Summary: Life Management 101, part 6. Dave sees Psalm 1 as laying out some life steps that lead logically to godliness (and thus a kind of prosperity or productivity) and some that lead logically to godlessness (vanity). The progression in verse 1 of walk-stand-
Putting Your Roots Down
Life Management 101, part 6
Wildwind Community Church
July 23, 2006
Today I want to talk to you about putting your roots down. The last few weeks have probably been the richest series we have ever done here on spiritual formation. I called the series Life Management 101. Perhaps I should have called it Christian Life Management 101. Because these are not just principles for managing life, they are ideas for how you can dig up the life you have known before and replant it firmly in God.
It didn’t start out that way. I had simply observed that a lot of families were really busy, that life was hectic, and thought I’d try to step in with some nice, cozy Biblical principles for helping you deal with the stress of living. That was my intention, honest! A nice, suburban, American slice of self-help. But when I tried to do this, I ran smack into the truth – that God is not interested in helping us be more successful at living in the world that is stealing our souls, but instead God is interested in helping us recover what has been stolen. George Carlin has a way with words. He says the name “self-help” is actually a misnomer, because if you could do it yourself, you wouldn’t need any help!
Folks, that’s what I have been trying to get at the last few weeks. If you could do it yourself, you wouldn’t need any help! Our situation calls for something beyond self-help. Our situation isn’t amenable to self-help. Our situation defies self-help. Our situation denies self-help and puts the lie to self-help.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (MSG)
4 Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love,
5 he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!
Romans 5:5-6 (MSG)
…we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
6 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway.
Without God we are helpless. All the self-help in the world will ultimately be found to be of no help at all. The Christian life is not a life of self-help, where the preacher stands up front and tells you how you can improve your life and get God to bless it. And the Christian life is not a life of helplessness, where we say, “Well, I guess I’m just a sinner from birth and that’s how I am and I’ll never be able to change.”
The Christian life is rather a life of Spirit-help, where we place our lives daily before God – moment by moment – and throw ourselves on God’s mercy, understanding that the Holy Spirit is our change agent – that God’s life is the life we need.
Matthew 4:4 (AMP)
4 But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Let’s look at our key text this morning. If God’s life is the life we need, what exactly are we talking about here? (would you stand):
Psalms 1:1-6 (NIV)
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
This is the person who has God’s life. Have you met the person described in this passage? Have you met the person who is like a tree planted along a riverbank, who bears fruit every season without fail? Have you met the person who seems to be continually refreshed in their spirit? I haven’t met many people like that. I’m intrigued by the prospect of being this kind of person, are you? I want to be like that. Do you want to be this kind of person? What would be required to be this kind of person?