By Brooke Holt
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2
This first Psalm of the Psalter lays out two different ways to live—the way of the world and the way of the Lord. The world’s way is described as walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the way of sinners, and sitting with the scoffers. Meanwhile, the Lord’s way is that of delighting in the law of the Lord and delighting so much in that law that one meditates on the law day and night.
First things first: are you one who is walking in the way of the world or the way of the Lord? God’s Word is faithful to reveal our hearts and minds. It is written not that you would be condemned but convicted if you find yourself inclined to the world. Secondly, if you are walking in the ways of the Lord or would like to move in that direction, do you recognize the path? It is not a popular path, even for Christians these days.
To walk faithfully with the Lord is to love his law and to spend time meditating on this law. Notice how much time—day and night! Delight in the Lord leads a person to long to know him, to know his Word, and to live according to that Word. That takes intention and focus, setting one’s eyes on the Lord above everything else in this world.
And the way is through meditating on his Word. To meditate is to begin with reading followed by reflecting, sitting with a passage or word. There is then reading again and again so that the words become ingrained in the heart and mind. Paul described this as the renewal of the mind (Romans 12:2). The more you ponder and consider the words of the Lord, the instructions of the Lord, and the love of the Lord, the more you grow in godliness. His ways become your ways; his thoughts become your thoughts; his heart becomes your heart.
That is the way of Christian meditation and the way of the Lord. While the world has promoted a kind of meditation that is entirely focused on looking within, God’s people are called to look to him and then to the Holy Spirit’s presence within them. Jesus also contrasted the way of the world and the way of the Lord: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). The narrow way is the way of delighting in the law of the Lord so much so that you find yourself meditating on that law night and day.
If this meditation is not part of your practice today, ask the Lord to guide you in this meditation, to help you to delight in his Word above all else, and then to be renewed by that Word. Then, you will find yourself walking on the narrow way that leads to life—abundant life for today and eternal life for all the days to come. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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