“How To Have Approval And Success In The Eyes Of God” Fear the LORD
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Proverbs 3.7-8
Proverbs chapter 3. We’ve taken as our title for this chapter in Proverbs, “How to have approval and success in the eyes of God.”
Proverbs chapter 3:4 is the theme verse of the chapter because it outlines the rest of the chapter. And young people, if you follow instructions from your godly dad then…
Proverbs 3:4 So you will find favor [that’s approval] and good repute [that’s success] in the sight of God and man.
And so here in Proverbs 3 is the instruction from a godly dad to his son on how to have approval and success in the sight of God and man. So, naturally we’ve dealt with the family along the way in our series in Proverbs 3. We are in this section of this chapter from verses 5 to 12 that deals with how to have success and approval in the sight of God. And, as we’ve noted in the past couple of weeks, how to have approval and success in the sight of man occurs at the end of this chapter.
Last week we discussed verses five and six. Finding success and approval in the sight of God demands that we trust the Lord. We have to trust in the Lord entirely, that is, with all of our hearts.
We have to trust in the Lord exclusively, that is, v. 5, do not lean on your own understanding, only trust the Lord. From verse six, for lack of a better term, we said that we must trust the Lord extensively, that is in all your ways acknowledge him, or know him is the way to understand that word.
And we saw last week that the benefit trust the Lord in this way was that every one of our paths would be made straight. All of our plans and desires, if we trust the Lord like is described here, we will see that, in the end, we will reach our divinely-intended destination unobstructed; He’ll make our paths straight. Though the trials of life seem overwhelming and there is sin that so easily besets us, if we by God’s grace, trust in him as is described here, then in the end we will know that God has directed our paths and they were made straight: we reached our divinely intended destination unobstructed.
From God’s vantage point, finding true success and approval demands that we trust Him, not ourselves. We lean on him, not on our own understanding.
And the two verses under consideration this morning pick up on that thought. Proverbs 3:7-8 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.
Here again we have this exhortation not to trust ourselves; not to have regard for or respect for our own wisdom.
A godly individual knows right well the need for this repetition; we had it at the end of verse 5 “don’t lean on your own understanding.” The temptation to lean on our own understanding and the temptation to be wise in our own eyes, v. 7, is over whelming to say the least. One who is not conscious of this battle has lost the battle.
And so the repetition of this command, “do not trust in our own thought processes” as well as “don’t trust in the worldly wisdom you have gained from personal experience” … this repetition is certainly appropriate. “Don’t lean on your understanding and now, v. 7 don’t consider wisdom as coming from within you!” As if, when you die, wisdom dies with you!
As you can see, we have 3 commands in verse seven. The first command, “do not be wise in your own eyes.” And the second command is in the second line, “fear the Lord.” And then the last part of that second line in verse seven, “turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will all culminate in the benefit of verse eight. If you do verse seven, you will have the benefit of verse eight of healing and refreshment. We will discuss with that means a little bit later.
So then, I would like to preach to you on simply, “Fearing the LORD, not ourselves for spiritual success.”
Don’t be wise in your own eyes
What it means
So let’s take the first one now, do not be wise in your own eyes. What does that mean? It means that in your own estimation of yourself, that … in yourself, in your evaluation of yourself you are not wise.
“In your own eyes” in other words, it means in your self-evaluation. If you’re going to evaluate yourself and really consider yourself, you must not consider yourself to be wise. Why would you consider yourself as such if you really knew who you are? And who are you? This, again, is what we’re talking about as we’ve discussed on a number of occasions in the past and that is that we really are in ourselves is depraved. Just like Paul says that in me that is in my flesh dwells no good thing.
Do you understand that you have been wrong before? Do you understand and do you intimately know and believe that you have been, even in your brightest moments, incorrect? Do you know that you will be wrong again? Does that thought disappoint you?
In other words, you’re not putting a lot of stock into what you yourself think. You don’t put your foot down on the solid footing of your own thoughts. Your thoughts are not solid footing!
I have often counseled people, “You can’t trust every English sentence that appears on the battlefield of your mind! Sentences that come into your heart ought to have been well-known by now to be traitors. ” “Don’t claim as your own, do not possess and own every thought that blips onto the radar of your own mind; don’t believe every word in your heart, especially if it originates with you!” If those are God’s thoughts inside of your heart, you trust those.
