Have you ever thought about a kaleidoscope? All the little pieces of intricate glass swirling about. They seem so insignificant at first but as it is adjusted and moved they begin to fit together reflecting and displaying such multifaceted layers of light and beauty in such a wonderful pattern.
That is the image God gave me of not only our lives, but also all His wonderful dimensions.
We already know the different names for God are endless- some of my favorites are
Healer, counselor, friend, Daddy, supporter, savior, bridegroom, protector …
So as I read today’s verse, I was thinking on those lines.
For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.~ Proverbs 9:10 TLB
I can’t really explain it other than I know this to be true because of a season when a huge storm forced me to be very mad at God and to deny or want any part of Him. I could only see God as a cruel punisher for taking my brother from this earth.
I also know that during another time when two really huge storms, just two years later, God was all I had. I clung to Him with everything I could, and some days it wasn’t much, but I clung to Him and His Word and God revealed great understanding to me in many other areas and on many different levels. He became my protector and my healer after having a stroke. He became my Daddy after my earthly Father died suddenly. He continues to be my supporter and friend and bridegroom and a whole list of other things. First and foremost He is always my Savior. So the deeper I know God on all those levels, it does produce a greater understanding in all other areas of my life.
I continued to unpack in other translations-
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding. ~Proverbs 9:10 AMPC
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.~ Proverbs 9:10 AMP
What really caught my eye on the first of these two translations was – chief and choice parts.
I did not have to head to the dictionary because I knew chief was the top, the head, the beginning, as the next translation calls it the starting point. Choice I knew to be the finest, the very best, and again the next translation summed it up as the essence of.
I understood that a reverent fear of the Lord, which is simply worshipping God and regarding Him as truly awesome, that is the chief and choice, the beginning and preeminent, the starting point and essence of wisdom. Once we have wisdom down, we continue staying close to God and we will grow in more understanding.
The Message translation tied it all together for me:
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you. ~ Proverbs 9:10-12 MSG
It is through wisdom, having that reverent fear of the Lord, and through skilled living that our life deepens. As we grow closer to God and see Him on every level meeting our every need, the years of our life ripen.
All our fruits of the Spirit will ripen too!
We become wise, but not in our own eyes.
As we learn to live wisely and skilled, wisdom begins to permeate every area of our life.
My second verse that had me stirring to unpack was:
Then when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, he will lift you up, encourage and help you.~ James 4:10 TLB
Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. ~James 4:10 AMPC
Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose].~ James 4:10 AMP
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.~ James 4:7-10 MSG
For a person that struggled with pride, and sometimes still does, this is such a great verse.
From the various translations I unpacked it in, I came to these final thoughts:
God can’t help us, raise us up or even encourage us until we recognize our worthlessness, humble ourselves by knowing our insignificance, and have an attitude of repentance for our sins. We must purify ourselves and stop dabbling in sin. All sins! There are no insignificant sins. We can’t play the field. We can’t have divided loyalties. We must get serious, really serious. The only way we’ll ever get back to our feet is first getting down on our knees before God.
Lord, I want to recognize all the chief and the choice parts of You. I want to grow so deep and close with You that I am continuously in the flow of Your spirit. I want to hear Your voice clearly. I want to be able to examine all the pieces, like a kaleidoscope, to grasp and understand Your love and Your will for me. Remove all pride from me. Help me to stop dabbling in sin and become purified in every area. Only flat on my face before You will I ever be able to stand.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom