Psalm 1:1b “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked”
[This is a call to discern and reject wrong: will I agree with God, or will I make human understanding the measure of right and wrong? Praise you, Lord, that you give discernment, based on your Word and the direction of the Spirit, to see and avoid the advice of the wicked—and I find that the majority of the wicked advice I encounter arises from my own heart!
I praise you, Lord God, that you are light, continually shining wisdom and understanding into our lives. “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever more brightly til the full light of day” (Pro. 4:18).
If we take your light, we can discern and avoid the traps of wickedness. Blessed are those who have learned to walk in the light of your presence. The more we avoid the counsel of the wicked, the more we can walk in your light, in your love and into your blessings.
I praise you for the joy of being able to avoid the wiles of the devil, to recognize when he puts out the bait for me, to reject it, grasping clearly that the devil’s way only leads to misery, fear, oppression, failure and death. But you, O Lord, in your true wisdom, offer us just the opposite: joy, security, freedom, success and eternal life!]
“Blessed is the man who does not…stand in the way of sinners”
[This, I believe, is to watch what sinners do and desire to do the same. This is so common, so easy, so attractive: TV, movies, music, shopping, catalogues, colleagues, books, magazines, newspapers, the internet—all call us to stop and view, look and lust.
It is so natural to do this–but to walk in the way of Jesus is so much better. “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil” (Pro. 4:25,26).
Yesterday at the photographers, I failed in this, looking twice at an unhealthy picture; forgive me, Lord, help me to heed instead to the voice of the Spirit, and stand not in the way of sinners.]
“Blessed is the man who does not…sit in the seat of mockers.”
[Lord, it is such a part of my nature to be judgmental, to criticize, to make fun of others. It makes me feel good, to set myself above and to decide who is acceptable and who isn’t, who is cool and who is a nerd.
But this is destructive, negative, unhealthy, ensnaring and evil. To do so is pleasing to the devil but grievous to you. It is the opposite of what you do with us—and since you know us completely, you have abundant reason to judge, condemn and reject us, yet you choose to love and elevate us to being your beloved children. Then you delight in us, rejoice in us, sing over us.
I praise you, Lord God, that you have worked so consistently in my life, convicting me of my negativeness and bringing me to the point of surrender, to stop speaking negative things, and to work at being positive–in my thoughts as well as words–to follow your command in Philippians 4:8 to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
You yourself, Lord Jesus, are the great positive: in you there is only good, only purity, only holiness; there is no evil, no sin, no negative, no dark side. You are thoroughly, completely, perfectly good and all you do is good. You are the One for me to think on, rejoice in, delight in, and I choose to do so because your beautiful, shining, lovely, wonderful character is worthy of all worship and honor.
Praise be to you, glory be to you, honor be to you today in my life. May those around me benefit from the overflow of your Spirit and the goodness you pour into me, so when they meet me, they may also meet you.]