I sat on a remote headland and watched the sun setting behind the horizon across the open seas of the Atlantic Ocean. I was mesmerised by the beauty of what I was seeing and began to worship the living God in thanksgiving for his stunning creation.
Before going on holiday, I had decided to make the Psalms my holiday reading from the Scriptures, and earlier in the day I had been reading Psalm 25. When I got to verse 14. I had been suddenly overwhelmed with the knowledge of a profound truth that I had never really grasped before. This is what Verse 14 says: “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”
It was that word ‘confide’ that was grabbing my attention. All of us who know and love the Lord are often confiding in Him – telling him the things that are on our heart, sharing our innermost thoughts with Him, confessing our sins to Him and generally expressing ourselves to the Lord in a variety of different types of prayer. We confide in Him in this way because we know we can trust Him. In fact we will only ever confide in someone about things that are private if we know that we can trust them.
And that was it – the sudden realisation that the Scripture was saying God confides in those who fear Him. And that must mean that when we truly fear Him, that He trusts us! This is not the fear that arises from being terrified of an ogre-like god, but the holy fear that fills our hearts when we love the Lord so much that to walk in His ways is our deepest desire.
And so it was that as the sun was setting over the Atlantic Ocean, that I was lost in wonder, love and amazed praise that the God who had just painted that sky would want to confide in me, and to share His heart. It was then that I realised what the Lord was really teaching me – that the fear of the Lord is the absolutely foundational key to receiving His guidance – for then the Lord truly confides in us what are His plans for our lives, His purposes, His instructions, His encouragement, His direction, His warnings, and His truths.
When, in the future, people ask me questions about guidance or are looking to me for advice about how to live their lives, I think I will respond, “Do you really love and fear the Lord?” For if they do, then they will soon be getting the answers to their questions themselves, direct from the only source that really matters – the God who painted that incredible picture in the sky and loves us so much that He longs to confide in us, His children. Oh what an amazing God we serve!