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December 13, 1990

Never Lost

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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. PROVERBS 1:7
When was the last time you were lost? Maybe it was when you flew into an unfamiliar city and didn’t know where to go. Fortunately, your Hertz rental car was equipped with the Never-Lost navigation system. “Proceed to the highlighted route” is Hertz’s gentle way of telling you that you’re using a multimillion- dollar satellite system and you’re still lost. Not a good feeling.
Even so, being lost in a car is not a really big deal. We check the map (or listen to the voice on the navigation system), make a U-turn, and we’re on our way. The stakes aren’t that high. But when we are lost in our lives and the futures of our families and organizations, the stakes skyrocket.
When we’re navigating through life’s twists and turns, we often focus solely on the destination. But according to Proverbs, it’s equally important to remember the starting point. In this passage, the starting point is the much-avoided emotion of fear. In our culture, we are taught to conquer fear, or at least to act as if we don’t have it. Yet on the road to knowledge (and real life), the starting point is fear.
Fear isn’t always a negative thing. It depends on the object and the circumstances. God is a worthy object of fear, not because He’s out to get us, but because He is the source for all things holy and pure. His power is unfathomable. He is larger than all we know. When the writers of Scripture speak of “fearing God,” they are referring to reverential awe. But take a look at the initial reaction of the disciples when Jesus calmed the storm (Luke 8:25). Mixed with their reverential awe was outright fear about what had just taken place.
As with the disciples’ fear, our fear turns quickly to worship. God wants to interact with us. And every time He does, we are changed. We grow toward knowledge. We travel the intersection of His instruction. The “highlighted route” starts with the Source for real knowledge and life. Life can be a long, hard road. Don’t try to start somewhere else.

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