Blessed Counsel

Psalm 1: 1

How blessed is the . . ..

Psalm 1, a very good place to start. Most of you realize the psalms are songs. As such they have a different tone and complexion from the rest of scripture. The psalms contain many special messages and they often minister straight to the heart, completely bypassing the intellect.

I am struck by the first words of the first Psalm. I participate in a conference call where we are learning about the blessing. How interesting that the first words of the first psalm are about the blessing. The songwriter is going to tell us how people live in the blessing of God. What comes next? How can we each be amongst the blessed of God?

Here is the first verse in its entirety: “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” The first thing we learn about walking in the blessing is what not to do. So, what is this bit of wisdom. First, don’t take your advice from the wicked. I used to think this meant not to take advice from non-Christians. So, I endeavored to hire Christians for everything. However, I made a dazzling discovery. Some of the non-Christians were more ethical than the Christians I was working with. Jesus said we will know the wicked by their fruit. So now I have learned to be a fruit inspector. I would prefer to work with Christians but sometimes my light is better displayed by its exposure to those who need to see Christ alive. Also, the salvation prayer does not include a transformation button. We all have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2: 12). That means that our transformation isn’t automatic. Romans 12: 2 reads, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Transformation is a process. It would be wonderful if there was an automatic transformation but there isn’t. Everyone has to work on becoming the Christ like person God ordained. Checking people’s fruit is a check on their journey so far and their ethics is a part of that journey. So, we are instructed not to take our counsel from the wicked which means we must be certain that the people we look to are worthy to lead us on a right path.

That is true of the next statement as well. Do not conspire or plan with sinners. Who are the sinners? Does that mean limit us to Christians? I wish. Don’t hang out with people who practice sin regardless of their Christian affiliation. Choose to be with people who are endeavoring to live above sin. Jesus gave us his life and victory so that we can be free of the chains of sin but not all who have asked Jesus into their lives have broken the chains of sin. Be wise. Check their fruit.

Last, do not be a scoffer nor associate with people who are. This is a pretty big deal, actually. Scoffers are those who jeer, mock, are contemptuous, and speak derisively. These are people you need to stay away from. I think also of people who are generally negative, contrary and critical. We all have a tendency towards being scoffers at times, but you know there is a difference between occasional slipups and a pattern of behavior.

This first psalm points us towards the blessing. In so doing it alerts us to some easy missteps. If you want to live in the blessing you can’t take your advice from wicked people, scoffers or sinners. Of course, this makes sense. These people cannot point you to the blessing. They cannot teach you or counsel you in how to walk in blessing. They can only teach what they know which is scoffing, wickedness, and sin. None of those are in the blessing. Don’t hire these people, don’t take their advice, don’t let them lead you – even if they do have a fish on their business card or are related to you. Take your counsel from people whose fruit would please Jesus.

Counseled to Succeed

Psalm 1: 1

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.

Do you want to be blessed? Then take your guidance from Godly people. Additionally, make sure you are praying for the people from whom you receive counsel. 

There are a couple of insightful maxims I have picked up recently. Some, perhaps, I have known for awhile but there are levels of knowing but only the level where you consistently apply knowledge is fruitful. So, maybe you have heard some of this before too but this may be the time when it sinks in at a deeper level.

First of all, don’t receive your counsel from someone who is living on their own preaching. What do I mean by that? I have watched ministers and you can predict their fall so easily when they begin to live off of their own preaching. They rely solely on their own wisdom and revelation. That is doom. As soon as we stop receiving counsel from those who are ahead of us on the journey we are destined for the fall. When preachers stop listening to other ministers’ teachings it is only a short time before their own ministry will begin to fail. In real life this means when any of us relies on our own wisdom rather than continuing to be fed by and counseled by those who can instruct us we will begin to falter.

Secondly, do business with Godly people, people who can and do hear the voice of God. I would rather do business with a saint who can hear God’s voice and is sensitive to His leading than a saint who is folded in on himself or is just unable to be led by God. He may be a wonderful person but I want a wonderful person who is being led by God. You should expect the same. Then, as soon as you begin doing business with someone begin to pray for them daily. Ask God to bless them, keep them and to lead them in all they do. Anoint that relationship with prayer. And I would go a step further. Direct them to the 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice which is resourced at Be a blessing to folks. What if we were all hearing God’s voice everyday? Don’t you think things would begin to get easier? And make sure that you avail yourself of all of the resources available at Communing with God Ministries.

Last, this verse and commentary assume that you are receiving counsel. If not, find someone you can receive counsel from. I know it is not always easy but if you don’t have the answer and yet rely solely on yourself for the answers isn’t that the same as the blind leading the blind? At the very minimum there is a ton of free Biblical teaching available on the web. You may be amazed at how much there is. You can have a different preacher speak into your life everyday of the week. Use those teachings to guide you while you seek a personal counselor or advisor. And just a hint: if a preacher ruffles your feathers a little, you have probably found the right person. You are being challenged, that’s all and that is what we want.