Being the Person God Desires

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Devotional Reflections

“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season. And its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3

Every Christian has a pretty good idea in his mind what their life should be like. It is usually an ideal that is seen as unattainable in terms of holiness and Christlike character. We get serious from time to time about trying to be such a person, but invariably our efforts are short-lived. Typically we embrace failure and see the Christian life as a constant struggle and the victory elusive.

However, the guidelines for success and prospering in our spiritual walk are rather simple. The Bible reminds us of them with prolific repetition from various perspectives. It basically comes down to being aware of God’s presence, yielding to the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and choosing to be obedient to God’s word. Psalm 1 expresses the key to success in two simple exhortations–one negative and one positive.

A person is blessed and prospers if he “does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scoffers” (Ps. 1:1). In other words, we are to avoid bad associations and influences. We live in a world filled with sin and wickedness and skeptics who scoff at the things of God. We can’t avoid exposure to the carnal values of society that are so prominent, but we should be ever vigilant to resist their influencing our thinking and attitudes.

The people we associate with as the body of Christ should stand in sharp contrast to the self-serving, humanistic thinking of others and help us readily recognize and resist where such lifestyles go astray. The Apostle Paul stated one of the key elements of the spiritual man resisting temptations of the flesh in Romans 13:14–”But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.” If we are in Christ we should consciously avoid situations that would expose us to temptation; it is a choice to be made.

Psalm 1 not only tells us what to avoid but reveals the counter-balance of positive actions. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:2). Once we have come to God it should create a desire to know Him in all of His fullness, and that comes from His revealed word to us. A good assessment of our relationship with God is whether or not we delight in His promises and the truths of His word.

When we find reading the Bible boring, simply do it perfunctorily because we ought to or find it confusing, that should alert us that we have a serious problem. We should not be surprised that our affections are toward things of the world and life is fraught with worries and problems. One who truly loves God has an insatiable desire for the word of God; it becomes a source of strength and blessing, empowering us for righteousness in an evil and fallen world.

If we follow these two admonitions it will result in stability and assurance; they produce a fruitful life that glorifies God. Choosing to avoid the path of sinners, the wicked and scoffers and delighting in God’s word avoids the constant cycle of dryness and failure in the Christian life and guarantees we will prosper spiritually.

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