Summary: Like a Tree Planted... This messages instructs on how to live a blessed, successful life.
Planted - Living the Effective Life
1 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; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 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. Psalms 1:1-3 (NKJV)
HOW NOT TO BE BLESSED
The verse begins by telling us what we should avoid. The focus seems to be on where we are receiving our direction from:
- walking in the counsel of the ignorant (ungodly)
There is a wealth of information available to us. So many books, writers, TV personalities. Everyone has commentary on how to be blessed. We have to be careful where we are getting our information. Because…
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." Psalms 53:1 (NIV)
Where are you getting your information?
- standing around with the disobedient (sinners)
This is a problem for many… They just simply hang around weak people. People that know to do good, but just don’t. People that know things are wrong, but do it anyway.
- sitting in the seat of the defiant (scornful)
Unfortunately, many get to this point. They seem intent on opposing God. These are bitter people.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness... lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Heb 12:14-15 (NKJV)
The key here is really that I’m allowing the wrong people to influence me. I’m getting my direction from the ignorant, the disobedient, and the defiant. But let’s look at these warnings in a different light… Let’s look at what happens when I head down this path.
I start by walking… I’m doing something – but based on the wrong advice. Then I’m standing. I’ve quit walking – I’m really not getting anywhere. I’ve given up. Then – I’m sitting. Not with the scorners – I am a scorner. Bitterness has consumed my life. All because I began with the wrong basis.
What I notice is the temporary nature – the insecurity - of life without God. Walking, standing, sitting
- these I do on my own power.
nothing wrong with walking, standing, sitting… but when we start with what we can do, we miss the mark.
- in all of these states I am movable.
The problem is – our position is not sure… While I may be more entrenched while sitting – I still can be moved. I can be displaced. My world can easily be toppled.
The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Prov 14:11-12 (NIV)
Our perception of reality is that a house is much more permanent than a tent. But the Bible is telling us that the strength of life is not in the material from which it is constructed. There is much truth in the old adage – “a house does not a home make.”
So What is the Basis for Blessing
You see – the basis for blessing is not in the physical qualities. It is not necessarily in what we do, but what we are. Remember that the description of a life that is not blessed begins with human actions. In contrast – the life that is blessed begins with an inner focus.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Before taking action – the blessed man gets his heart right. And instead of looking to the ignorant, disobedient, or defiant – the blessed man starts by looking to the Word of God.
Notice that the command to us is different… Instead of focusing on what we do, the focus is on
- What I want (delight is in…)
- What I will (meditate day and night)
Want to and Will to… These are intangible, and often immeasurable. I cannot judge them, as I can judge the acts of walking, standing, sitting. It becomes obvious to me that the substance of life is on the inside – not the outside.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE BLESSED LIFE
First of all – I notice that being planted is not something we can do on our own. You might not think you have the ability to succeed in life. You are disadvantaged. You don’t have the power, the knowledge – whatever. But the blessing is not in our strength. All we can do is walk, stand, sit… But the blessed life is PLANTED.