Friday, September 21, 2007

Ungodly Counsel (Psalms 1)

My latest thoughts on being blessed...

Being Blessed has less to do with a moment in time and even less to do with material things. While it can, and does, occasionally mean those things, from what I see in Psalms 1, 'blessed' is a movement in the Right(eous) direction. It is moving towards God instead of away from God. It is a path or journey that one chooses. The 'unblessed' have stopped moving towards God and begun moving away from God. Their path or journey is taking them in the wrong direction.

This Psalm opens up by explaining what a blessed person does not do:
1 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 the scornful;

I think that it is fair to restate that verse for the purpose of meditation and learning:
The unblessed man walks in the counsel of the ungodly, stands in the path of sinners, and sits in the seat of the scornful.

The most obvious thing about an 'unblessed' person, is the natural downward spiral. First, there is walking in (listening to) ungodly counsel. Then, one stops walking, and stands. Finally, one sits.

When I think of counsel, I think of words, or communication. In fact, words/communication of any sort move us in a particular direction. I started running again this year and recently picked a book by Bill Rodgers-A Lifetime Running Plan. The more I read the words (counsel) of that book, the more I am moved in that direction. It encourages me through knowledge to become more committed to a running plan. However, if I read stuff that is negative or ungodly, I will be moved in that direction.

Ungodly counsel is communication from the enemy. Here is a short list of primary ways that we can receive counsel of the ungodly:

TV, Books, Music, Magazines, Internet, etc…These avenues are most often used to introduce us to ungodly counsel. We will more readily receive wrong thoughts and ideas through these mediums than any other way.

Friends, Parents, Spouses, Church Leaders…or other people that we trust and/or respect. The words of people impact our lives (postivley or negatively) in very powerful ways. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue…"

Direct Satanic Messages…It seems to me that Satan and his messengers can affect our thinking. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul speaks of a 'thorn in the flesh'. Most people assume this to be a physical problem of some sort and some Bible translations even use those words. But to me, Paul explains what the thorn is…"a messenger of Satan". A satanic communication…definitely ungodly counsel.

And then the worst ungodly counsel of all---'Self-talk'…Eventually, if we take in too much ungodly counsel from different avenues, we will begin to believe it ourselves and begin to speak it within our heart. It soon becomes a part of who we are; all because we chose to listen to ungodly counsel along the way.

It might include the obvious--like hatred towards someone. But it is most
often not so obvious--like:
"I don't ____________ very often; so, it's not really hurting me."
"I don't get anything out of the Bible when I read it, so I don't read it much."
"I know it might be wrong, but at least I am not as bad as 'so-and-so'."

"It doesn't really matter what I do, as long as it does not hurt someone else. As long as I know that I am saved."

"This is a good it MUST be God!"

And the list goes on and on...

Allowing ungodly counsel into our mind, soul, and spirit is the beginning of being 'unblessed' and the downward movement away from God.

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