The Way to Approach God
33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.
4 Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
As believers, humility and a fear of the Lord are essential to living the Christian life.
Humility. Many beautiful quotes have been written about it. I’ve heard that, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” I’ve also read that, “Humility is the wisdom of accepting the truth that you might just be wrong.” Another fine quote reads, “Humility is a strange thing. The minute you think you have it, you’ve lost it.” Ha. I like that one. All of these quotes contain some truth, but what does scripture tell us? Humility begins with complete submission to a holy God and a healthy fear of God. “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master,” Matthew 10:34. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God,” 1 Peter 5:6. The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 definitely gives us an excellent example of humility.
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Humility is the attitude that accompanies our faith, and it begins with a healthy fear (reverence, respect, awe) of the Lord. Do I truly acknowledge that I am in no way sufficient on my own? In the good times, do I feel like I’ve done pretty well on my own, or do I give credit and appreciate God the way I should? Do I really humbly bow before Him and confess my sins? Am I willing to put aside my own desires to take up His cause and do His will? With what attitude do I approach God and the people around me? With what attitude do I approach the mundane or menial tasks of life. Is there anything that is beneath me? Am I easily offended (That’s a big one in today’s world.)? I’m afraid my own responses to these questions are all too often not God honoring.
Humility and fear of the Lord aren’t just recommended attributes; they are the only way to approach God. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Scripture also tells us that these qualities in our lives are not without great results. As in the focus scriptures and in the parable above, humility and a fear of the Lord bring about wisdom and riches and honor and life. Does this necessarily mean that we will be blessed with an abundance of money and honor here in this life?Not necessarily, but we are the recipients of eternal life, and untold riches are awaiting there. Additionally, a life that honors the Lord is more than a reward in itself.
Questions To Ponder
What does “The fear of The Lord” produce? (15:33)
What does “humility” produce? (15:33)
What are the consequence of “humility” and “the fear of The Lord” in our life? (22:4)
In what ways can you show respect and honor to the Lord?
Scripture Memory | February | Proverbs 18:2
“Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.”