By guest writer, Katie Pearson
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 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. Therefore the wicked will 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 wicked will perish.” - Psalm 1
The first psalm in the Book of Psalms is a reality check and reminder that there are two ways to live: our way or God’s way. Even if we are committed to walking with God, we need to continuously reevaluate where we are looking for happiness and fulfillment so we don’t return to lesser loves. We are particularly prone to this when we feel insecure, fatigued, stressed, or surrounded by suffering. When we want to feel better, it’s always tempting to source from whatever promises quick comfort. However, when we send down roots far from the living waters of God’s truth, we find ourselves digging around in the dust and coming up dry.
We can’t nourish our souls with anything but God’s law, or Word, which provides everything we need to live a fruitful life.
What is the “fruit” Psalm 1 promises when we are rooted in him alone? In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul writes: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
In other words, eternal fruit is what we experience inwardly and exhibit outwardly as a result of who we are, not what we do. The Greek word is singular, showing that “fruit” is a unified whole, not independent characteristics. As we grow and flourish, all the characteristics of Christ will be manifested in our lives. This is proof that we are planted in fertile soil.
If the point of producing fruit is more in line with being than doing, then what does it mean to “prosper”? From this Psalm alone, we can glean that “prosperity” is not about achieving the earthly desires pursued by the wicked, the sinners, and the mockers who are self-focused. This group is bent on achieving everything that falls under the category of self-sins: pride, power, revenge, popularity, wealth, etc. It’s not even about healthy goals like a stable home, a satisfying calling, or close friendships. These are good things, but not necessarily God’s best for us.
Prosperity is far more in some respects, and far less. Biblical prosperity is about having all of God, regardless of what happens on earth. It’s about peace and joy in all circumstances, the comfort and wisdom provided by the Holy Spirit, and receiving the perfect means to meet our deepest needs in the most unexpected ways. The people of God who send down roots next to the river of life experience prosperity both here on earth and eternally in heaven. We are truly blessed.
How is it with your soul today? Do you feel dry and thirsty for more of God? Take an honest look at where you might be looking to feel better—or who you might be relying on. Pull up any roots that aren’t close to the one and only source of abundant life and drink deeply from the water that never runs dry. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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