And the only way that you would know if those are God’s thoughts occurring inside of your heart is if those thoughts are reflected perfectly in the Bible.
It’s when we begin to stray from the explicit statements of Scripture that we err. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Every thought in your heart is not necessarily the truth, to say the least. I doubt every word that claims to be truth except what’s written in the Bible. The thoughts of your heart are deceitful. Do not trust them and do not act as if every thought in your heart is something to be believed and acted upon. When urges and powerful considerations occur within your mind, you wait and let God’s Word sift out what is good and bad. Run everything through the purifier of God’s explicit statements. Discard your wisdom and understanding for the sake of clinging to the everlasting wisdom that is found in the Word of God.
Of course this demands that you know the Word of God! If you’re not reading the Bible and attempting to come to grips with what it says then you will more and more have to trust what’s found in your own little simple heart. You need to have massive doses of God’s thoughts running through your head. There is plenty of space up there for something else to have its way. Your mind is like a vacuum. When it’s empty, it will suck in thoughts.
So, you can never truly empty your mind; if you try, it will always fill up again. You must choose to fill it up with only the right thoughts. So, if you not filling it with the Bible, it is being filled, but with your own wisdom. And then you’re acting on it whether you realize it or not. You must not be filled with the wisdom of your own thinking.
It is a grievous moral failure to go down this path in your heart. When you are failure to be possessed by the thoughts of Scripture, by default you rely on your own wisdom. You’ll then begin to think highly of the thoughts that originate from within you and you fail to test everything according to the infinite wisdom of God’s Word: this is the path of sin. This is the path of your own way and the Bible says that it leads to destruction. Though it start so subtly, it’s the way you are headed once you fail to practically rely on God’s Word on a day to day basis.
In Isaiah 5, Isaiah pronounces a series of woes, or pronouncements of death upon certain individuals. There is disaster coming for certain individuals.
Isaiah 5:23 [Woe to those who] justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!
… backing up a verse…
Isaiah 5:22 Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink,
… and the source of this line of thinking…where do these actions all start?…It starts here, backing up another verse…Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!
Not depending on God’s Wisdom leads people to depend on their own wisdom. Isaiah 5 clearly teaches this is the path of sin. But, how did our society get to the place where drunkards are esteemed and sin is so readily accepted?
We are constantly bombarded with wise-in-our-own eyes thinking through various medium. Christians fail as well to reject the thinking and philosophy and ways of living that run contrary to God’s word. We have failed to reject teachings that instruct us to be wise in our own eyes. Apart from those of us who had the privilege of growing up with at least some Christian background, you have been taught from day 1 to think highly of your own thoughts and understanding. You have been taught to live in light of trusting your own thoughts and ways. That is in you; in your flesh, in your sin nature and God’s working to root it out.
One way we are constantly filled with it is through the modern education system. It’s built on this premise. I grew up in it; the true source of wisdom was not found there. ZERO true biblical wisdom was found there. But they would say we were getting wisdom. So what is wisdom in the world’s estimation? It’s gaining enough knowledge about this world, learning a career and earning enough money and then along the way and in the end, you should contribute to society in some way beneficial way. This is the major focus of modern schooling and it’s tragic. [DISCLAIMER: I’m about to launch into a tirade against the public school system. If you are or have kids in the public schools, take this as a warning, not as an offense! Don’t despair! God is gracious to you and your family. You can be godly exist in the public schools; anything is possible with God. But it would be hard for me to ever recommend putting our children in the public school system. So, a warning, not offense. Ok?]
Through every aspect of its curriculum, the public schools, as we all know, are teaching kids to be wise in their own estimation. “Forsake fearing the Lord… they say… “Forsake that, get fearing God out of our schools. That does not belong here…it does not get you ahead in this world. You can’t fear God in the schools; ‘fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ and we all know that we don’t want wisdom from God in our schools!” In other words, there is no foundation of the only wisdom that matters in public schools.
