Sunday, August 1, 2010

To Be Filled

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 
Psalm 1:1-2
I read over these words, and my mind just reels with all that it contains. I like the NLT version of it that says:
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, 
or stand around with sinners, 
or join in with mockers, 
but they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

What this tells me is that we will always, at all points in time, be filled...with something. At all points in time, we are either falling into one of two categories:
(1) we are meditating on worldly issues and seeing circumstances from a worldly perspective, or
(2) we are meditating on the law of the Lord and delighting in its wisdom.

There is no in between on this one, but there is a constant battle for our attention. Which one will get it? The circumstances of the world, or the delight of the Lord?

Oh, mercy, I can say from personal experience of late, that this battle is ongoing, and requires constant attention throughout the day. That's one of the reasons that we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Many times throughout scripture, we are told to meditate on the law of the Lord day and night, all day long, all night long, every moment of every day, meditate on the law of the Lord.

In Joshua 1:8, it says, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it." See, when we listen to the advice of the wicked, or join in with mockers, we are allowing our minds to be filled with that which does not line up with the Word of God. It may even sound good, make sense, but it is important to remember that there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death. If we are not meditating on the law of the Lord at every moment, we can be easily swayed by circumstances or people around us.

Psalm 119 is filled with exhortations to meditate on his word, over and over again.

Verses 97-103 says, "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Then, take a look at Proverbs 27:7 (I love this!)
He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

Follow me for just a moment. Imagine having gone all day without eating, for whatever reason. You were busy chasing the kids, running errands, working hard..somehow eating took a backseat to your priorities of the day...right up until about 3:30 in the afternoon, when your stomach is just screaming with hunger. You are hearing it, growling like a rabid dog, nonstop.

You open the pantry. Nothing, except maybe some stale crackers and canned soup. Nothing looks very appetizing at all, but you are reeeeaaaaalllllyy hungry. You waver a bit, thinking about the crackers, thinking that the dry staleness could be tolerated for the sake of putting something into the belly.

Just then the phone rings. Your husband has arranged for a babysitter and wants to take you out for a fancy dinner...the kind with candlelight and soft music, tender steak with mushrooms and veggies, fresh, hot bread, baked potato loaded with all the goodies, exquisite dessert that just melts on your tongue. Your mouth is salivating at the plan of it all, and you quickly close the pantry door, determined to hold out for the good stuff.

You have an amazing time out at dinner with your husband. Great company, great conversation, and outstanding food. You savor every bite of it, thinking about how it is just hitting that perfect spot of delicious love. Your stomach is so full, your mouth is so content, your mind is at total and complete ease.

When you arrive home, you begin to pick up the kitchen a bit from the remnants of the kids' dinnertime. You open the pantry and eye the box of old, stale crackers that were tempting you just hours before. You give a slight chuckle, as now, they hold absolutely no appeal whatsoever. You. are. already. FULL.

Our hearts are the same. Jesus said that He came that we might have life, and have it to the full. I love that He said to us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

When it is the teachings of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the ways of the Master that fill us, when we ponder His love and mercy rather than the ways of this world, nothing else seems worth the time or energy to ponder. When we are so filled with the love of Jesus, that is what comes out of us. Because the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. That which has filled him, will overflow into others.

When we are meditating on the Law of the Lord throughout the day and night, we are filled with His ways, His love, His peace, and His mercy. But when we are not allowing ourselves to be filled by Him daily, when we are neglecting the Word of the Lord, when we are not communing with Him, and often, then our souls are hungry, empty, craving anything at all. At that point, anything looks tasty. Counsel of the wicked, words of the mockers, ways of sinners. The ways of man that lead to death.

But when we are full, there is nothing that can entice us, nothing that can shake us, nothing that can lead us astray. We are already full.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God.

What about you? What are you filling yourself with these days?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts? Feel welcome to share...