Yesterday we talked about the Lord leading the humble. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Ps 25:8-10)
Humility is mentioned many times in the Bible as a righteous trait to manifest in our lives. Humility is often characterized as genuine gratitude and a lack of arrogance, a modest view of one’s self. However, the biblical definition of humility goes beyond this. Humility is a critical and continuous emphasis of godliness in the Bible, as we are called upon to be humble followers of Christ and trust in the wisdom and salvation of God. Let us be humble before our creator for the gift of life we have been given.
The following Scripture is an excellent summation of the biblical meaning of humility: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov 3:5) To be humble, we must have faith that God will lead us in the best way to live and what to avoid in temptation. We are to put complete trust in the Lord and not deceive ourselves with vanity or lust. We should lean on the understanding, wisdom, and divinity of God to show us the righteous path through prayer, meditation, fasting, and other faithful practices. In order to do this, we must have the initial requirement of humility to open our hearts and withdraw from the arrogance of our ego.
Here we have a deeper look into the biblical meaning of humility: “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Prov 22:4) We are also taught that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov 1:7). So what does it mean to fear the Lord? For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5).
For the believer, the fear of God is something much different; it is reverence of God. “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:28-29) This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians.
Some redefine the fear of God for believers to “respecting” Him. While respect is definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there’s more to it. A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment on sin—even in the life of a believer. The Lord disciplines His believers for their own good (Heb 12:5-11). While it is done in love, it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.
Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshiping Him in awe.
This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe. “For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.” (Ps 25:11-15)