"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; those who follow His precepts have good understanding." Psalm 111:10
The word fear means more than being afraid or fearful. In fact, I have found that the negative fear is a result of not being submitted to the fear of the Lord.
Everyone fears something and you will submit to what you fear. So, choosing to fear the Lord is a proper and proactive step to avoiding the negative fear and anxiety that can make life miserable.
Fearing the Lord means to have a reverent respect that leads to submission to His Word, His will and His ways. Fearing the Lord is the result of deliberate and daily decision to put God first in everything. Fearing the Lord means you wake up everyday to declare, "You are God and I am not!" Fearing the Lord means the thought of living outside of His will is the thing you fear the most.
King David wrote these words and he chose to fear the Lord early in his life. His fear of the Lord was evident when he faced the giant, Goliath. David's fear for the honor and security of God's nation was great than his fear of confronting the giant warrior.
David's son, Solomon, also chose early in life to fear the Lord. That reverence for God led him to submit to God's wisdom as he assumed the throne from King David.
But David and Solomon also serve as examples of the need to continue to submit to God's wisdom at every impulse, every invitation and every opportunity. Later is life they both made a series of unwise decisions that changed the course of their lives AND the nation they ruled.
Fearing the Lord IS the beginning of wisdom but every day must be a new beginning! And each day will bring a series of choices and decisions points that will require you to ask, "what's the wise thing to do?" and act accordingly.
This question we have devoted the last six weeks to is crucial because life is lived one wise decision at a time. And as David and Solomon testify, one bad decision can significantly alter your life.
You are where you are at this moment in time due to the decisions you have made over your lifetime. Today will confront you with more decisions that will continue to shape your life.
That ought to sufficiently frighten you enough to cause you to ask, "In light of my past experience, my current circumstances and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do?"
Ask it, and then in reverence and respect to God, act wisely!