Thought for the Week - 26th JunePastor Gareth Watkins
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.
Last week our Church heard a sermon from Ezekiel 47:1-21 about the river of life. We learned how it’s up to us how deep we go – whether we enter in just a little, or fully submerge ourselves and surrender ourselves to God.
We need God in every single thing that we do, our marriage, our work, our relationships etc. The river of life is for every part of our lives, not just for when we enter into Church. A lot of Christians don’t want to examine the role of God in certain aspects of their lives. We need to be in that river and receiving God’s blessings in every part of our lives. We need to allow God into every single part of our lives, and consider what parts of our lives that God is not in. All areas will be fruitful when we allow God into them.
In the verses above we learn that when we bring all the different aspects of our life under the covering of God – the pains and the blessings – we will prosper like trees planted by fresh streams. The condition is that we must walk in the counsel of the Lord.
We have to choose to be fully immersed that river of live and come under the counsel of God. We can’t decide to be partially immersed one minute and on the river bank the next. If we continue to be fully immersed, with God in all the aspects of our lives, we will be blessed. Ungodly counsel rules around us everywhere – if we want to be blessed in God we need to stand in the delight of God, and bring these areas of our lives to God.
For example, if I were younger I’d be asking things like: “who are my friends”, “should I go to church”, “what about my make-up and clothes”, “what college should I go to”, “what hobbies do I have”. I’d ask God to come into all those different areas. If I was a parent, I’d ask God for his priorities there. “How do I establish my family in God”. “What does a parent who comes into my house think? What impression do they get”, “how do I educate my family”, “how do I pay these bills”. If I was middle aged I’d ask things like: “what is my involvement in the church”, “what does God want for my marriage now my children are grown up and I have more time”, “what do I do with my free time”.
In all these things I’d ask God to make His priorities my priorities. If we make God priorities our priorities, we will be like this verse and God will bring forth his fruits in due course. Whether we’re young or older, God priorities need to be our priorities. We pray often “Your kingdom come, your will be done”, but we don’t mean it. We’re talking about God’s will being done in our life right now – in all the things we do, however old we are. Are God’s priorities your priorities in all the different aspects of your life?
In Jeremiah, God told him that He would bring a nation back and call it Israel. And so it was – the exactly the right place, the right people and the right name. God was in control! What about God’s priorities for our nation? We can pray for our leaders, that they will make God’s priorities their priorities. We need to pray for our nation; that God will establish it in His way and that the things of wicked one don’t come. That we see God in control, we see God give us our land, and we see God at work. We have more to pray for – that God will have us all in His priorities. We can pray that our leaders seek the counsel of God.
Thomas Marshall, once a Vice President of the USA, was a politician, lawyer, Christian and leader of the Temperance Movement. He was also a secret alcoholic and third degree Mason. After many years of drunkenness, his wife convinced him to give up alcohol. But he insisted in doing it in his own strength, rather than under God. He thought that he didn’t need God and instead thought self-control would be sufficient. He ultimately died a pauper, smelling of whisky, in clothes had given to him by a Christian charity – he had nothing.
We need God, and we need His counsel. We need the wisdom of God in every aspect of our lives. If we want to be successful – through trials, bereavements, and issues – we need the counsel of God! And what sort of people should we be while we seek this counsel of God?
2 Peter 3: 11 – 14
Since all these things will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be?
Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God,
as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat.
But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home.
And so, my friends, as you wait for that Day, do your best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him.
We need to have holy conduct, look for the coming of our Lord, hasting the coming of the Lord, living in peace, without spot, and blameless. In these areas we need the counsel of God! Come under the counsel of God in all aspects of your life. In God’s counsel and wisdom, His life, fruitfulness, strength and anointing will enter all aspects of our lives.