And even lost people today are coming to grips with the harmful nature of the public school system. It’s interesting to hear the comments of those most familiar from within a sphere of life in order to get a perspective of something. For example, John Taylor Gatto spent 26 years teaching in the New York public school system.
He won two awards for his teaching in the public schools, both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards. The first two chapters of his book I’m going to mention are his 2 acceptance speeches for those awards. The content of these acceptance speeches are not a praise of the school system, but a scoffing treatment of what’s really going on behind the scenes in the public schools. So here is a 26-year veteran in the public schools and an award-winning teacher… What does he have to say about what’s going on our society’s public schools?
His book is entitled Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. He also wrote another book. I thought you might like the title: Weapons of Mass Instruction
Anyway, Dumbing Us Down opens with his first acceptance speech and its entitled “the seven lesson schoolteacher.” He outlines seven harmful lessons that, because of the system, he’s practically required to give as a public school teacher.
He describes the schooling in the public school system as a quote “twelve-year jail sentence where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned.”
This is a lost person’s evaluation of what’s really going on in the school system, “bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned.” Kids are taught to conform to the status quo of the world and to obey the commandments and the beliefs of the religion of the state about what success and approval really looks like. Endless homework and piddly little projects keep kids away from parents, family, and the church from whom they could potentially learn the fear of the Lord.
Kids are fed massive amounts of the world’s value and are never taught to question the why behind what they are learning. Questing basic beliefs makes one appear foolish. Everything that doesn’t line with the wise-in-our-own-eyes en masse that’s in the world is ridiculed.
I grew up in this! I’m sure I’ve got baggage from these days of 12 years constant instruction that still has to be rooted out. Think of what it would take to root this out, from just a time standpoint.
30+ hours of wise-in-your eyes schooling in the day during the week and on top 10+ hours of pursue-the-filth-of-your-flesh in the world’s entertainment at night isn’t remedied by a single hour of Bible preaching on Sunday and even 15 minutes of private Bible reading during the day. Now, it can be done, I suppose. If children have a great support system at home and parents have a strong battle plan to help kids think through the day in a biblical way in order to root out the wrong philosophies of life, great! It could be the child’s mission field, which is what he or she would need to view it as. But the child would need to have a fear of the Lord to survive the spiritual nuclear war that’s going on in their minds.
And the whole system seems to be designed to dumb down our young people and all of society’s kids are getting sucked into it.
And if you’re like most kids, you are not going to church. And if you are going to church hoping to hear about God’s worldview on things, it’s unlikely that kids today are going to a Bible-teaching church.
In fact, many religious people in pulpits are wise in their own eyes as well. Most church kids today jump from the frying pan into the fire on Sundays.
For example, Rob Bell in his book called Velvet Elvis. Rob Bell was the founding pastor of one of America’s fastest growing churches, Mars Hill Church in Michigan. Time Magazine named Rob Bell one of the most influential people in the world in 2011. He’s part of the emergent church conversation, and it’s gaining wide acceptance even within denominations represented in our community. And you know what, they are against the church marketing movement of folks like Rick Warren and others. That’s great, right?
What do you think of a quotation like this? Rob Bell says…“The Christian faith is mysterious to the core. It is about things and beings that ultimately can’t be put into words. Language fails. And if we do definitively put God into words, we have at that very moment made God something God is not.” Sounds spiritual, right? What kind of an effect does a statement like that have? Does the Bible teach this? “But sir,” I would say, “God gave us His words; it’s the Bible! Can I not trust the Bible’s testimony about God?” He also says elsewhere in a series of Christian videos to introduce people to Christianity. These videos are a major production and a hallmark of his ministry. When describing the cross, he basically leaves it at this … quote… “the cross is God saying, ‘I don’t hold your past against you.” And he leaves the cross at that. “Ok…, but isn’t there a little more thatn lost folks need to know?”
Here’s another one from another emergent church leader, speaking of Jesus’ words in John 14:6… John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Quote….“But what of ‘No one comes to the Father except through me?’ Clearly, taken in context, these words are not intended as an insult to followers of Mohammed, the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Enlightenment rationalism, or anybody or anything else. Rather, the ‘no one’ here refers to Jesus’ own disciples, who seem to want to trust some information – a plan, a diagram, a map, instructions, technique – so they can get to God or the kingdom of God without or apart from Jesus, since he has just told them he is leaving them for a while at least.” No one of you who are already my disciples can come to me…that’s pretty sneaky.
