Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ever Wonder Where Your Joy Has Gone?

We act like we think the people around us expect us to act about 85% of the time. This is why you must  carefully choose who you spend your time with. If we walk with the wicked we will follow their counsel. 

Thus, the Psalmist points out the journey of destruction. It is the journey of a lack of character. It is a journey of an unremarkable life. It is what it is because it has not been steadfast. It has not gone against the popular wisdom or the prevailing thoughts or right and wrong. It walked with these folks and so walked in their counsel. Let's face it: There are lots more of the wicked than the righteous. And all the wicked are suspicious of the righteous. They ridicule us if we are righteous. It is much easier just to walk in their counsel without making any waves.

The problem is that it doesn't stop with walking. Standing comes next. The person walking is expected to stand. Here the person walking with the wicked doesn't merely act like the wicked; he begins to stand in the same way as they stand. He takes on these values and espouses them to others. What was merely acting morphs into becoming. 

The final stage is sitting. It is as if he has made the inner trusted group of the wicked. He has fully conformed to their acting and thinking so that it takes no effort to be what he has become. He acts like who he is. He is totally immersed in the philosophy.

How many people do you know who at one time proclaimed Christ are now acting as if they don't know Him? How many of these actually say they don't know Him? All of them never saw their transformation coming. All of them never intended to leave their faith and their Lord at one time in their lives.

And what did they forget? They forgot God's word. They forgot to meditate on it. They forgot to act on it.

It was very subtle at first. They simply missed a day without reading God's word. One day turned into two, which became a week and a month and six months and so on. They quit going to church where the word is preached. They missed a week because of a common reason for missing. People often miss church because they have company or rain or a late night the day before. Eventually, they miss church because they just don't think of it anymore.

One day, when no one is around, they wonder why life doesn't have any meaning. Of course, they are sitting in the seat of the sinners so that all those around them are acting like they are living the best life that can be had. They can't let down on appearances. To admit that their lives have no meaning is to come to your senses and look for something better. That would mean leaving the sinners' support group. That may mean that you are all alone.

How do I know these things? I lived them. But one night, all by myself, I came to my senses when I picked up my Bible and read the words that had brought me blessedness. I quit walking with the wicked, standing with the sinners and sitting with the scoffers.

They said, "He got religion," but they were wrong. I got the gift of faith that God wanted to give me. I got a whole lot more, too. I got to walk with Him each day. I got my joy back.

Psalm 1:1-2 (ESV)
1 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;2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 


Deb Willbefree said...

I love well-written messages. :} Their point is not lost in a sea of words.

Someone once said (I can't remember who) that if you can't get it said in twenty minutes, you can't get it said. That person was right.

Thank you for this post. I journeyed thru it, absorbing each point along the way--nodding, frowning, and smiling as I went--knowing we were going to end up at Psalm 1.

It's one of my favorite and most haunting psalms.

I did social work for years in secular settings, and the words of Psalm 1 often crossed my mind when I was faced with a situation that required me either to go along with what only seemed right or to make a stand for integrity.

Sometimes standing for integrity is a lonely place. Sitting with the scoffers, however, means that I must walk away from the One who always stands with me. Their company is not worth the trip.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Deb said...

Ps Prentis towards the end of his entry said this: "I got to walk with Him each day. I got my joy back."

It is true; and more fundamental to that, is, it is when you walk with Him, that is when you have your peace and joy.

But when are you walking with God or Jesus?

It is when you obey His commands. When you are disobeying His commands, you are NOT walking with Him. Jesus actually said, that is how we can get completeness of joy - John 15:9-11 - 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Jesus said it was like that for Him, and it is to be so, for us. Jesus, to remain in the Father's love, obeyed and continue to obey the Father's commands; and we to remain in Jesus' love, are to obey and continue to obey His commands. Jesus said when we do that, continue to obey His commands, His joy will be in us, and our joy may be complete.

Ever wonder where your joy has gone? - the title of Ps Prentis' entry. Where did it, joy, go? Thin air, I suppose; but more importantly, I believe Ps Prentis was aiming at how did you and I lost it, joy, or how come, we have NOT joy, we see some other believers are having?

Actually, Ps Prentis said it right, in the many words about the Word, that people forgetting the Word, not meditating on it, and NOT acting on it. What all of this is that, we are NOT living out His Word. How does one live out the Word? He obeys it - that is how.

God's words is the revelation of His righteousness and justice which are the pillars of the foundation of rule of God. So, when we obey His Word, we are living out or practicing His righteousness. Therefore, another way of wording the intent of Ps 1:1-2 is to say something like this:

Blessed is the man who walk in righteousness, or in the counsel of the Righteous One, and would NOT stand by the ways of the sinful men, and would NOT take side with GOd haters or the mockers of the ways of the Kingdom; rather he would delight doing the will of God, and God's commands or laws, are always in view, in his heart.

How does one even begin to go about walking with God? He must first be opened to be led by the Word and the Spirit. And you cannot be led by the Word when you know NOT and obey NOT, the Word. And you cannot be led by the Spirit when you allow NOT, Him, the Holy Spirit, into the deep recess of your soul, to allow Him to speak to you, and you to listen to Him, and you deliberately and forcefully, shut out the voice of Iniquity. The Word provides the logos will of God, and the Holy Spirit is the one who will make it, the logos will, come to life, turning logos to rhema, we say. God's timing is the perfect timing, and it is the Holy Spirit who is the keeper of that perfect timing for all that concerns you. When you move by the perfect timing of the Spirit, there can only be peace and joy.

Romans 14:17-18 puts it as the Kingdom of God is about His righteousness and the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, and whoever serves (ultimately, it is serving God; walking with the Lord, is serving Him and the Father) in this manner (following after His righteousness and His timing, and so in peace and joy) is pleasing to God, and (will) find approval with men.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions