“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord”
Proverbs 16:20, NIV
One of the reasons why ‘pride goes before destruction’ is that pride tends to make people unteachable. They think they know it all – and don’t want anyone else to tell them what to do or bring any form of instruction or correction into their life. They know best and that’s that!
But, sadly, that means that they can never learn from other people and they condemn themselves to making mistake after mistake, because they are never willing to listen to the wisdom of others. This is especially true about learning the ways of the Lord, and being willing to listen to His instruction. It is not for nothing that the most sung song of the twentieth century was Frank Sinatra’s “My way”. Supreme arrogance and pride is represented by the lyrics, which talk about facing the final curtain (death) and saying (presumably to God) that I did it my way!
Humility is the opposite of pride. And a humble person, who is keen to learn, will grow in knowledge and understanding, learning from others and equipping themselves for life. A person who loves, respects and listens to the Lord is said to fear the Lord, knowing that what God has said will always be the truth and that when we follow Jesus, who is “the way, the truth and the life” then we will be best equipped for living our own life, whatever circumstances we have to face or live through.
It’s no surprise that there are many places in God’s Word which encourage us to live our lives in the fear of the Lord. Exodus 20:20, for example, tells us that “the fear of God with you, will keep you from sinning.” But my favourite verse about the fear of the Lord is Psalm 25:14, where we read that “The Lord confides in those who fear him.”
It’s wonderful news to hear that God confides in those that fear Him. For that simply means that God will speak directly into our lives by His Spirit, or through His Word, showing us what He wants us to do and the way to go!
Isaiah tells it this way, “your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21). The most costly mistakes I made in my own life were when I decided to ignore God’s voice or silence my conscience. The result was always painful. Yes, there is forgiveness for sin, but isn’t it oh so much better not to have stepped out of God’s way and remained on track.
It is also a fact that in my own business life, the most successful and prosperous decisions were those which were clearly made in obedience to the direction the Lord had told me to go. Ideas God gave me in specific answer to prayer, were those which were the most successful. One business decision I made forty years ago was instrumental in providing financial support in over thirty years of ministry. God is the best businessman I know and He delights to confide in us.
When we have learnt to trust the Lord we will not hesitate to be obedient to His Word and do those things that please Him.
Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, for those times in my life when, through pride, I have tried to do it my way and failed to take wise instruction. But thank You, Lord, that You have promised to guide and direct the steps of those who truly love and fear You. Help me, Lord, to be always attentive to your voice and not to wander off the pathway that You lay before me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.