-This Brian McLaren, a leading and foundational voice to this emergent church conversation.
This emergent church conversation seems to advocate … “let’s reinvent the wheel, squirm around tough issues and never land on any solid theological footing. Let’s talk about Jesus but not hold to any dogmatic truth.” This kind of wise-in-your-own-eyes teaching is ever encroaching in on churches. This is the emergent church. It was something I just read about in seminary and never thought I would have to address it, but it’s infiltrating churches.
They are rethinking church, rethinking what the Bible says, and saying that theology must always be in flux and progressing and changing, even our understanding of the very nature of God Himself should be moving. We must rethink, we must make the Bible relevant and make disciples by calling them to be followers of Jesus within their own Buddhist worldview. Folks, this is wise in your own eyes.
But wise-in-our-eyes thinking is not just in the schools and in churches, it’s infiltrating into our lives as well. I’ve been reflective myself on this point lately. Where am I being wise in my own estimation and where am I failing to elevate the wisdom of God in my family, say?
So I tried to think about the very words that come out of my mouth and the words we so often hear coming out of the mouths of others that reflect the fact that we truly do value being wise in our own estimation.
So, I came up with one common cliché. And you’ll say, “Oh no, I use this one. Had no idea….” Ok, fine maybe you don’t mean it like I think it sounds. Anyway, the cliché is this: “everyone is entitled to his own opinion.” Dig deep underneath that statement. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Really? Are they really entitled to it? Well, I suppose they are. But by you saying that what you’re saying …right? … is that you’re elevating that opinion that you are entitled to hold. Your opinion actually counts for something. Really?
And what if all of society starts to believe that? And they do, right? Truly believing that cliché of everyone being entitled to their own opinion will lead to an elevating of self-wisdom: wisdom that proceeds from self …you’re entitled to your opinion and your opinion matters. You speak up and you voice your opinion. Yes, and you’re entitled to receive the condemnation of God for holding to that opinion.
So whose opinion matters? Whosever universe I’m living in! That cliché really fits well in that emergent church movement. Where your truth is not my truth, my truth is not your truth. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to my opinion. But wait a second, you’re living in God’s universe. He alone is entitled to His own opinion and we as humble, sin-laced creatures must conform our opinions to His. My opinion is rotten at its core unless it lines up with God’s opinion on the matter.
As one of C. S. Lewis’ fictional characters put it, it’s really that “There are a dozen views about everything until … until you know the answer. Then there’s only one….” One view that is. And that’s God’s! And God’s view is what the Bible says it is. We can know that opinion of His, we can know His wisdom. So, don’t be wise in your own eyes.
ILL: With all the glorious light of God’s truth as He has clearly revealed it in Scripture, for us to be choose the wisdom that resides in us is like turning on the high beams of our cars driving down the road at high noon. You ever meet anyone on the road who’s doing that? It’s foolishness. The overpowering light of the wisdom of God is all around. Why ought I entrust myself to my own wisdom?
APP: So, you’ve got to have a real, solid Bible plan on living your life. What does true, God-fearing living look like? From the least of my thoughts to my most important decisions, from my family and entertainment and schooling and church service, fellowship and work…whatever it is, I need God’s wisdom on the matter.
TRANS: But where does real wisdom come from? Yes, it’s found in Scripture. But who cares, if you’re not motivated to constantly work that wisdom into your heart? It should be found here, in your heart, because it’s found there, in the Word. “Ah, …pssst…I’m fine. Kids are fine; family’s fine. We’ve gotten thus far and had no real Bible plan.” A great hindrance to true wisdom is thinking we’ve already attained it. It’s a life-long pursuit.
Don’t live based on your preconceived notions about how to live life by relying on your thinking. No, instead, to get God’s wisdom in your heart, you must fear the Lord!
Fear the Lord
It’s the fear of the Lord that will provide for you the wisdom that you need. If you fear the Lord, you will cling to His wisdom in the Word.
