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Every new year we make new year resolutions. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something, usually leading in a healthy or more beneficial direction.

We all wrestle with the question, “How do I live the best version of my life? What is the best way to live my life?” There is a practice, a resolution, that we can develop and grow in to help live the life God designed for us.

The Mind

It’s fascinating to consider that there’s an organ inside our heads that has a consciousness to it that is separate from it but connected to it. The mind is a powerful thing.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the mind is the thought system and the faculty of conscious reflection and perception. It is with the mind that decisions are made, whether moral or immoral. It’s how we think, understand, and reflect on the people we are, the people we’re with, and our environments.

The thoughts we have in our minds shape who we become and how we interact with the world. And this would be challenging enough if we were all decent, good people. But we’re not. We all have the same deadly condition called sin.

Sin corrupts everything: creation, society, our relationship with God, and our relationship with ourselves. It’s the root of every evil in history and affects our minds. How we think about things has been corrupted – the way we see others, ourselves, and God has a lens of brokenness to it. Because of sin, our minds are constantly at war.

When we are at war with our souls, the systems and structures of our world do not push us towards God and His goodness but pull us, our energy, body, mind, and soul, away from God.

Psalm 1
1 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.

The Problem

David is writing beautiful poetry about how we find ourselves, tapping into the truth that things rarely happen overnight. We know this about most things:

  • Gardens don’t manifest overnight.
  • Relationships don’t flourish overnight.
  • Mindsets don’t change overnight.
  • Negative happenings don’t occur overnight.

But we make a series of little choices every day that set the course of our lives. We get to choose what choices we make, and those choices lead us down a path.

When we think of the word “blessed,” we usually think about living a good, beneficial, rewarding life. But that’s not the way the word is used in Psalm 1. It’s starts by saying, “How good is it to live life in this way, to see someone who is experiencing God’s blessing!”

So, right away, we must remember that the blessing in our life always has another component. When we experience the goodness and faithfulness of God, it’s always affecting other people.

And there are 3 different ways of living.

  1. Postures – It’s the way we display ourselves towards people.
  2. Position – It’s the framework and structure for how people see the world.
  3. People – Sinners are the same group as wicked but viewed religiously. Scoffers are the same group, with emphasis on their speech.

The verse summed up is:

“Blessed is the person who avoids, condemns, and runs from people and circumstances who are corrupt, whose worldview and belief system is wayward from God. Blessed is the person who doesn’t intentionally develop connections with these people, calls out evil, and protects their mind from this type of sinful speech, behavior, and ideologies. That’s the blessed person.”

We might not intentionally seek out evil, but we might consistently come back to the place of connecting with a set of beliefs and worldviews that are opposite to the way of Jesus. Think about the content we consume. Is it opposed to the way and teachings of Jesus?

We allow the people, position, and posture into our lives when we are most vulnerable, and we potentially delude ourselves into thinking that a verse like this is talking about “bad people” only.

This stuff creeps up right under our noses in the name of rest, relaxation, and recharging, but it’s the little, daily, consistent things that we need to focus our minds on.

Meditation

When we say “meditation,” we mean to think deeply, carefully, and purposefully for a prolonged period of time. We can meditate on positive things; we can meditate on negative things. It’s not a good or bad word; it’s the process of focused attention in a direction.

Paul said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” We are taught to dwell on these things both day and night.

Practice

But how do we do that?

We’re all different, and God speaks to us differently, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to meditate. It may look different for each of us, but meditation requires practice to focus our minds carefully, intentionally, and consistently on God.

When it comes to meditating on God’s instruction, we might avoid practicing it because we’re not instantly good at doing it. So, we give up the second it becomes challenging. Practice implies we’re not proficient or that we instantly have it together, but that’s the point of meditation.

This is an unhurried process. It’s slow. It’s what bears fruit.

Planting

The thing about fruit is that we all produce it. The mentality isn’t just that if you meditate on God, you produce fruit. The truth is that we are ALL producing fruit all the time. The object of our meditation will determine the type of fruit we produce. The fruit’s health is determined by what the tree is rooted in.

Meditation is a call to rewire our minds on God, but there is another factor that meditation has. When we’re rooting ourselves in God’s law and truth, allowing the Spirit to have control of our minds, it provides a respite in a broken world for those around us.

Pick

So, how do we begin this process of meditation?

  • Pick a time – Develop a practice of quiet reading, whether early in the morning, during your commute, before bed, or on your lunch.
  • Pick a passage – Find a section of Scripture to dive into. Find a manageable portion of God’s law or person you will dwell on for some time.
  • Pick a habit – Will you write in a journal, recite aloud, or put it on your phone or fridge so you always see it?

The only wrong way to do it is not to do it at all. Meditate on God. Let Him transform you, for you and those around you.

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