Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blessed and Planted

Psalm 119:1-3 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.  They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
 
Those verses begin the October 22nd devotional in John C. Maxwell’s Leadership Promises for Every Day.  Mr. Maxwell points out that all 176 verses of Psalm 119 lift up the Word of God as the one thing that brings in stability to our lives, no matter what may be going on.  He suggests two reasons why this is important:
 
“1. Change happens faster than ever, so leaders must remain adaptable.

2. We need timeless values more than ever, so leaders must remain principle-driven.”
 
Think about those two statements.  Adaptable, but principle driven.  Let’s look in the book of Jeremiah and draw a word picture.  Jeremiah 17:7-8 tells us, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” 
 
Picture the bank of a river or pond or lake.  There are trees, bushes, reeds.  Because the plants are in soft soil, the roots can grow much deeper to gain liquid and nutrients.  A side result is that the deep roots give added stability.  When a strong wind blows through, the plants will bend.  But they don’t move and, when the wind is done, they spring right back to their normal position.  In the heat they don’t wilt and die.  They bear fruit.  That’s us when we’re fed and watered by the Word of God.  Adaptable to changing conditions, but immovable from Godly principles.
 
Last time, we talked about John Maxwell’s reading about mindsets of scarcity and abundance, from The Maxwell Daily Reader.  Psalm 119 and Jeremiah 17:7-8 give the answer how to get away from the mindset of scarcity and into one of abundance.  Allowing the Word to correct our thinking and develop our relationship with the Lord gives us the spiritual strength to be able to bend in negative circumstances instead of breaking.  And to firmly return to normal after the storm.  And, no matter what the situation, we see it as a spiritual opportunity instead of an insurmountable trial.
 
It doesn’t matter whether we’re leaders or just average people making it through the day, we can live in Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
 
What verses are going to plant you solidly by the banks of the river of life, today?

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