I love how the truth of the Bible can be applied to our lives today. When we break down the truth of Psalm 1:1-3, we can deduce what a thriving disciple of Christ does and doesn’t do.
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. Psalm 1:1-3 ESV
What a Thriving Disciple of Christ Doesn’t Do
A thriving disciple of Christ won’t heed a voice that doesn’t line up with the Word of God. Those who reject the knowledge of the truth will scoff when they hear it and do their own thing. Since they have no standard for living, they will continue in a lifestyle of sin. Essentially, they reject God’s love and do not receive eternal life.
When we, as disciples, reject time in the Word, we become spiritually dry. When a tree doesn’t receive the moisture it needs, its leaf will wither and fall from the tree. At that point, the leaf is detached from its life source. No bueno. Bye-bye leaf. RIP leaf.
What a Thriving Disciple of Christ Does
A thriving disciple of Christ delights in the Word. How does the delight happen? The shift comes when we increase our appetite for the Word of God by making a habit of seeking Him daily.
The tree described in the first psalm is rooted by water, positioned to continually take in nutrients. Similarly, a thriving disciple of Christ stays rooted by Living Water, being positioned to continually take in the nutrients of the Word and Spirit in passionate pursuit of Him. When the winds of adversity blow, our roots grow deeper and stronger in faith.
Verse two says that we will meditate on His Word day and night. Meditation outside of Christianity has a goal of emptying the mind to obtain peace. However, in Christian meditation, the goal is to fill the mind with the Word to obtain spiritual growth. Meditating on and memorizing the Word gives us revelation and then imparts life.Meditating on and memorizing the Word gives us revelation and then imparts life. #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet
Intake, Thought Life, and Lifestyle
The actions described in the sections above are based on the intake, thought life, and lifestyle of those who are and aren’t walking with Christ. Our intake becomes what we dwell on; what we dwell on becomes what we do. What are the results of each? Very simply, the righteous prosper (Psalm 1:3) and the wicked perish (Psalm 1:6). See the chart below:
|Thriving Disciple DOES||Thriving Disciple DOESN’T|
What if I See Myself in Both?
Sometimes our habits reflect the life of those who have rejected Christ. In that case, this is where grace comes into the picture.
There’s a balance with grace. On one hand, we don’t need to continue in sin, justifying it with a grace card. On the other hand, grace needs to be applied to us and everyone who is sinning. Have mercy; we don’t need to judge people and throw them under the bus because of their sin—everyone is at a different place in their walk with God. Instead, we are to grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18).
This kind of growing in grace is like walking through our garden and plucking out the weeds or identifying and treating any diseases destroying our plants. We must be intentional with seeking out the health of our “tree” to thrive. And if we find something that shouldn’t be there or the Holy Spirit brings it to our attention, then pruning is required.
So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:17-18 ESV
Now don’t go running from the Gardener’s pruning scissors! If we only focus on the painful aspect of pruning, then we will miss the good part of it. The good part about pruning is the season of fruitfulness that follows.
The Disciple’s Fruit
Fruit is so good isn’t it? So sweet, juicy, and delicious. Mmmm. Except it’s not for us. Sorry. A tree doesn’t seek fruit, it produces fruit. Therefore, the fruit is not for us; it’s for others.
If we feel like we aren’t receiving what we need, then we look at what a tree needs: the sun, the water, the nutrients from the soil. Those elements are what causes the tree to grow, so we need to go back to our source.
Can We Grow Ourselves?
Can a tree grow itself? No, and we can’t grow ourselves either. It’s God’s work of growth in us. Philippians 2:13 (NLT) says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” That’s a gift toward spiritual maturity!
The fruit of the Spirit is “of the Spirit.” It’s not “of Kelly,” or “of Melissa,” or “of Sue.” God produces the fruit in us; it’s our job to yield. The more we stay in tune with Him during the day, the more we’ll see evidence of it.
So grow on, disciple of Christ. Continue to thrive!
Other Great Posts in the Thriving in Christ Series:
- What Does It Mean to Thrive in Christ?
- What a Thriving Disciple of Christ Does and Doesn’t Do
- How to Have a Spiritually Healthy Heart to Thrive in Christ
- How Desensitization Keeps You from Spiritually Thriving
- How to Get Free of Secret Sins and Thrive in Christ (Even if You Want to Stay in It)
- 27 Ways Your Good Shepherd Helps You Thrive
*this is shared at some linkups