Archive for October 6th, 2011

October 6, 2011

Random Thoughts on Psalm 1 – Part 2

“…who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,” – Psalm 1:1

I do not think this instruction is about proximity to those that are wicked or battling sin. I can’t reach out to someone and influence them if I never interact with them.  I can not isolate myself from the world and expect to have real influence on those that Jesus has called me to minister to and love.

I think it is the question of influence.  Am I being an influencer or constantly being influenced by others.  The truth is that both are going to happen whether we realize it or not.  There are people that we influence, that watch us that we may have no idea are paying attention to us.  Also, we are influenced by many people and things every day  whether we like it or not.  It is not that we stop being influenced by those around us.  It is a question of discernment.  Do we just absorb everything around us as truth and grow confused with the competing messages?  Or, do we take our thoughts captive and weigh whether something is truth that we hold on to or a lie that we reject?  We have so many different voices that come our way every day, the question is what or who do we listen to and allow to have influence in our lives?

I remember when I was a new believer around the age of 15, I had a great student pastor at my church that did a series of bible studies with our student ministry called “learn to discern.”  In that time, we would listen to many of the popular songs of the day, watch tv shows, etc. and examine the lyrics of what the artists were really saying, then we would talk about it and compare what they were saying to scripture.  That was one of the most eye opening things anyone ever taught me as a new believer.  I knew many of the songs/ tv shows that we discussed, but had never really stopped to think about whether what I was ingesting into my mind and heart was true or not.  It was a practical lesson for me on being careful with who or what I chose to let influence me.

So how do I avoid walking in the counsel of the wicked?  Amos 3:3 says, “Do two walk together unless they agree to do so?” The answer is clearly “no.” So we do not walk in the counsel of the wicked unless we agree to it. That is a simple verse, but it has profound truth. You must agree on a direction that you are walking in with someone else to stay on the same path with them for a significant amount of time. So, we have a choice in the direction that we walk, and we can either be passive or active on how we are influenced.  We can be leaders or followers on that path.

I also believe that as we walk in the direction that we choose, God will set up divine appointments for others that will cross our paths. We will influence them and be influenced by them.  We have to be willing to do both in a healthy way.  We can’t refuse to listen to anyone else and think that we understand everything and don’t need to learn from others.  That leads to self righteousness and isolation.  We also can’t just absorb everything from those around us unfiltered and assume that it is truth.  That leads to passivity and confusion.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” – 2 Corinthians 10:5