Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The Flow of Blessing, the Overflow of Prosperity

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.

He shall be like a tree
Planted by rivers of living water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:1-3)
Yes, I’ve covered this ground before. But you see, I pray through the book of Psalms every month, so the beginning of each month is a fresh opportunity to meditate once again on this passage.

Today God spoke to me about flow:
  • The flow of blessing
  • The flow of meditation
  • The flow of His river
  • The flow of prosperity
To step into the flow of God, we need to step out of the flow of the way the world does things. That is what verse 1 is about. But that is not enough. More important is what we do next, what we put in place of the world’s flow. That is what verse 2 is about.

To delight in the law of the LORD means to desire it more than anything else, to look forward to it with great anticipation, and enjoy it with enthusiasm and satisfaction. When we are pulled away from it, we hurry to get back to it, because it is so good.

To meditate on the law of the LORD day and night means to dwell on it continually, to think about it constantly, letting it flow through us, informing and directing everything we say and do.

The law of the Lord reveals the will, the desire, the pleasure of God (I have not just said three different things, but one thing three different ways). It shows us His heart, and in it we see that His heart is very good. He is all for us, and everything He has spoken in His Word is always for our good.

Meditating on the Word of God is getting into the flow of His heart, thinking His thoughts and learning His ways. Isaiah 55:11 says that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. But that does not mean we cannot know them, for He has spoken to us through His Word precisely so we could know them.

When we get into the flow of His Word, the flow of His heart, the flow of His thoughts, how can that lead us to anything else except blessing? God has been very successful and prosperous. When we think His thoughts with Him and walk in His ways with Him, how can we be anything less than successful and prosperous, too?

The promise is that we shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water. That’s quite a good thing, a tree well-watered by the river and nourished by the rich soil of its banks. God has a river for you and me—the river of the Holy Spirit. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus declared:
If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38)
John added, “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive” (John 7:39).

There is both an inward work and an outward manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Here, Jesus was talking about the outward manifestation. Earlier, He spoke to a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob about the inward work:
Whoever drinks of this [natural] water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)
He was describing the experience of being born again, born from above by the Spirit of God. It is like a fountain that springs up within, or a tree that is planted by the rivers of water. It is an inward work where the water springs up like a fountain through the roots and capillaries of the tree, bringing it to fullness. The tree is blessed.

After the inward work comes the outward manifestation — fruit. It is the overflow of the life that has been going on within. The work that the Holy Spirit and the Word of God do in us gives life and continual refreshing to our inward man, tuning us up to the thoughts and ways of God. Then as we walk in His thoughts and ways with Him, we begin to get His kind of results and bear His kind of fruit. The person who does this shall always have an abundance of fruit in season. His leaf will not wither — how can it when the life of the Spirit is freely flowing through him — and whatever he does shall prosper.

Getting into the flow of meditation on God’s Word, the flow of His thoughts and ways, the flow of His Spirit brings us into the flow of blessing — and the overflow of prosperity.

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