I want to get back to something that was one of my original purposes behind starting KindlingTruth which is a transparent showing of Christian struggle and triumph in Jesus Christ.
There are a few reasons why I got away from this. I don’t always like to write about myself. Putting your weaknesses out there online for the world to see isn’t always easy either, and I have other topics I really want to cover (the planned article series’). However, since I’m understanding that writing the intended articles will come when the Lord deems (when I am ready and have the understanding instead of trying to push the matter), I want to fill that space with some occasional reflections.
The thoughts I want to share today concern Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Walking in the Counsel of the Ungodly
How often do we walk in the counsel of the ungodly rather than the counsel of the Lord? What does this mean? I think this means taking advice from those who’s wisdom is of this world and not God and walking according to that same wicked wisdom.
I used to be very bad about this, and I can say that this is one thing the Lord has helped me with. I used to worry about doing what the world thought was best. I wanted a career that made a lot of money (and had a nice status attached to it). I wanted to be well-liked. I thought that looking out for myself was important, and if I treated someone badly who did me wrong, it was because they deserved it.
I’ve “heaped to myself teachers having itching ears,” resulting in some really bad influences that led to a lot of confusion and maliciousness towards fellow Christians. There are other reasons for my attitude there, chiefly being my critical nature, so I don’t put the blame there on anyone but myself.
I could write a lot about how I’ve walked in the counsel of the ungodly, because I spent most of my life doing just this. However, Jesus is very merciful towards us! If we seek him, he will help us learn the foolishness of this world and the destruction the “counsel of the ungodly” will bring us.
He will show us a better way and teach us how to follow his wisdom instead — and his way is always so much better than the evil way — even if we don’t see that at first. In-fact, his way often goes against our natural instincts of survival and self-gratification.
If we struggle in being weaned from the world and fed by the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus, it helps to remember that we are his workmanship, so he will do the weaning, he will keep us fed according to where we are in our individual walk, and eventually we will walk in the counsel of the Lord instead of the counsel of the ungodly.
Standing in the Way of Sinners
None of us have been without sin, however, the way we look at sin is very important. I used to think very little about my sin. I justified the wicked things I did more often than not, and those which I did not justify I just kind of swept under the rug as no big deal because I was forgiven.
I got drunk and/or high as often as I could. I immersed myself in pop culture and ungodly entertainments. I took in as much of this world as I could get my hands on — and I loved it. This is not how a Christian should live. This is not how a Christian should view sin.
It can be easy to stand in the way of sinners. Our nature loves it — at least for a little while. For me, my sin started to rapidly destroy my life. I called out to the Lord, and he heard me. He leads me on a path of understanding the gospel better and how we are not to continue in wanton sin. As I break away from “the counsel of the ungodly” and learn about righteousness, sin becomes less attractive.
A few years ago I began to really see my sin honestly. I saw that I was not a good person, and I hated my sin. I repented of my sin, Jesus sent me his Holy Spirit, and little by little I see myself becoming free from sin in a tangible way.
We have to understand the severity of sin. God hates it. If we love Him, we should hate sin also. We have to be honest with ourselves and recognize our sins so that we can repent and ask the Lord to help us. He will. It might take a lot of time, but he will if we earnestly continue seeking him for healing. Jesus is very merciful and forgiving, and he is the mighty Physician!
Sitting in the Seat of the Scornful
What does scornful mean? If we look up the Strong’s definition of this word, we can consider this to mean mocker. When we consider our modern understanding of the word, we take this to mean someone who feels or expresses contempt. Since both are unrighteous in the eyes of God, I will write about both meanings of this word.
Do we mock God? We’d like to think not, but if we take the sacrifice for Jesus for granted and continue walking in the counsel of the ungodly and committing sin without regard for the righteousness promised by grace through faith, then we are indeed mockers. I was once a mocker of the sacrifice of Jesus, and I didn’t even know it. As far as the other meaning of scornful, I still have a long way to go. I can be very angry, critical, and quick to express my contempt.
This is something that I continue to seek the Lord in, because I hate my contemptuous nature. I tend to see the worst in everything and sometimes I react in ways that are not righteous at all. I was not always this way. When I was younger I tried to see the good in everyone. Over the years, heartache hardened me and I started to look for ways that people were going to let me down. If we look for faults in people, we will find them. If we are not careful, we can start to despise people around us also. This is not good.
It’s easy for many of us to become scornful in this sense of the word. Whether we are acting out of some kind of self-preservation, fear, or simply because we are a hot-head, being quick to anger or being someone who is generally scornful is not godly. Jesus is patient, slow to anger, compassionate, forgiving, and loving. These are traits I need to see worked in me more fully, and I have faith that the Lord will complete the work and freeing me from my temperament and scornful nature.
I can be very empathetic and compassionate, but there are times depending on the situation (and the person) when I do a complete 180 and turn into this scornful, hateful person. I need to seek healing from the bitterness and other pains of past hurts that I carry around and learn to look at those who have hurt me with more patience and forgiveness, and I need to be like I used to be and look for the good in others instead of the bad. These are my biggest faults, and the Lord will make a way out so that I will not be ashamed of the hope of salvation he placed in me.
Consider these ideas: walking in the counsel of the ungodly, standing in the way of sinners, and sitting in the seat of the scornful, and read the rest of Psalm 1. Yes, this is an Old Testament writing, however, God remains the same. The unrighteous will not stand on the day of judgement, yet, in Jesus Christ we have a well of living water that will bring forth fruit of righteousness, and in him, we will be made fit for the kingdom of heaven.
We do not have to continue in a life of sinfulness, but if we do struggle with sin, we have to be honest so that we can be forgiven and healed according to the perfect timing and healing of the Lord as he writes the laws of the Lord in our hearts! We should not dare mock the grace of Jesus and his forgiveness by using his sacrifice as an excuse for sin. That is not the gospel.
Meditate on his ways, learn to judge good from evil by seeking to be like Jesus, confess your sins, seek forgiveness and healing. We want to walk in the counsel of the Lord, Jesus. We want to stand in the way of the righteous. We want to sit in the seat of the merciful and those who respect God and the sacrifice Jesus made. We want to know what that sacrifice really means for us. By the mighty working of the Lord in us, we can — and we will!