wisdom instead of reverencing the Lord. And so, the world is filled with people who are impressed with their own wisdom.
Turning from evil can seem like a daunting and impossible assignment. We daily see people (or ourselves) make unhealthy or even evil choices that are contrary to God’s direction. It appears to be the overwhelming norm! To reverence God and turn from evil would make you look like a freak to most people. Evil is interwoven into the fabric of our daily life. And because of that, your own wisdom would say It’s impossible, or its not practical, or Who does that? No one! Your own wisdom would simply want to ignore the words like God never said them. And so, once someone begins to blow off reverencing the Lord and His instructions to shun evil, they have become “wise in their own eyes.” They are going to do life their way. And that is making yourself smarter than the one that created this world and who knows how He designed it to work. That is not wise or wisdom! Wisdom embraces, meditates on this life-changing directive from God, and prays for His help to do so. And in seeking His help, God gives you divine insight and strength to do so.
Sometimes we want to over-complicate or over-think simple truths. We want to argue or debate them in order to make allowances for fleshly desires and hold onto things that are worthless, time wasters, and that steal from and erode our life. Anyone that tells us that some way other than God’s way is okay, is a false god. If it’s you deciding that, then you’ve become your own god!
Why not just keep it simple? Your heart knows these words from God are true. Jesus broke the power of sin and it no longer has power over you. You have the power of His Holy Spirit in you and therefore, the power over sin! Why not just start saying no and shunning evil as it surfaces in your life. You can do it! Replace sinful choices with choices that are good—choices you know would please God. The blessings above are His promise and reward for doing so. These instructions from God are simple and straightforward. And because you love and reverence God, you want to do obey them. So do it! You can and it’s right to do! And you’ll be blessed in your doing!
Jonah 2:8 (TLB) “Those who worship false gods have turned their backs on all the mercies waiting for them from the Lord! ”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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