“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJ).
When the world economy took a sudden dive two years ago, countless were dragged and shoved into a terrifying run for their money. They lost their jobs, houses, retirements and investments. And up to this day, many have never recovered. But those who stayed smart, who remained faithful in the Lord, the sting of the “economic bubble burst” had no effect on them. In spite of a global financial turmoil, God has blessed them with exponential increase and undeniable promotions in the work force.
The Psalmist gave us two specific strategies in order REMAIN BLESSED in the midst of recession, depression, and famine:
FIRST, associate yourself with the Godly men.
The Psalmist writes, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scornful …”
Reality bites! There are only two sides of a coin, and the same is true with life. It’s either you have the life of God in you through Christ, or you don’t. It’s either you have the wisdom of God which is in Christ Jesus, or the wisdom of this world. The wisdom of the smartest people in Wall Street failed to rescue the economic fallout. Until now, no one could pin point the cause and the solution of this mess. They tried the wisdom of this world to solve the equation but failed, big time. But God has all the answers. Praise the Lord.
The psalmist warned us to separate our self from the ungodly. We are not to have fellowship with them, and not to take advice or counsel from them regarding the way we conduct our life and in our business. The apostle Paul admonished the Corinthians not to have an unequally yoked with unbelievers. As children of light, we have no common denominator or whatsoever with the children of darkness. We should have known that already at this time. Don’t accept the wisdom of this world – you will fail!
It is common for unbelievers to do their business, raise their family, and run their daily activities with and through compromise. They have no problem cheating a little over here, and a little over there, because they think it’s not a big deal to cheat a little bit anyway. I can almost hear them say in unison, “Everybody does it anyway.” The government cheats, the leaders are corrupt, the system is distorted and etc., therefore why not do also.
Are we saying that the whole world system is compromised with evil? The answer is no. Governments and businesses have set up policies and procedures to effectively run a system that is honest, just and productive. I believe that the Sovereignty of God steps in when it comes to Governments. God directs the hearts of the leaders of this world to have a peaceful and livable planet. However, it is the corrupt mind that muddles the system. Therefore, God wants you to associate yourself to Godly men.
“… that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the world of life, … ” (Philippians 2:15,16a NKJ).
In the last days, God will raise up men of characters. Men who will refuse to compromise their faith. They are men of integrity. They are men who are honest to themselves. They have fear of the Lord in their hearts. The Word of God in their hearts stands forever in truth, and never be compromised. In short, nobody can buy these men. You cannot put a tag price on them. You may say that everybody has a price. But these men of God have kept the word in their hearts that they might not sin against the Lord.
Our founding church fathers have set the basic standard for anyone who aspires to enter into the ministry in the Body of Christ. The early church established an entry level for the ministry called as “The Running a Food Program.” It was not a position designed to preach or teach the Word, but to help out the brethren in the distribution of food. It was a menial work.
“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3 NKJ).
To enter into a ministry, good reputation is a must. Good reputation simply means character and integrity. Your action speaks louder than the words of your mouth. People respect you, and you can have great influence when you have character and integrity. As far as the kingdom of God is concern, ministry is not a popularity based performance. It is not “American Idol” show off. It is based on character and integrity of your heart. “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3 NKJ).
A Godly man must be full of the Holy Spirit. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to do the works of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the power and the ability to serve the Lord. It is true that any believer can serve in the ministry, but without being filled with the Holy Spirit, he can only serve through his own efforts (his own ability and in his own power). But with the Holy Spirit, every man of God performs according to ability and power of God. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
A Godly man must operate in the wisdom that comes from God. A ministry founded on the wisdom of man will not last long. Man’s work will bring good results but superficial. On the other hand, a ministry that is founded on the wisdom of God yields everlasting life and giving glory to God. Remember, the whole creation was founded on God’s wisdom. Again, service to God is not based on “Think Tank” leadership and management strategies. Service to God is operating in His wisdom. “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31 NKJ).
In the Old Testament, a Godly man has always been a blessing to anyone. Jacob became a blessing to Laban because of their direct association. (Read Genesis chapters 30th and 31st.)
Listen to their conversation and exchange of words. Learn to understand that one man was blessed because of his association to the other.
“Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for the Lord has blessed me because of you…” (Genesis 30:27 NLT).
Jacob replied, “… You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed you through everything I’ve done …” (Genesis 30:30 NLT).
You see, Laban became wealthy and prosperous because of Jacob’s association with him. There is a blessing when you associate yourself with Godly men. Don’t compromise when running a business. Stay with the counsel of the godly.
SECOND, associate yourself with the Word of God.
The Psalmist writes, “… but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night…”
Jesus challenged his disciples when he said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. … If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:5, 7 NKJ).
Jesus is the Word of God. He declared that without Him, you can do nothing. Without the Word in your life, without Jesus in your life, you will never succeed in life. No matter how you try it, how you work it, without His Word everything is in vain.
Believers who meditate on the Word are mighty in the spirit. They have deeper revelation on the ways of God. On the average, they know their God better. It’s sad that there are believers who have to learn to read the word of God. Prior to being born again, they were not exposed to reading. And now that God wants them to meditate on His word, they have difficulty going through the Bible, line by line and precept by precept.
Meditation is fellowshipping with His Word and the Holy Spirit. As you meditate, the Spirit
will reveal the deep things of God in your heart. He will enlighten your thoughts and your minds with His Divine wisdom. “I have more understanding than all of my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 119:99 NKJ).
THEREFORE, the Psalmist concludes, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”