I’ve accepted a challenge laid down by Charles Stanley to read Psalm 1 each morning and each evening for 21 days. It is a different way of meditating on the Word of God day and night. (v2) Psalm 1 is only 6 verses long. It is easy to do; the challenge is to train myself to remember to do it!
Personal behavior changes take intentionality. They don’t happen overnight. You must force yourself to do things differently – step out of the normal routine, out of your comfort zone and intentionally choose something different.
The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1 ESV)
Some behavior changes are personal and private. The only one who knows what you are doing is you (and God). Others however are very public. They require answering questions that will come up from others.
“Why are you doing that?”
“What is your goal/purpose?”
And it will require accepting, or at least hearing, unsolicited advice.
“Well most people wouldn’t do that.” “I think you are nuts.” “There is no way I’d do that.” “If it were me…..”
But we know that God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He has purpose in our change. We must be willing to be misunderstood, even mocked and persecuted to follow Him and obey His call on our lives.
Preparing for my pilgrimage has shown me that accepting God’s call means preparations that aren’t very normal. I know I look ridiculous. There are no other people in the town where I live that walk around with walking stick, hiking boots and a hat let alone a large backpack and bug head net! And this is something that is not normal in my life, so all those that know me must ask, “Why the change? What is the purpose?” “Don’t you worry about what others think?”
I have had to learn to answer each question directly and honestly – not worrying about how they will respond to my answer. I’m sure most think I’m crazy or a little “off”. Some probably doubt my ability to accomplish this goal. But that is of little consequence to me. My audience is God alone. I desire to please Him first and foremost. What others think about it is their own concern. And the outcome (whatever it may be) of my efforts to obey, I leave in the hands of God. I pray that the Lord will help me be encouraging to others when they step out to obey Him; regardless of how crazy the call may seem.
What has God challenged you to do? What call has He placed in your life? Are you willing to change? Are you willing to follow Him in obedience even if it requires that you answer some questions and step out into the unknown?
Maybe you just need to start with meditating on God’s Word day and night. You can start with the challenge from Charles Stanley. Psalm 1 2x/day! God will meet you wherever you choose to begin.
Accept the challenge! Be encouraged. Press on.