What we need today in each family more than anything… More than the mastery of science, reading, writing, or arithmetic, is the mastery of the fear of God. The 20 or so years that your kids have in your house ought to be 20 years of learning to live in the fear of God. Every class that they learn in your homeschool ought to have as its primary purpose to instill the fear of God into those kids. If you don’t, your homeschool will look exactly like the public schools !
In school, we learn about the things that God created. The Bible teaches that God created man and the world around him with the express purpose of causing man to fear. That’s Ecc. 3:14-15. Homeschools should be designed to observe creation like they do in the public schools but with the express purpose of helping kids see how God has created everything to cause us to fear Him. “Look how God has created math. And these numbers always work this way.” Look at these music notes. There is no changing this note; it’s constant. This note is found in creation.
Our homes, our schools, and churches… our everything ought to be feeding and promoting the fear of the Lord.
As we can see even in our text, the fear of the Lord is tied to wisdom. Don’t be wise in your own eyes, verse seven, fear the Lord. You want to live wisely, well it’s not going to come from conventional, worldly wisdom that’s typically taught en masse today. You can’t go out there find this. What you and your family and your kids and everybody you love need more than anything in order to live out the life that they should live on this earth in a way that’s pleasing to God… What they need is fear of God. Teach that!
Fearing God is foundational to practically living out a life that is pleasing to God; and God’s people over the generations have failed to pass on this most important of concepts to their children. And we are all a part of that great disconnect over the years. They used to call godly people, “Look, that man is a God-fearer.” What is it going to take to get God’s wisdom into your heart to such an extent that it orchestrates everything of who you are and what you do and how you live your life? What is it going to take to get you to see a problem in your life to intellectually understand the solution, and then to practically implement a biblical plan to get that thing right in the sight of God?
It’s going to take a healthy fear of God before you see the wisdom of God from the Word of God being played out in your life so that you become like the Son of God in everything. Fear God!
The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the very foundation of wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
EXP WISDOM: God-honoring wisdom is, therefore, God-given. What is wisdom? Wisdom in the Bible is a skillful application of knowledge. The word is used in the Scripture of those who sewed garments or who built the tabernacle. They had intellectual knowledge of what to do and they had the skillful application of that knowledge worked out in their life. They were wise at construction. And we all need more godly knowledge and more godly application of that godly knowledge in order to live in a God-honoring way.
But your ability to live it out will not come from me or any other preacher constantly telling you what the right way for a Christian to live is. Mere knowledge of what the Christian life looks like does not automatically translate into the ability to live it. Wisdom or skillful biblical God-honoring living or living a life that pleases God is only built if there is first a foundation. The foundation is the fear of the Lord.
EXP FEAR OF LORD: And so fearing the Lord is this then, it’s got 2 parts. Fearing the Lord is reverencing who God is and being afraid of displeasing him. If you reverence who God is and you are afraid of displeasing him, you have just built the foundation for wise, godly living. You’ll have to build a godly life on top of that.
True application of godly living that we want and that our hearts so hunger for will only come if we first reverence the Lord and become fearful of displeasing him. But fearing God takes something else, though doesn’t it? This is going to take knowledge of God. How can you reverence or respect the Lord if you do not understand the nature of his character?
This is why Paul can say 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
It’s only through truly beholding the glory of the Lord in our hearts in a very meaningful way that we will be able to be transformed into his image. It takes experiential knowledge of God in the heart of a man before transformation into that same image can take place. You must know God in order to fear him. You must come to know him better for you to really reverence him experientially.
So it all comes back to the Bible and time. You must take time to behold the glory of the Lord in your Bible before you will begin to respect him for who he really is. As you grow in your respect for him you will begin to truly be afraid of displeasing him.
TRANS: And so someone who fears the Lord is someone who has built the foundation for living a godly life. Someone who fears the Lord has a sense of disgust in his heart at even the consideration of attempting to live in the slightest way apart from the awe-inspiring presence of God. And that’s why in the same breath in Proverbs 3:7, that we should fear the Lord and turn from evil.
Someone who fears the Lord turns from evil.
Repent: Turn away from Evil
Turning away from evil is a disposition of the heart. It is a state of the heart. It’s an outlook on life; it’s a purposeful plan. It governs choices…”no no, we’re going to turn away from evil and cling to the joys of righteousness.”
