Today’s guest post, Which Way Am I Going? Psalm 1, written by Anthea Kotlan first appeared on antheakotlan.com.
Which Way Am I Going?
I was born without any internal sense of direction and have spent more time than I recall getting lost. I know very little of North, South, East, or West. I am even hard-pressed to judge distances.
My children can testify to times spent circling around in the car trying to find our way home. Even maps can be confusing to me. Giving me a clear, and concise set of directions serves as a lifesaver for me and the passengers in my vehicle.
I am filled with wonder when I open an app on my phone and enter a destination. Moments later, I have clear instructions to guide me wherever I need to go. If I make a mistake, it will even recalculate! I can get live traffic updates allowing me to determine alternate routes and saving me hours of frustration. Some apps will even help me remember where I parked my car.
Psalm 1 provides some detailed directions for followers of Jesus.
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; (Psalm 1:1 ESV)
Where I Walk
As a follower of Jesus, I must consider the advice I seek, the stands I take, and the people I surround myself with. Where I choose to walk, stand and sit matters to God. I must seek Him first in these areas.
Who do I go to for advice? A Godly source of wisdom or crowdsourcing?
Where do I spend my time and money? Where my time and money are spent reveals my life’s priorities.
Where do I choose to rest and relax? Where do I lower my guard? I need to discern safe places for my soul to relax. I must consider the entertainment I am taking in, the books I read and even the music I listen to.
But his delight is in the law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2 ESV)
What does it look like to delight? Do I enjoy reading, thinking, and applying God’s word to my daily life? God is providing principles to help me stay on track with Him, and I would be foolish to ignore them. I need to meditate on His word day and night because I am genuinely prone to wander off track without that daily and even nightly guidance. I must internalize God’s law so that it will become my autopilot.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. (Psalm 1:3 ESV)
Streams of Water
In the part of Southeast Texas that I call home, we have streams of water that come in only two varieties. Too little rain sends us into drought, or too much threatens to drown us.
A tree planted by streams of water will receive the moisture it needs to grow and be productive. The roots can go deep and tap into the stream. When it rains in moderation, the tree will get all it needs from above. And when it rains entirely too much (notice I did not say if, but when), the stream will act as a conduit carrying the excess water away. This will preserve the tree from drowning.
The wicked are not so, but like chaff that the wind drives away. (Psalm 1:4 ESV)
The roots a tree sends deep down into the earth provide a pathway for nourishing and hydrating the tree. They also act as anchors when the winds of this world blow. A tree lacking a well-developed root system needs more to keep in place. It will be blown away like chaff.
Daily and nightly meditation in God’s word gives our faith roots that provide security when life’s storm attempt to blow us away from God’s presence.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; (Psalm 1:5 ESV)
The wicked, God warns us, will not survive His judgment. Sinners will eventually be separated from the righteous. God can and will sort it out. Somedays, I feel surrounded by those who champion all that is wrong and seem to succeed; I need this reminder.
“for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1:6 ESV)
It seems here that God might be repeating Himself. Why do I need an additional reminder? He’s pointing out that despite how it might feel, the wicked will someday be gone. There will be an end to seeing headlines trumpeting evil’s victories, innocence lost, and violence rolling out like a plague.
He is also reassuring me that He knows how to remain righteous, even when it might be unclear. Sometimes it is hard to discern the path that will please Him. However, He is always available and ready to answer my call for help. He knows where I am and will always provide a way to go on.
Lord, thank you for the kindness of “turn by turn” directions in your word. Please help me to follow the path you have set for me. Please help me to see your perspective and your priorities. I know that I will be blessed to align myself with what You have for me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
For over thirty years, Anthea Kotlan has served as a women’s ministry leader in the church and community. She has a passion for discipleship and encouraging women to walk confidently in their God-given calling. She designs women’s retreats, teaches Bible studies, writes, and enjoys speaking at events. Recently, she began serving on a church plant team in Conroe, Texas with her husband, a bi-vocational priest. Every chance she gets, she spends time laughing with her two adult daughters or snuggling her two grandchildren. Check out Anthea’s blog for weekly soul-tending devotionals from the Psalms. antheakotlan.com
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