I hope your day went or is going well (shout out to our international family members).
I heard a Word in my Spirit over the weekend and I am so excited to share it with you!
Let’s look at half of one of my favorite passages – Psalm 1.
Psalm 1:1-3 (New American Standard Bible)
(1) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. (3) He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. And in whatever he does, he prospers.
OK, so I want to highlight the “sit in the seat of the scoffers” part. What is a scoffer? According to dictionary.com, it is a person who speaks derisively; ridicules; mocks; jeers. Isn’t that happening right now over various topics? Sure it is! The phrasing indicates that the man doesn’t sit in their seat. He doesn’t get comfortable in barbaric conversations where love and listening are not welcome. He doesn’t delight in mocking others. That’s not where he lives; it’s not where he thrives. He does not breathe there.
This passage came to mind after I heard the following in my spirit over the holiday: They want a religion that will not change them.
I paused what I was doing and let the gravitas float in the air. The Holy Spirit was spot on (per usual) and I shook my head in disappointment.
Although Sunday is deemed a sacred day in many communities, I believe it became more ritualistic than life-changing. This was never the intent. Never in the Plan. I truly believe the upside of the pandemic is that this comfy church blanket was ripped from our hands and more importantly from our internal dictionaries. When we couldn’t go to an edifice, we had to create space in our homes for Christ to inhabit. We had to sit with ourselves or with our families, pause some duties, and cultivate intimacy in our belief systems. More importantly, we had to create space in our hearts.
Let’s go back to Psalm 1:1-3. The only way for that man to be like a tree is to have a consistent supply of nutrients. He meditates day and night on what will foster growth. The tree is planted by water and the last time I checked, trees have all sorts of things crawling and growing around them, but they keep being a tree. They keep rising, sometimes growing against seemingly impossible odds. They grow. They bear fruit. They release leaves. They do what they were created to do.
Are we the man in the passage or are we stuck in the ritualism of our faith with no intention of growing – attending church events with no appetite for the Word to purify our lives?
Even David mentions a similar frustration in Psalm 4:2 – “O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?”
Now check out Proverbs 15:12 – “A scoffer doesn’t love to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.”
As believers, we can’t want the highlights of our faith without the grittiness of growth. What the world ends up seeing is a group of hypocrites scorning them, which is actually closer to the origin of the Hebrew word for “scoffer” used in Psalm 1.
So, the latest additions to my prayer life have been the following:
“Lord, I don’t want to be in the way of someone seeing You.”
“Growth is a continuous expectation. Let me be at peace with the process.”
“I have an appetite for Your Word to live in me.”
Some years back, I picked one. I picked life. I picked growth. I picked the streams of water that channel the Love of Christ into my spirit over getting into petty debates about mask wearing and vaccines (Family, remember what I always say – it’s not worth the neurons. I picked the opportunity to not be a living thing that does not grow.
Peace & Thanks for listening! Stay well out there!