Speaking to the Soul – September 13

Follow God

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

It’s interesting that the Book of Psalms begins on a negative note. Here are three things that godly people reject. They don’t accept the advice of wicked people. They don’t hang around with sinners. And they don’t have anything to do with those who mock God. It’s almost as if he is talking about preparing a field for cultivation. There is no point in sowing seed until the stones and weeds have been cleared out. God’s desire is to bless us and give us his joy, but none of that can happen until the rubbish is gone.

When people hear about the invitation to give their life to God, the danger is that they simply try to add this dimension to their present way of life. They want to ‘join the God club’ in the same way as one might join a motoring organisation or gym. They simply want to add it to their list of subscriptions and commitments. But this is precisely what God doesn’t want. His desire is for us to turn our back on our old way of life, in order to set off with him on a new journey. The biblical word for this is repentance. God loves
to forgive us and fill us with his Spirit, but he cannot get to work until we have acknowledged that we’ve been heading in the wrong direction.

Once the stones and weeds have been cleared away, we can get on with living. The psalmist declares that this can only be achieved by putting the Lord’s instructions at the centre of our lives. Everything that is good flows from God’s word. The psalmist describes the person who bases their life on God’s law as being like a tree “planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (v3). But none of that can happen unless we are willing to turn our back on bad advice, bad company and bad attitudes.

What have you had to reject in order to follow God?

Loving God, help me to put your word at the centre of my life so that I will flourish whatever the season. Amen