By Brooke Holt
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” - Psalm 1:3-4
Here, the psalmist is describing the person, man or woman, who chooses to walk in the way of the Lord. His or her life is characterized by a love of God’s law and a delight that is so rich that he meditates on that law day and night. She meditates and thus walks on the narrow way of the Lord. What is the key to this life? Meditation on the Scriptures, and not just meditation but ongoing meditation, deliberately setting your mind on the Lord and his words.
This kind of Scripture meditation sounds countercultural, doesn’t it? It takes incredible focus to meditate on anything night and day or all throughout the day. Yet, just like anything else, practice makes permanent. In my days as a triathlon and running coach, I reminded my athletes constantly that how they practiced each day was how they would then race. There were no opportunities to just relax and train. Instead, every training was an opportunity to teach the mind and body the proper form and methodology. So often, my runners would become tired, and their heads would begin to drop. Dropping their heads felt better in the moment, but then their air supply was limited, and their alignment was off making the work to run even greater. It was better to slow down or walk than continue in bad practices, because practice makes permanent!
The same is true for our training in godliness. The more you immerse yourself in the study of God’s Word, the meditation on that Word, and the willingness to be shaped and led by the Holy Spirit, the more natural that kind of lifestyle becomes. What you practice is what you will become. The psalmist exhorts you to practice the meditation of Scripture and to then become like that tree that is planted by the water. Due to the constant supply of water, there is ongoing growth and nourishment for that tree. Consequently, the tree produces good fruit in each season.
Contrast that with the way of the wicked. Maybe it would appear that he is thriving, but the shallowness of his roots will soon become apparent. The practice of wickedness will lead to greater wickedness, selfishness, and a life apart from God. Do you long to live a shallow, wicked life or one that is characterized by deep roots, deep connection to God, and thus abundant fruit?
Either way, you must make a choice and the choice won’t always be easy. To go the way of the wicked may feel good today, look good today, and be culturally accepted and even celebrated. However, there will be an end to that way and no blessing from the Lord. Whereas, if you choose the way of delighting in God’s Word and meditating on that Word, there will be a continual supply of growth, fruit, and blessings from the Lord.
What are you practicing? What is becoming permanent for you? May we choose today to train in godliness with an eye on our eternal prize!
Have you considered the blessings of meditating on the Word of God before today? If not, how might you begin to incorporate this form of meditation? If so, look back and ask the Lord to reveal how his power and presence have been demonstrated in you. What growth do you see, what fruit, and what blessings?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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