How blessed is the man…[whose] delight is in the law of the LordAnd in his law he meditatesÂ day and night. ~Psalm 1:2, NASB
It is easy to underestimate the importance of what we think about. Look at the promises tied to meditating on the Law of the Lord!Â You will be like a tree planted by streams of water,Â you will yieldÂ your fruit in season, andÂ your leaf will not wither. Further, the Lord will knowÂ your ways (v. 6). Listen, that’s everything! If you will think on the Law of the Lord, Psalm 1 says, you will prosper in whatever you do!
If we’re trying to advance in the Christian walk, you’d think we’d pay some attention to this. How come I’m not going forward? How come I’m not more holy? How come I don’t have more power with God? How come I can’t seem to overcome? If you’re asking any of those questions, you should look at what you’re thinking about. Those who meditate on the Law of the Lord prosper like a tree planted by rivers of water.
This is not just an Old Testament thing. Paul ties being spiritual to the simple idea of thinking about spiritual things (Rom. 5:5-8). Those who set their minds on the Spirit walk in the Spirit and have life and peace. Those who don’t, have death. He also ties our growth as Christians to whether we’re thinking about eternal things. We are being transformed, he says, into the image of Christ, but only as we look at eternal things (2 Cor. 4:17-18).
Paul tells us that we are to run the race to win. I knowÂ that if I was a professional runner, looking for that edge over other professional runners, this sort of far-reaching advice would be something I would never miss. Professional runners worry about the health and strength of their big toe, knowing that the final toe off of each stride might add some fraction of an inch to each stride, giving them an advantage over their competitors. They do this for the sake of a bit of money. The race you are running is for the sake of immortality. It’s for the sake of living eternity in the presence of God. You ought to be worried about things that are the equivalent of a runner’s big toe, but you should be worried all the more about the things that are the equivalent of a runner’s whole body!
Meditate on the law of the Lord! Set your mind on the things of the Spirit. Look at eternal things. Set your mind on things above, where Christ is, at the right hand of the Father. Whatever is good, think on these things. Do so, and you will be like a tree planted by streams of water. You will prosper in season. You will bear fruit, and you will have a constantly new supply of living water with which to bear more fruit. The promises of God don’t get any better than this.
Tomorrow, or the next time I remember to blog, I’ll talk about some more parallels between Psalm 1 and the New Testament. It was pretty neat.