Living in the Blessing
WOULD you like to be happy? Live a long and fruitful life? Enjoy success and experience prosperity in every area of your life? Would you like to have the power of heaven on your side? Then you want to live in the blessing!
The Bible has much to say about blessing. Blessing is from the Lord. It comes down from heaven and manifests on the earth. It is the divine enablement that brings success, prosperity, fruitfulness and long life.
God has blessing for His people. Not just a blessing, but the blessing. You see, a blessing opens up the window of heaven into a particular aspect of your life, but the blessing affects every aspect of your life. You may have a blessing in your life, even many blessings. But God wants you to have the blessing, so you can experience His fullness in every area of your life. That is what Psalm 1 is about.
Positioned for the Blessing
The blessing is not something you work for. It is a gift from God, a matter of pure grace. You do not earn the blessing, you simply receive it. But in order to receive it you must be positioned properly. There are two parts to this. The first one is negative. To be positioned for the blessing, you must first dislocate yourself — remove yourself from certain influences:
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.
The ungodly are those who do not belong to the Lord. They do not understand His ways and have no idea how to receive His blessing. Their advice comes from the world and leads to failure. Do not walk in their counsel.
The path of sinners leads in the wrong direction. The word "sinner" comes from the Hebrew word chata, which literally means to "miss the mark." The way of sinners will lead you astray, and if you follow it, you will end up with cursing, not blessing. Do not stand in their path.
The scornful are those who know only how to mock what is good. In Biblical terms, they are fools and their end is destruction. Do not sit with them.
As important as it is to remove yourself from the negative influence of sinners and fools, that is not enough. You must also position yourself under the positive influence of the Word of God. This is the activity of the person who enjoys the blessing:
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
The person who is positioned for the blessing does not delight in the advice of the world. He takes no joy in the aimless way of the wicked. He has no desire for the folly of mockers. He finds his pleasure elsewhere — in the law of the Lord. The Hebrew word for "law" is torah and may just as well be translated as "instruction." We often think of the law as judgment and condemnation, but that is secondary. The first purpose of torah is to offer life-giving instruction. It not only leads to blessing, it is itself a blessing. It becomes judgment only when our lives run counter to it.
The law of the Lord is the Word of God in all its manifestations. To delight in it is to delight in the Lord Himself, for His heart is revealed by His Word. When we honor His Word, we honor His heart. When we honor His heart, He honors ours. "Delight yourself in the LORD," the Bible says, "and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
What you delight in is shown by where you spend your time. The person who delights in the Lord and in His instruction spends his time meditating on the Word of God. He thinks about it day and night. The Hebrew word for "meditate" literally means to mutter — the murmuring sound you make when you are speaking to yourself. Meditating on the law of the Lord means that you no longer speak the words of the world to yourself, but the words that come from God. As God instructed His people:
These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
That's meditation — total immersion in the Word of God!
Living in the Blessing
Now here is how the Bible describes the person who has positioned himself for blessing:
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. (Psalm 1:3-4)
Living in the blessing means being planted like a tree beside rivers of water. The tree symbolizes a life that is lived in wisdom, and the fruit such a life bears. To be planted means to be established, rooted, well grounded. This does not describe a tree growing randomly in the wild, but pictures one that has been carefully cultivated.
"Rivers of water" refers to the instruction of the Lord, upon which the blessed man meditates day and night. He draws his strength and vigor from the Word of God, just as the tree draws its vitality from the rivers of water. He is well irrigated from the heart of God, and so he flourishes.
In the Old Testament, rivers of water flowed beside God's people. But in the New Testament, rivers of living water flow forth from within God's people. As Jesus said, "He who believes in Me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). He was talking about the flow of the Holy Spirit in the life the believer. The river is both the Word of God and the Spirit of God working together. For the Holy Spirit is the source of the Word, and He makes the Word come alive within our own spirit.
Living in the blessing means fruitfulness. The tree of blessing is not dependent upon the variableness of the rainfall, but is always watered by the river, and so it always has plenty of fruit to bear when it comes into its season. Likewise, the Word of God is constant and unchanging, and when we meditate upon it, we will always have fruit to bear in season. There are seasons of growing and seasons of bearing fruit, and each fruit has its due season. Therefore, "let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).
Fruit is the overflow of the blessing. When the river of God — His Word and Spirit — flows through us, it shows up on our branches as fruit. Just as the fruit of an apple tree is apples, and the fruit of an orange tree is oranges, the fruit of the blessing is blessing. It multiplies blessing and conveys it to others. Just as the fruit of an apple tree contains the seeds for more apple trees, and thus for more apples, the fruit of blessing contains the seeds for more blessing.
Living in the blessing means prosperity. Those who are planted beside the rivers of God, positioned under His influence, will remain fresh and green. For the Word of God is unvarying, and the Holy Spirit knows no drought season. There is no withering, not even in old age. The Bible says, "Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our god. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the LORD is upright" (Psalm 92:13-15).
When the river of God's Word and Spirit flows through you, whatever you do will prosper. To prosper means to push forward, to break out, to come mightily, to go over and to excel. It is the fullness of success and abundance. The Bible says that the Lord has pleasure in the prosperity of His people (Psalm 35:27).
Our God is a God of abundance and joy, of health and prosperity, of success and fullness. Every good gift comes from Him, and no good thing will He withhold from those who have been made righteous in Jesus Christ. He has made every provision for you, in every area of your life — through the blood of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the river of His Word. He is a God of blessing, and the desire of His heart is for you to live in the blessing.
© 2002 Jeff Doles.
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“JEFF DOLES is a Christian author, blogger and Bible teacher. His books include The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth: Keys to the Kingdom of God in the Gospel of Matthew and Praying With Fire: Change Your World with the Powerful Prayers of the Apostles. He and his wife, Suzanne, are the founders of Walking Barefoot Ministries. Visit their website at www.walkingbarefoot.com.”