A turning away from evil is a heart of repentance. Turn from your sin. Because of your depravity, sinning is what you do the best. You are really good at it.
As we heard on almost too many occasions … almost… Apart from Christ, everything that you do is tainted with it. Even with all your righteous acts as filthy rags and apart from Christ, every motivation of every single thought in your heart is only evil all the time.
So, sinning is what you do best, but does anyone hear you bragging about it? Does your family hear how great a sinner you are?! … You ought to boast in your weaknesses! Because when you are weak, then you are strong!
It’s only then, that the power of Christ will rest in you. 2 Corinthians 12:9 The Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
One who boasts in his weakness and knows that he is a sinner, can say with all confidence and boldness “I’m a sinner”! It’s when we know our weakness and we boast in the fact that we are sinners, … It’s only then that we will have the power of Christ upon us.
And so heart that desires to turn away from evil will be evidenced in words from our mouths. “I repent” … “I’m sorry, please forgive me. I sinned against you.” “I am a sinner.” Get used to saying that! Someone who says this boasts in his weakness and seeks to turn away from evil. The only reason he can boast in his weaknesses is because he understands experientially that only when he does, does the power of Christ dwell in his heart.
TRANS: So confess with all boldness that you are the sinner and then, by the fear of the Lord, turn away from evil! If you do, it will be, lastly now, it will be healing and restoration. You’ll have a refreshing fountain of new life spring up within you!
Proverbs 3:8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Take time every day to get in the Bible and gain knowledge of God so you learn to fear him. Turn away from a life that attempts to live off of the filthy dripping faucet of your own wisdom and fear God’s character in the Scripture. If you do, then you’ll have the glorious life giving and refreshing stream of God’s wisdom flowing into your heart.
“It will be healing to your body.” The word for body here is, interestingly enough, is the Hebrew word for the navel, or belly button. And you snickering helps you understand why your translators didn’t translate it that way, unless you have a King James. And often in Proverbs we have what seems to be references to the physical body as it relates to godly living. And of course, we know there is a relationship between the spirit and the body that is mysterious. The attitude of the heart can affect the health of the body for good or ill.
And that is well known. But likely what is being focused on here is the common way in the ancient world of describing the inner man. Words that describe the human body in ancient literature like this can actually be meant to refer to the human spirit. And that’s the way I’m taking this here. If you live in light of the fear of God and you are disgusted with your own sin-tainted wisdom and you want to turn away from the wickedness that so easily pervades everything in your life…ok … if this is your heart, then you will receive life-giving power from God.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Proverbs 3.7-8
And really, this is the Gospel according to Proverbs. If you’re going to attempt to come to understand how to be saved forever from eternal punishment and you are only going to ask the book of Proverbs, here would be a go-to verse.
You have to recognize that you have sinned. You have your own way about you and it is a way that is filled with evil. You must, in your heart toward God, you must turn away from that evil. Repent!
You must fear the Lord. Because you are a sinner, you must believe that God’s threats of eternal damnation are real and you must be afraid of the awful consequences of your own sin and guilt before God. So the fear of the Lord really is tied in to the trust and dependence upon who God is and what he demands. It is as Proverbs says that “the fear of the Lord leads to life.”
Fearing the Lord and turning away from evil … it’s this way and only this way that will get you to a place that you are in a healthy spiritual condition before God. And in the New Covenant, we have clear revelation in Christ about how God can be righteous and still take away our sins. Jesus died that cruel death on the cross to save us from our sin that we might not have to pay the penalty forever for our sins. And Jesus rose again bodily from the tomb in order that we might have that right standing before God.
So trust in him, fear him, and turn away from what displeases him and cling to him for the wisdom to live the way you know he wants. Be willing to radically alter anything in your life that doesn’t conform to his mind on any particular matter, no matter how small or how great and no matter how painful it might be. Take time to do this! Take time to be holy.
We need God; we need to know Him to fear Him and we know Him in His Word are you letting the Words of Christ have a rich dwelling in your heart? We have that foundation in the Scripture, let’s sing about that. Number 610, how firm a foundation.