Decisions & Destiny

Psalm 1

Written over a period of 1,000 years, ranging from the time of Moses to Ezra in the 4th century, the Psalms are a beloved portion of Scripture.  The 150 chapters, or psalms, are divided into 5 books, each concluding with a doxology, or praise to God.  7 different authors (more than any other book in the Bible), or group of authors, penned the Psalms.  And there are at least 5 different types of Psalms including hymns, lament or complaint, royal, thanksgiving, and wisdom.

Psalm 1 is one of the most cherished of all the Psalms.  It is a wisdom Psalm and is a powerful challenge and reminder that the decisions we make determine our destiny.

Just think of the importance of decision-making with regard to our health, eating, exercise, finances, relationships, love, family, faith, and more.

From Psalm 1, notice 5 daily decisions we must make that determine our destiny.

1: CHOOSE TO LIVE A BLESSED LIFE

  • Psalm 1:1 – “Blessed is the one who…
  • Psalm 1 tells us 2 things:
    • You can live a blessed life.
    • How to live a blessed life.
  • Psalm 1 tells us that we must choose it. The blessed life is something we choose today, and each day, and it is found in choosing God and His plan for our life.
  • The Bible teaches us that bad things happen to good people, so it doesn’t mean that the blessed life is perfect and pain free. It means that God will be with us during the good and bad times and will build our character and grow our maturity through it (James 1).
  • I believe it must be a daily choice and commitment to live a blessed life. We need to say daily:  Today, Lord, I want to put myself in position to follow your plan for my life.” We need to pray what David prayed in Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, o Lord.”
  • Here are some additional verses on choosing to live a blessed life: Matt. 5:3-12, Ps. 112:1, Ps. 119:1-2, Ps. 128:1, Ps. 106:3, Ps. 40:4, Ps. 84:5.

2: CHOOSE TO FOLLOW GODLY WISDOM

  • Psalm 1:1 – “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,”
  • There are 2 roads everyone must to choose between:
    • The Way of the Sinner (vs. 1).
    • The Way of the Righteous (vs. 6).
  • We can either choose man’s way or God’s way.
  • Notice the warning surrounding these three ideas:  Step. Stand. Sit.
    • Step: Choose not to order your life around that which is wicked, but rather around walking in the “counsel,” the deliberations and advice, of the Lord (Prov. 1:10-19. Vs. 20ff, “warnings against rejecting wisdom”).
    • Stand: Choose not to station yourself in habitual evil. See vs. 5 regarding those for whom evil is habitual, and wickedness is a way of life.
    • Sit: Choose not to settle yourself into a lifestyle that defies God’s ways. Mockers are those who ridicule God and defiantly reject His ways.
  • This Psalm does not tell us to stop associating with those who do not know God; in fact the Bible tells us the opposite.  We need to engage with people but we are not to engage in wicked thinking or living. We are to be salt & light influencers for God.   Do not let compromise put your light out, but be a light to those trying to find the way to faith in Christ.

3: CHOOSE TO DEVOTE YOURSELF TO GOD’S LAW

  • Psalm 1:2 – “but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”
  • Vs. 1 tells us to disengage from wickedness, but in verse 2 we read about the engagement part. We are to engage in God’s Word and become students and practitioners of God’s Laws.
  • We are supposed to delight in the Law of God and devote ourselves to it.
  • We are to delight ourselves in the law of the Lord.  We are to mediate on His Word, day and night (a similar admonition is found in Joshua 1:8).
    • What are you delighted to read and study? Maybe you love to read fiction, non-fiction, history, mystery, sports, biographies… Have you ever wondered how your life could grow and develop if you applied that same “delight” and joy, and devoted yourself to reading God’s Word?
  • The blessed and the wise are the ones who devote themselves to the Law of God. There is a rule of spiritual law in their lives.

4: CHOOSE TO LIVE A FRUITFUL AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE

  • Psalm 1:3 – “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.”
  • Psalm 1 says living for God and anchoring in His Word will produce fruitfulness.
    • God wants you to be fruitful.
    • The purpose of our lives is to produce good fruit.
  • Jesus was walking with His disciples one day and saw a fig tree on the side of the road. He was hungry and decided to go to the tree but found that it was fruitless. As he often did, he used it as an object lesson on fruitlessness (Matt. 21:18-22; Mark 11:14).
    • God abhors fruitlessness (Jesus cursed the tree – it’s important to note the cleansing of the temple was sandwiched between the story of the fig tree).
    • The reason He gave us the Holy Spirit is to produce spiritual fruit in us.
    • Like the fig tree, we must avoid appearance with no substance (the fig tree had leaves but no fruit).
    • A fruit tree with no fruit is like a Christian who doesn’t live like Christ.
  • So choose to live a fruitful and productive life.
  • Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. Notice the source of fruitfulness is trusting in the Lord and placing your confidence in Him.

5: CHOOSE NOT TO WASTE YOUR LIFE ON UNGODLINESS

  • Psalm 1:4-6 – “Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”
  • Sin is pleasurable, but temporary and destructive. It will destroy your faith, family, marriage, finances, health, emotions, spirit… everything. Is that really the decision you want to make? To shun God and live in opposition to God’s plan for your life?  I don’t think so! I don’t want to live that way either.
  • Psalm 1 paints the picture of 2 roads, 2 choices, 2 lives that lead to 2 destinies. You can go with God and be wise and blessed, or you can go the way of man, ignore God, and become like chaff that is blown away and useless.
  • Proverbs 1:7 summarizes the message of Psalm 1 well, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

So today, choose to put yourself in a position to be blessed by God. Decide to walk in the way of the Lord and His Law. Make these 5 decisions today – and each day – aligning your life with His plan for you, thereby choosing a destiny of God’s blessing.