Are you suffering from information overload? Do you ever ask yourself, “If there were just ONE thing I could do to make life work and make sense of the world around me, man that sure would make life a lot simpler.”
The Bible has the answer to that question. In the immortal words of King Solomon, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.” (Prov. 4:7, KJV). Wisdom is the main thing in life. What is wisdom? WISDOM is the ability to make the right decisions.
Now, wisdom is such a huge concept and overarching principle. So where would I begin with really trying to understand wisdom? Once again, the Bible shows us the way. Proverbs 9:10 reveals the secret to acquiring wisdom, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (NIV)
The FEAR OF THE LORD is the principal part of wisdom. So the secret to becoming wise is to fear the Lord. Fearing God = wise living.
What is the fear of the Lord? It has two basic components. First, the fear of the Lord is a hatred of wickedness, as seen in Proverbs 8:13: “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” (NIV) Second, the fear of the Lord is a love for righteousness. Psalm 112:1 says, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.” (NIV)
Therefore, FEARING GOD means we LOVE what He loves (RIGHTEOUSNESS) and we HATE what He hates (WICKEDNESS).
What is the fruit of loving righteousness and hating wickedness? It will increase God's ANOINTING and JOY in your life. Psalm 45:7 says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (NIV)
When we fear God, we are afraid to do anything that displeases Him. Solomon said in Proverbs 14:16, “A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.” (NIV)
Do you really SHUN EVIL? Or do you tolerate evil? Whatever you tolerate will eventually dominate you. Or do you, worse yet, enjoy things the Bible calls evil? Ask yourself these questions see how much you actually shun evil? Be honest as you take this evil-shunning self-exam.
- Do you walk away when people tell dirty jokes?
- Do you refuse to watch TV shows & movies that take Jesus' name in vain and promote a promiscuous lifestyle?
- Do you reject the need to boast and praise yourself and put others down?
- Do you listen to or engage in gossip and hurtful rumors?
- Do you refuse to look at any person or image that stirs up lust in your mind?
- Do you reject lying in all its forms? Besides flat-out lies, there are many forms of deception that distor the truth.
- In the past month have you improved the truth? Exaggerated the truth? Minimized the truth? Rearranged the chronology of the truth? Omit parts of the truth?
- Do you laugh at the things that make God cry?
We have heard for years that we are supposed to "love the sinner, hate the sin." But it seems like so many Christians no longer hate sin. Not only do they not hate evil, they tolerate it and even revel in it. This breaks God’s heart and destroys our destiny.
In order to be become the person God created you to be, you need wisdom. In order to acquire and sustain wisdom, you need to fear the Lord. Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Here is my final conclusion: fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the entire duty of man.” (LB)
So where do you begin? Fearing God starts with a choice. Proverbs 1:29 says, “Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord...”
Choose to fear the Lord today. Shun evil and chase after righteousness like your life depends on it—because it actually does!
- Brian Alarid is the Lead Pastor of Passion Church and President of Passion Leadership College. He has a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, and a Bachelor's degree in Theology. Brian has been married to Mercy for 16years and they reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico with their 3 children: Chloe, Colin, and Lauren.