Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Divine Prosperity

Psalm 1:1-3

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.

I can't say that I meditate on God's Word day and night. Yes, I do think about it a lot, and yes, I certainly delight in it, but I can't say that it's a 24/7/365 experience. And when I read this psalm this morning, it intrigued me because of the thought of everything prospering. I couldn't quite wrap my head around that thought and knew I needed to spend some time on what this promises if I was to make heads or tails of it.

As I read over this multiple times, there seemed to be a cause and effect relationship of some sort between delighting, meditating, and having what you do prosper. And it seems to me that while this could certainly be misapplied, there is a connection here, even if not quite the direct cause and effect we expect when we put a quarter in a gumball machine.

What I am seeing is this: the more we delight in God's Word and the more we meditate on it, the logical result is going to be having a more intense desire to do His will. Clearly, if we are doing what He's asked us to do, the results are up to Him and will be realized, even if they aren't what we would have anticipated. But I think there is another layer of beauty and depth here that took me a bit longer to see.

Isaiah 55:10-11 reads as follows:

As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 
so is My word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

It's so easy to see things as prosperous when they go well, but if God's Word is guaranteed to not return void, and it causes us to do what He intended us to do, that has nothing to do with favorable results, that has to do with obedience. 

Consider this for a moment. Prosperity by definition is a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition. Typically, we would see that manifested from a worldly perspective to mean financial gain. However, if I had to choose between prosperity from the world's point of view and prospertity from God's point of view, I'll take the thriving condition which makes me more prosperous in my relationship with Him over money anytime.

What's so incredibly wonderful about this is that God is setting us up for the prosperity. He is giving us His word, He is telling us what to do with it, and He is providing the thriving relationship that results. And the prosperous results of what we put our hands to can be things that totally flopped from our point of view but were a catalyst for great change that we won't know about this side of heaven. What we did will have mattered, His word still did not return void, our obedience will still bring about blessings, and God will have orchestrated the entire thing! That is mind-blowing.

Just when I think I am in enough awe of who God is and what He's capable of doing, He throws something like this at me and removes Himself with immeasurable force from the box I put Him in, again. Maybe it's time I realize that He will always be so much more capable of anything I will ever ask for or imagine.

Lord, there just aren't words to describe You, Your grace, Your wisdom, and Your willingness to reveal that You spare no good thing from us. Every good and perfect gift comes from You and it seems that You deliver a lot of them directly from Your word that results in an infusion of belief in how incredible You are. I pray that You would make the things we do prosperous and help us to realize that the things that might look like massive failures to others are achieving the purposes You intended. Help us to focus on Your defintion of prosperity, not the world's. We love you. Amen.

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