“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, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 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. 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.” Psalms 1:1-6
A. THE TEST OF INTEGRITY IS COMING
The Lord’s message for the year 2021 is that this year is the Year of Integrity. Prophetically speaking, it means that the key to having victory this year lies in how we could give responses according to the Christian integrity in every aspect of our lives. Every Christian is expected to be able to have integrity in family, work, school, church, and other places; even when there is no one else.
Integrity is a result of hard work, since no one would automatically have integrity since they were born. The shaping of integrity requires tests, process, and time. In a normal situation, someone might look like he has a good personality. However, only tests can prove whether or not:
• That person walks on the step of the wicked.
• That person is standing on the way of the sinners.
• That person sits among the mockers.
• That person, who looks kind, would stay kind under pressure.
• That person, who looks loyal, would stay loyal even under extreme lack.
• That person becomes a person who would compromise with the world when he is sick, failed, or poor.
Integrity will show a person’s personality that has been tested. How long would the process to shape our integrity be? If this becomes the theme for an entire month worth of sermons, then the focus of character building would only take 30 days. However, since this is an annual theme, then the development would take 365 days.
With such a long process or test, a person would require an additional energy to shape their own integrity. Someone whose integrity is being built requires consumption of spiritual, mental, and physical power. The sustenance is required in the early, middle, and end process so that we can be transformed and be victorious to be fruitful. We need to continue having the right response so that we can be strong in waiting on the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises.
B. Heed our roots
The Psalmist, in Psalms 1:1, described how a righteous person would have a quality of life that has been tested. A righteous person would not be tempted to compromise with the values of wickedness and sins; or stay among the mockers. It means, a righteous person is a person of integrity. How could we have such integrity? In verse 2, the Psalmist explained that such a person would be delighted to hear and meditate the Word of God every day and night.
• The word “delight” comes from the Hebrew word “Chephets”, which means happy, like, long, to find happiness within, and to view it as precious. Such a person would find happiness when he meets with the Word of God. There would be a very personal satisfaction and happiness upon finding the Word of God. This condition will only be experienced by someone who has made the Word of God as his precious daily need.
• The word “meditate” comes from the Hebrew word “Hagah”, which means to utter, think on, proclaim, to cry out, and to imagine. The content of the Word that was read shouldn’t stop in our heart, but it needs to also be uttered and proclaimed for meditation purposes. The events that were told by the Word of God should be imagined in order to acquire understanding. Righteous people would do this every day and night. This reflects someone’s effort to understand something with all of his will and being. Only those who do this with their entire heart (looking for the lord and His will) will be able to meditate on the Word.
Both of the words above (delight and mediate) reflect a relationship that those with integrity have with the Lord (the Word of God). It is such a strong bond that it is described as a tree that is planted by the streams of water. Be wouldn’t need a long time and effort in order for their roots to find water, which will always run fresh and bring minerals and sustenance that the tree needs to stay alive. If the tree grows well, it can bear fruits.
C. THE LIFESTYLE OF A PERSON OF INTEGRITY
The verses 2 and 3 above reflect on such a strong relationship between people who are righteous / of integrity and a lifestyle of quiet time, reading the Bible, receiving rhema from the Word, and meditating what they receive day and night. When this lifestyle is being implemented every day, they would be like a tree that is planted by the streams of water, for their lifestyle makes them close with the Word of God. Is it possible for this to just happen? This could start from the first love that we have with the Lord. That love must be maintained. In reality, after some time, righteous people need to build a spiritual discipline to maintain their love, and this is being done by reading and meditating on the Word of God, which will help believers to build and maintain the lifestyle of a person of integrity.
Spiritual discipline does not just happen overnight. We need to put in effort to build a lifestyle of quiet time and meditation on the Word of God. The human body can be trained to support such a discipline when that person has a specific daily time to do it. A survey in the subject of psychology explains that it would only take 90 consistent days to shape a new lifestyle. It means, all it takes is just the strong will of that person.
D. THE IMPACT OF STAYING ROOTED BY THE STREAMS OF WATER
The third verse explains that a tree must be planted by the streams of water if it wants to bear fruit in its season.
John 15:7-8 says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
In John 15:7-8, John explained about the close relationship between a lifestyle of meditating on the Word and being fruitful in life. The Bible teaches us about several fruits that can be produced by someone in his life, and these are the fruits that the Lord wants all of His people to have:
• Fruit of Repentance
• Fruit of Life
• Fruit of Character
• Fruit of Souls
Another impact of being planted by the streams of water is high endurance against all kinds of negative or uncomfortable situations in life. Verse 3 explained something about the leaf that does not wither. The leaves of the tree will stay fresh, even when the scorching sun threatens to pull a drought upon them. From this, we learn that uncomfortable situations might come into our lives, just like when the COVID19 pandemic and the economic recession hit us these days. The threat of disease that brings death, fear, and pressure would affect the integrity of someone to compromise with sin, to hurt others, to stay helpless, and to no longer believe in the Lord. The Psalmist was proclaiming the Lord’s heart content so that we could build a relationship with the Lord through a lifestyle that loves the Word of God. The Lord wants to make sure that we can be fruitful, and also to stay as a person of integrity. In the eyes of the Lord, these people would be acknowledged and promised to always be successful in whatever it is that they do. Let us examine our roots, lifestyle, and relationship with the Word of God. Lord Jesus bless you.
image source: https://mwalkerwade.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/confessing-psalm-13/