Whose Counsel Do You Follow?

Psalms 1:1-2 ESV

“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”

My husband and I just finished having a conversation about our high school days (long time ago). He began the conversation by remarking about how there were a lot of things we did not learn in high school (we went to rival high schools). And, as conversations sometimes go, one thing lead to another and then to another, and then I ended up talking about some of the teachers I had (most were not good) which then led to another topic.

Now I had an abusive father, and I did know Jesus and so I had Christian morals, so on both counts I generally avoided doing anything bad. I used to get made fun of for being too good. But this one day we had a substitute music teacher who was more like a babysitter and she didn’t really pay attention to what we were doing and someone talked me into leaving the classroom and then later returning and then lying about what we had done.

Now, later in life I got talked into much worse than that during a time when I was physically, emotionally and spiritually weak, and I have written about that in my testimony. But the Lord Jesus pulled me out of that and he set me on a new course and I never went back. All glory to God. So, I know what it is like to get talked into sinning against the Lord and into doing what I know is wrong, and I know the painful consequences of such wrong choices.

So, I can speak from personal experience when I tell you that letting others talk you into the wrong you know you ought not to do is never a good choice. And there are plenty of people out there willing to try to persuade you to do wrong, and they can be very convincing and conniving and be just like Satan in their approach in tempting you to do wrong and in tempting you to not listen to God and to his word.

And sadly enough, in our day and age here in America, many of them are preachers and teachers of the Scriptures and authors of “Christian” books who are telling people that they don’t have to repent of their sins and that they don’t have to obey the Lord and that they are not required to submit to Christ as Lord, for they call that works salvation or lordship salvation. But they teach that a mere profession of faith in Jesus is enough to be saved.

So, we need to be strong in the Lord and in his might and power. And we must resist the devil and flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. And we must guard our hearts and minds against being persuaded to turn away from the truths of the Scriptures to walk after the ways of human flesh. And we must set our faces like flint in the face of the counsel of wicked professers of faith in Jesus who would lead us astray.

And we must delight in God’s word and in the gospel of our salvation that the Scriptures teach in their fullness (the whole counsel of God). And we must be students of the Scriptures who are also obedient to the Scriptures which teach us Christians what it means to believe in Jesus and what it means to live the Christian life as God intended for us to live. And we must let the word of God be our counsel and not the voices of human flesh.

Psalms 1:3-4 ESV

“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”

When we walk in obedience to our Lord and we do not give way to anything that is evil there is such peace beyond description and such joy! We have nothing to hide. We don’t have to worry about getting caught. We don’t have to look over our shoulder to see if anyone is watching. Our consciences are clear. We know that we are doing the good that we ought to do and that we are not doing the evil we know we ought not to do, and that is peace!

And when our delight is in the Lord and in obeying his word and in doing what he says to do, not only are we at peace, but we have much joy in serving our Lord and in pleasing him and in serving others in the way that God has for us to do. And although we don’t serve the Lord and others to get the praise of humans, but only for the glory of God, and because we care about our fellow humans, we are encouraged by positive responses.

We are at peace because we know that our obedience is making a difference in other people’s lives whose lives we touch, as well. We will most likely not see all the fruit for our labors of love in this life, and that is perfectly okay, but we can have joy in the Lord and peace in knowing that God is using us for his glory in other people’s lives and he will use our obedience for his purposes to bring others to Jesus and/or to encourage them in their walks of faith in Jesus Christ and in his holiness and righteousness. All glory to God!

Psalms 1:5-6 ESV

“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Who are the wicked? They are those who make evil their practice. They are many, too, who have professed faith in Jesus Christ but who never did die with Christ to sin and who never were born again of the Spirit of God, for they continued to live in deliberate and habitual sin after their profession of faith in Jesus and then to excuse away their sin and even to claim that God freed them from the guilt of sin so that they could keep on sinning.

Now, this is not saying that all Christians are perfect or that we will never sin again once we believe in Jesus. The Scriptures do allow for the fact that we might sin again (1 Jn 2:1-2) but they also teach that sin must no longer be our practice (addiction). Sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives. If we profess faith in Jesus Christ but nothing changes in our lives and we keep living like we did before without conscience or true repentance, that’s wrong.

For Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery (bondage) to sin so that we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness and he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who died and was raised. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we’d honor God with our bodies (our lives).

[Romans 6:1-23; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinth 5:15,21; 1 Corinth 6:19-20]

And who are the righteous? They are those who believe in Jesus Christ, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. For it is those who practice righteousness who are righteous, and it is those who practice wickedness who are wicked, according to the Scriptures, so according to God.

And then we need to know that if wickedness is what we practice and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice that we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what professions of faith we have made in Jesus Christ. For faith in Jesus Christ is not something we create in our own minds. Faith is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ, it comes from God, it is gifted to us by God, it is persuaded by God, and thus it will align with God’s will and purpose and with his divine character.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

When in The Stillness

An Original Work / September 26, 2011

When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.

While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.

Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.

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