Friday, May 1, 2015

Psalm 1, Prosperity and the Path of Your Listening

Blessed is the man
    Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
(Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV)
Every month I pray through the Psalms. Today is the first of the month, so I begin again with Psalm 1. This psalm is a wisdom psalm. It is about what you listen to, because what you listen to is what will fill your heart, and what fills your heart is what you will do and what you will speak. What you choose to listen to will determine the path you take — and whether or not you will prosper. What you speak will reveal which path are choosing.

The man who listens to the counsel of the wicked will do what do they do and end up mocking what they mock. Though they might seem to flourish, it will only be for a season, and they eventually will be blown away like chaff. The godly, on the other hand, listen to the instruction of the Lord, letting it fill their hearts. They will end up doing and speaking what builds up, not what tears down, and their results will be very different — a prosperous and fruitful life, established and strong, that becomes a blessing to others as well as themselves. And they will endure from season to season.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
    And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
    But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
    Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
    But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
(Psalm 1:6 NKJV)
Unfortunately, even at our best we often fail to listen well, and so, to live and prosper well. There is only one who has ever fulfilled the word of the LORD perfectly, and that is the Lord Jesus, who is the Living Word of God. But the goodness of the gospel is that he comes to live his life in us. He shows us what faithfulness is and what a truly prosperous life looks like.

What is more, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit, to produce in us character of Christ and the fruitfulness of God that blesses the world. The fruit of the Spirit consists chiefly of love, which fulfills all the law of God. As we listen to the instruction of the Lord, revealed through the Living Word, the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, we will discover the prosperity that changes the world for the better.