Proverbs 22:4 Dissected & Defined
By humility (essence of allowing Christ to do everything through me) and the fear (respect) of the LORD are riches, and honour (esteem), and life (in perpetuity).
At our RU, we operate a residential program. This is a program that assists non-functioning addicts to develop a dynamic love relationship with Christ through accountability and discipleship. It has been very successful.
However, not everyone that attends or graduates maintains the relationship they have developed while in their program. Often, I am asked where did they go wrong?
This verse explains why people fail in life. Everyone who leaves and fails does so because they are searching for the very things that are promised to us in this verse. After all, who could fault individuals who are searching for things of value, esteem, and promotion in life?
However, these qualities of life do not come from what we are able to do; they come from what He is able to do!
Humility is a Willingness to Reject what We Want, Think, and Feel
To gain the lifestyle of being promoted, we must fear God and be humble. So, what is the “underlying meaning” of this uniquely attractive proverb that dangles such a precious promise of prosperity?
The first quality is humility. That is “a willingness to reject what we want, think, and feel in life so that what He wants, thinks, and feels can be done through us.” The second quality is “a respect of what He can do to you or for you”—the fear of the Lord.
If we will submit to the first quality of humility, we will see God do great things “through us.” This produces a fear of God.
How? Very simple. When God is doing His work “through you,” you will personally experience what He is wanting to do “for you.” This produces the fear necessary to nurture the two character traits in life required for the promises of God listed here.