Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV) 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; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 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.
The cool crisp air is whispering a seasonal change is taking place. Walking in the backyard, it feels wonderful. A hint of pumpkin spice is wafts by if only in my imagination. The old fire pit in need of renovation seems a bit more urgent. The drying woodpile leftover from hurricane season is almost ready to burn. I am ready for a seasonal change. I welcome the shift in the atmosphere naturally and spiritually that is coming. Surveying our newly acquired property, I notice a tree that looks dead and lifeless. My first inclination is to get some assistance in cutting it down. However, as I continue to evaluate its condition it comes to mind that I have not seen it in all seasons yet. Perhaps it is not dead just observing its own seasonal change. If it doesn’t change at all in the coming seasons, it is more than likely dead and should be cut down. Patience. I need patience when it comes to seasons in life. Seasonal change even when welcomed will always bring change. Sounds redundant but seldom considered when we cry out the Lord for something new and different. Our heart cries change when our flesh says, “Let’s just stay the same.”
I love Psalm 1:1-3. I want to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water than brings forth its fruit in its season. Or do I? It all sounds wonderful on paper. That is until I must undergo the required process. When the pressure to change, suddenly pushes me out of my comfort zone making it impossible to be satisfied and yet still stay the same. We are to be “planted”. We prefer to live in the temporary. We can see it, feel it, and react to it naturally feeling some control over that which we have none. The Bible tells us to walk by faith and not by sight which I have come to realize involves a whole lot more standing than moving around. We must wait on the Lord. We must be aware of each season. Those who do will bring forth its fruit. What does that mean? You will fulfill your purpose and find full satisfaction in a prospering life. I want that kind of life. I am ready for a seasonal change.
Proverbs 21:21 (NIV) Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
Psalm 1:1 talks about three kinds of people. I never really took notice of the differentiation noted here until now. There are those who “walk in step with the wicked”. I believe these are the people who know God on Sunday but live without regard to sin every other waking moment of the day. They bless your heart at church and cuss you out in any other setting. Blatantly disregarding the way of God yet call themselves Christians just because they know His Name. I cannot live like this and expect God to prosper my life.
The second person is the one who lives a comfortable and complacent life in Christ. They look, act and speak like true believers but entertain sin in their life. The Word of God says, “stand in that way that sinners take.” They act innocent but in their heart are just as guilty as the rest. Grace is sufficient for them but rarely taken advantage of. They want the benefits and blessings of life in Christ today not forever.
Finally there are the most dangerous Christians of all. The ones who “sit in the company of mockers.” This is the day and age of false prophets and skewed religion. There are a whole lot of people that truly believe that in that day they will say, “Lord, Lord” and Jesus will know them when He will not. They have been preached a Gospel other than Good News and have taken hold of it as the Truth. I have always feared that this would be me. How do I make sure that the foundation of my life is Jesus Christ? How do I know that I am rooted, grounded and planted in His Love alone?
Jeremiah 8:6-7 (NIV) I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.
When I read this verse today, I was overcome. I know that I am not always sensitive to the seasons that the Lord leads me to and through. Many, many times I am the “horse charging into battle.” I don’t want my way. I want His Way. Ecclesiastes speaks of God’s Promise that He will make everything beautiful in its time. He carefully details all the many seasons in Ecclesiastes 3. I don’t like all those seasons especially the ones that require pain and parting. The ones that produce discomfort or distance. I love spring and fall but I am not a fan of summer and winter. Why? Spring and fall are comfortable, but summer and winter are extreme.
I must learn to observe the seasons properly. The Lord says that people do not know the requirements of the Lord. I do not believe this was just a Word for His People then but a glaring declaration for us now. We must return to the basic requirements of God to facilitate the change called revival. For Heaven to come to earth requires repentance on the part of God’s People. The windows have closed because sin always separates us from the Lord. When we openly engage in it unashamedly a window slams closed. When we entertain it on any level, God must look away. When church is about religion and not a relationship with Jesus Christ, it is not open to the Holy Spirit. It’s time to repent. It’s time to return to the Lord. It is time to be like a tree. To live like the stork, dove, swift and thrush carried on the wind of change. Sensitive to the change in the atmosphere and obedient to migrate when it’s time. If you want this life, it is yours. If you want the Kingdom of God, it is time for a change.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16 (NIV) See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
Every day comes with a choice. Will I choose life and prosperity or death and destruction? You may be thinking that sounds brutal. It may very well be to you. God is Sovereign and does not change. It is His Character and the one thing that makes Him different from anyone else. He is perfect in all of His Ways. It doesn’t matter what I think or my opinion. This is the God who created me and prepared a plan for my life. It comes with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) It is absolutely mine when I am perfect. No, that’s not what it says. It says I can have it when I seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13) Do you know what the Word says about your life? There are way more promises than requirements for me. I am promised prosperity and success in life completely. What must I do to attain life and prosperity? Love the Lord God. Walk in obedience to Him. Keep His Commandments. When I try and fail, His Grace is enough for me.
Here is the catch. Not only does the Lord give us a choice every waking, breathing day but He gives us new mercy to overcome every fault, failure and weakness that I may face. If I simply choose to commit my life to serving the Lord wholeheartedly, He gives me everything that I need to be successful even when I fall flat on my face. His Word also says that He works every detail of my life for good. God wants to bless you today. He loves you with His Whole Heart. He is pulling for you not looking for a reason to punish you. If you think anything different, you may not know Him. To know the Lord is to love Him.
Colossians 2:6-9 (NIV) So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
I know that seasonal change is coming thanks to the cool breeze in the morning air. I know that supernatural seasonal change is coming by the stirring within me. Like leaves caught up in the air and circling all around – change is coming. When I felt the chill this morning, I immediately thought I should probably gather some of my warmer clothing out of the guest room and maybe put away the summer clothing. I believe that I must also prepare for the spiritual change that I am sensing. Repentance will always be first and foremost in change. To clean out my heart and examine my life for things not useful in the coming season.
A tree constantly remains in the same place. When the cold comes, it does not change locations but remains in the same place. It may shed its dying leaves and the bark may peel away, but the roots stay firmly in place and grab hold of the ground. We are to be like a tree. Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ alone. We are strengthened by our faith in Him that must stand through the seasons rather than running for cover. We must know His Word – Jesus is the Word. He is our foundation. By doing so, we will not be carried away by the winds of change but learn to prosper in every season no matter what natural conditions it brings – we will thrive. Christ is our fullness. He is all we need to prosper in every season. With every change, our faith grows stronger, roots go deeper and confidence becomes bolder. Change is a requirement. It should always be welcomed as we seek Him wholeheartedly.
Proverbs 16:20 (NIV) Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
I hear the song, “It’s a new season, it’s a new day, a fresh anointing is flowing my way, it’s a season of power and prosperity, it’s a new season coming for me.” (Israel Houghton) Lord, prepare me for this new season. Examine my heart and remove anything that is not of you. Out with the old and in with the new. Equip me with the strength and stamina to stand and see it through. I want to be where You are and nowhere else. I want to experience Your Presence like never before. I want to encounter Your Love all over again. Open the Windows of Heaven in my life as I prepare to stand in the wind of your change. I invite you to have Your Way in my life. Make me like a tree today, Jesus.
Isaiah 63:1-4 (NIV) The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.