The Wind

Psalm 1:4 – “Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.”

As I write this devotional, Hurricane Ike is working it’s way to the Texas coastline. Residents of Galveston Island, Texas have been issued a stern warning from the National Weather Service that states that they face certain death from flooding if they remain in their homes. This has been an intense hurricane season. Our thoughts and prayers are definitely with the people of Galveston, Houston, and all other areas affected by Ike’s path.

Today’s verse talks about the wind. Wind is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. The destructive force of the wind has blown away houses, reduced barns to timber, turned over trucks and brought large waves that have devastated cities and towns. Wind is also used in nature’s agricultural process to blow away the chaff. It takes away the dead leaves from trees. Wind spreads seeds so that plants can reproduce.

The Psalmist compares the wicked to chaff. Yesterday’s verse showed quite the contrast. When speaking of the righteous, the Psalmist tells us that they are like a tree planted by springs of living water. Their leaves do not wither and fade. The end result for those who would live a life that ignores God? Their life produces that which in the end is worthless.

Billions of people will go their own way
Ignoring the call of the Spirit today
Living a life built upon their own goals
To the detriment of their very own souls

May we not live our lives just for us
Missing the joy by making a fuss
Like children we think we know better than You
Help us grow up and see that’s untrue

The wind will not blow us off course if we stand
Secure in Your presence with You hand in hand
We long for the day that the battle is through
Until then for You may our lives stay so true.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We don’t want to be like those you describe in Psalm 1:4. To be wicked in Your sight is a terrible thought. And, yet we know that our righteousness is described in Your Word as filthy rags. When our hearts long for the world, more than they long for You, remind us of these verses. Remind us of the hurricane like force with which our enemy comes at us, seeking to drive us hopelessly off course in our walk with You. Thank you, that You are more powerful than any storm that Satan can throw at us. We trust You, and You alone with our lives, our salvation, and every situation that we face. We love You. Help us to live our lives in a way that honors You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

True Success

Psalm 1:3 – “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

We live in a world that loves to measure how successful people are. It’s usually based upon accomplishments, or financial resources, or perhaps their family. But God measures success differently.

Psalm 1:3 continues to tell the story of the blessed person. We know from yesterday’s reading that the person that Psalm one describes is the person who takes delight in the Word of God. Verse three describes the results of living a life for the glory of God. The man or woman who lives their life in such a way is compared to a tree that is planted by streams of water, doing what trees were created to do. The person is bearing fruit. Because the tree is planted by the stream, the leaf of the tree doesn’t wither. If our lives are planted close to God, our lives won’t wither either. We will be more alive than ever when we live our lives for His glory.

The verse ends with the words whatever he does prospers. Wow! Now that is an amazing promise. Those who live lives that are grounded in the Word of God, seeking after His desires, will experience true success. Want to prosper? Pursue that which God is passionate about!

Dear Heavenly Father,

You give us an awesome promise in Psalm 1:3. Help us to have the faith to believe that You truly do want us to prosper. Give us the perspective to know that prospering doesn’t necessarily mean monetarily. Your definition of what it means to prosper is very different than many of ours. Help us to adjust our lives to your definition of prospering.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.