“In all they do, they prosper.”
We desire it, we feel we need it, but we don’t know how to get it.
Scroll through Facebook, browse the books at the checkout, or look at the ads that pop up on our computers; they are there. The numerous options are there enticing us to better ourselves, our finances and be more successful in all aspects of our lives. They each claim to have the answers that will make a difference.
What if a simple ancient practice proved to be legit in bringing prosperity?
Before we dive into Success 101, reflecting on our personal definition of success is in order. What does it mean to flourish in our relationships, in our homes, in our workplaces, and with our giftedness? Do these success stories line up with how God would define achievement?
Aligning our dreams of achievement with God’s definition of success is the only path that works with His plan. We find God’s plan that promises prosperity in all we do tucked away in the first few verses of Psalms 1.
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. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1:1-3, NLT)
There are a few conditions and quid pro quos with God’s path to prosperity, as one might imagine.
If we want to have the results of:
Being flooded with joy,
Being solid and vibrant like a tree that never lacks the nutrients it needs to grow,
Bearing fruit in each season,
Not being withered, dried up, and droopy,
Prospering in everything we put our hands to,
Then we must avoid three things:
Avoid listening to every piece of advice we hear from others or see on social media or in the news, or on a podcast. We also need to
Avoid consistently spending time with those who live opposite of Jesus, whether it be in person or on a couch through our favorite technology venue, and we need to
Avoid being sucked into conversations and rants and posts that tear down other image-bearers and oppose the ways of Christ.
Then we must practice two things:
Delight in God’s Word like it has intrinsic value and
Meditate on God’s Word during the day as well as in the evening.
In summary, we need to avoid three things, and we need to practice two things to enjoy the remarkable results listed. Let’s break it down a little more.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.”
Wicked and sinners have similar meanings. They are people who oppose and are guilty of going against the ways of God. Mockers are those who degrade or disregard with their words those who practice the ways of God. When we take the advice and stand around those who oppose God, we will eventually join them.
Avoiding these three things will require evaluating our time and how and with whom we spend it if we want to evade taking advice, standing with, and talking like those who are offensive to God. We can do this by asking the Holy Spirit to help us take a hard, honest look at the expenditure of our time, then seek Him about what changes need to be made on how or with whom we spend it. Finally, we need to ask the Holy Spirit for direction on a plan to avoid these three things.
“But they delight in the law of the LORD.”
Delight means to take pleasure in, long for, or desire to be in God’s Word. Delighting in God’s Word stems from our belief about the Bible. Do we believe God’s Word has worth? Is filled with wisdom? Conveys His great love for us? Has the ability to give direction? Can pour out strength and courage? Have we been in God’s Word enough to experience this type of life-altering power?
Delighting comes over time from allowing the truths of His Word to penetrate our hearts in such a way we experience the transformation God’s Word wields. A belief that God’s Word is invaluable coupled with the practice of being in God’s Word will naturally spill over into a sense of delight for it.
“Mediating on it day and night.”
The Hebrew word for meditating is haga, and it can be translated, “to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, or speak.”1 Half of these meanings refer to speaking God’s Word out loud, and the other half refers to mulling it over and over.
Meditating on God’s Word can look like reading a scripture verse out loud to yourself, listening to God’s Word, repeating a verse over and over again, or thinking about it off and on throughout the day. However we choose to meditate, the key is to create a system that leads us to incorporate God’s Word in our routine throughout our day. Starting, ending, and everything in between is the practice that will reap successful results.
“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, they prosper in all they do.”
Benefiting from the practice of delighting and meditating is not based on our circumstances, but from meditating on God’s Word when we get up, meditating on it throughout our day, and meditating on it before our heads hit our pillow at night.
Benefiting from this practice means we will be like a resilient tree planted in fertile soil whose roots grow deep and robust, standing firm in all types of circumstances. It does not mean the weather will never be harsh. It means after the drought or cruel winter, we will still be standing and our gifts will abound in due season.
I am currently coming out of a season where it felt like my leaves were withering and I questioned whether I would ever bear fruit again. What appeared to be barren to me, in God’s prosperity plan, seeds of patience and humility were beginning to sprout.
Whatever season we are in – we can stand firm and prosper when we avoid internalizing the toxins of the wicked and plant ourselves in the promises of God’s Word, delighting and meditating on it continually.
Our hope grows from being in God’s Word.
Meditation: God, grow in me a desire for Your Word.
Reflect: Which of these three parts do you need to focus on most – Avoiding? Delighting? Or Meditating? What will be your first step? Do you have a trusted friend who can help hold you accountable and encourage you with your avoidance plan? How can you develop a system to create a pattern of meditating on God’s Word day and night?
Digging Deeper: Joshua 1:1-9; Jeremiah 17:5-8; Galatians 5:22-23
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(Bible References: NLT – New Living Translation)
1 “H1897 – hāḡâ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 8 Apr, 2021. <https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1897&t=KJV>.