I personally don’t know any man who doesn’t want to be blessed in his marriage, family, work, destiny. We strive to live a blessed life – we strive at work and we strive at play to add meaning to our lives. We are forever in search of a fulfilling life. Nobody gets up in the morning looking for trauma, hardship, or disappointment. Often, though, that’s how life seems to turn out. The question is: what are we doing wrong?
Psalm 1:1 (NKJV) says, “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.” Could it be that we are taking our counsel from the ungodly? Today’s culture is full of “experts”, experts in marriage, experts in child rearing, experts in finances, experts in education, politics and on and on. Given the choice of wisdom from God or wisdom from the world, where do we turn first? To the Bible or the internet? To the church or to the psychologist or psychiatrist with a PHD?
We live in a world of unlimited information, most of which is at the tips of our fingers. Our phones have become a virtual library of information, filled with the philosophies of men and endless theories, proven and unproven, designed to keep us in search of the “perfect life”. We also have the proven word of God that addresses every aspect of life, filled with promise and direction, designed to provide us with the path to a fulfilled life.
There are two paths to walk. One takes us away from God and into destruction. Proverbs 16:25 (NKJV): “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” The other path keeps us safe. Proverbs 16:17 (ESV): “The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.”
Whatever path we choose to walk probably begins with where we take counsel and direction for our lives. If you are like me, you have a thirst for knowledge. I want to know what’s going on around the world. My view of what’s important has expanded with my instant access to the 24-hour, global news sources. Without a doubt, given the time, I will spend hours a day collecting information, much of it benign, but most of it followed up by ungodly counsel, specifically designed to shape my opinions and worldview.
The world we live in is designed to make us dissatisfied with all aspects of our lives, whether it’s the news media, movies, or social media. Take an inventory, what are you thankful for and what do you find lacking? Social media provides you with the ability to stay connected with hundreds or even thousands of people. Do you spend hours a day looking at other people’s new cars, new houses, family vacations, dinner dates? Do you post something and then check back to see how many “likes” you get? Do you feel obligated to post every new thing you purchase or every meal you eat, hoping for a positive response?
The problem with starting with ungodly counsel is that eventually man’s wisdom consumes your thought processes and directs you down a path that finds you standing with the sinners in life’s conflicts and gradually to a point where you are sitting with the scornful. None of us are immune to it. That’s why today we have churches that teach there is no hell. If there is no hell, there is no heaven. If there is no heaven or hell, there is no God or Satan. Check your counsel, check the path you are on.
Where we invest our time will determine the quality of life we live. I am not suggesting that you disconnect from life. I am suggesting that you evaluate where you take counsel. How much time do you spend in the Bible? Where do you go for counsel to life’s daily challenges? Which path are you on – the one that seems right by man’s standards, or God’s standard?
Psalm 1 continues with verse 2-3 (NKJV): “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 leaves also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” God clearly tells us how to live a blessed life. It’s not what I say, it’s what God says!
Practical 30 day challenge: Limit your time connected to your phone, computer, TV. Try reading just headlines instead of every story. Shut down your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat for 30 days. Start your morning in search of wisdom. Proverbs has 31 Chapters – read one chapter of Proverbs every day. Find out who the Author of life is. Start by reading one chapter of the book of John every day. Evaluate your anxiety and satisfaction levels at the end of 30 days.
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