It started on Pintrest.
How I have come to despise this website. We were getting ready to redecorate our daughter's room. She had a little bed, and boring walls. My wife saw this picture, and decided that since it was on pintrest that this bed could be built and that this wall could be duplicated. Did I fail to mention how much I despise pintrest?
When I saw the tree, my mind immediately went to the passage of scripture that displays God's heart for us and our life better than any other.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." ~Psalms 1:1-6
I want to take the next several posts to look at this chapter in detail. There is a lot for us to see, and once my eyes were open to some of this stuff, my life's course was changed for the better.
On Monday, we looked at the book of James and saw that our life was comparable to a vapor. Here one minute and gone the next. So what do we do with it in mid-vapor stage?
In the first post, "God's created picture of us", I told how I have had the privilege of dealing one on one with a multitude of people who have looked at their life and asked the brutally honest question. "Have I botched this up?"
Psalms 1 reflects God's heart on what our testimony will be one way or another. One way or the other, we will be like the tree, or we will be like the chaff. The choice is ours to make. The end result will be guaranteed!
Would you join me for a minute as we look at this passage and ask the question, "How do I make this vapor count?"
"Blessed is the man..." vs 1
What is it to be blessed? Blessed is the direct opposite of cursed.
The Kingdom laws do not change for anyone. We have the law of gravity, we have the law of thermodynamics...those laws do not change. It really does not matter if you believe in the law of gravity or not, it still applies to you and to me.
Kingdom laws work regardless if you believe in them or not. Psalms one starts out with a few Kingdom laws. Here is a cause and effect checklist of you will. Do this, and you will be blessed, disregard this and you will operate your life under a curse. Cut and dry.
See from the beginning, God planned our path. He did not create us to be chaff. We were made in His image and He designed us to be like the tree. Steady, planted, firm, and a place of shelter for those around us. The design was His. Everything was put into place for us.
What this passage tells me is that God designed the path, and has given us the map on how to get there. He gave us His Spirit to lead us into all truth, and direct each brushstroke (Response) on the canvas.
"Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly..." vs 1
Ungodly means: Morally wrong, or opposed to God.
An ungodly person is one who goes in opposition to the moral character of God.
I had always assumed that this was the biker type. You know, with the shaggy long beard, tattoos everywhere, and rough exterior. Not a correct assumption, but in all honesty the one I had. Open outward actions helped me categorize the ungodly.
If it was someone I had respect for that displayed the attitudes, motives and actions of ungodly, well there was always a good reason for it. They were just under a lot of stress, or they had a heavy workload... I found a way to justify behavior and attitudes that screamed ungodly. I chose to walk in that counsel, because the outward exterior seemed to "fit" my definition of good.
This can be very dangerous because ungodly can be found in the church just as easily as the biker bar. It is possible to wear a suit, attend church weekly,hold a Bible, teach a Sunday school class, counsel others, visit hospitals, and even preach from the Word with a life that is wrapped up in the flesh. Remember, the flesh in proper definition is:
Finding identity in what I do, what I have, or what people think of me. It is finding identity in anything, or anyone other than God.
Excuse it or not, it does not change Kingdom principles.
I was talking with a person sometime back, and they made the statement, "I just wish there was a way to identify Godly from ungodly."
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." ~Matthew 7:13-18
By their fruits. Let's understand the term fruits is not the size of buildings, crowds, what kind of "outreach" programs we have, the songs we do or don't sing, or the typical Christian street creds we like to hand out to others. Paul counted those as dung. Fruits here are found in Galatians.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." ~Galatians 5:22-25
It does not matter who they are or what they say, if a person does not exhibit these fruits in their life, they are false prophets. Bad trees cannot bear good fruit. This fruit of the Spirit comes from abiding in Christ. If there is no fruit, there is no root. Choosing to listen to counsel from a source that is ungodly is choosing to operate under a curse. What is the curse? Becoming like the chaff. Dry, brittle, as far from the tree pattern as you can get.
I say this with difficulty because I was raised to hold a person in religious work, even a Pastor in a high status. I have respect for the office of the Pastor, but the Pastor is a person like me and like you. Just having the title Pastor does not mean you are " God's Anointed". In Jesus's time, a prophet was held in regard, and Jesus found the need to explain that there were in fact, prophets by title that were indeed false.
If I do not want to operate under a curse, the very first thing given here is for me to choose where I get counsel from very carefully! If we are children of God, this is not intimidating because we have the Holy Spirit within us. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth!
Jesus tells us in John 8:31 & 32, that if we CONTINUE in His word, we will know the Truth. Continuing simply means to study. The more I study His Word, and ask His Spirit for guidance, the more I find He is there to teach me. This is true for you as well!
We put a lot of value in men, and we need to be very careful that we do not allow that value to overshadow and excuse what God has warned us not to overshadow and excuse. We need to be very careful about where we get our counsel from. This was something that God used an addiction program called Reformers Unanimous to teach me. It broke this passage in Psalms down and it answered a great deal of questions that I had about how to identify proper counsel.
Christianity is not just a name only thing. There are evidences to be found. It starts with genuine love. You can only see this when time has been spent with a person. If you can spend time with someone and not see evidences of fruit, then you may need to be willing to make the hard choice. If there is no fruit, then there is no root!
Excusing a lack of fruit on stress, workload, or even on others is not good enough. Galatians 5 also outlines the works of the flesh. They are very interesting when you break them down. You cannot excuse these away. Broad is the road that leads to destruction.
So we find that reaping blessing is possible, and it is outlined for us in Psalms 1. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth as we paint on the canvas of our lives.
I love the fact that God is our Father!
When my daughter and I were painting the "Psalms 1 tree" on her wall, we were able to discuss what it meant to be a tree for God. It was an awesome thing to be able to instruct her on painting the tree I had patterned for her and see that pattern form.
"Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners..." vs 1
Standing in the way of sinners is preventing them from getting to Christ. This is not the ticket to reaping blessings. I have in fact done this more times than I am comfortable listing. I think we all do this. Do I prevent others from seeing Christ? The gas station attendant, waitress, church member, neighbor, and the list can go on and on.
Christian means, Little Christ.
Do we hold that up? Is that what we are? I think in our culture we throw the term "Christian" around very freely. When the disciples were first called Christians, the term meant more than just a feel good name. It was called to them by OTHERS, not themselves. It was because OTHERS saw Christ in them.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" vs1
The scornful is someone who mocks the things of God. This is the intentional mocking of God, His Word, and His principles. When a person sits in this seat, I don't care who they are, they will NOT reap the blessings of God. God is Wisdom, and all Truth. The sacrifice of Jesus was not for us to ridicule or make fun of. God's wrath is expressed for the rejection of His Son.
The incredible thing about this passage to me is that it is outlined here is the clear cut path choices. Blessing or curse? Which one do we want to operate under?
The finished result can be awesome!
Did I mention that I dislike Pintrest?
So my father-in-law and I did make a custom 6 drawer day bed, and that and the tree made for a happy little girl! And mommy liked it as well as printed off a gazillion other "Too cute" projects.
Don't miss Saturday's post as we look further into Psalms 1! I love this passage, and I love the truths that are just waiting to be noticed!
Climbing with you,