How to Stand Secure

Have you ever wondered how to survive the crazy circumstances and situations we face in life? Family problems, a finance crisis, issues in friendships, temptations, let alone looking at the state of government, politics, culture, and economy. And if that wasn’t enough we have global issues – whether we want to acknowledge them or not (and no, I’m not talking about global warming) – wars, weather, natural disasters, national conflicts, terrorism, etc.

How do we stand beneath all the pressure? How do we live valiantly every moment of the day? How am I to build my life as a Christian to live without fear, worry, or fall into the trap that paralyzes so many people?

There is a secret. Okay it’s not really a secret for the Bible makes it rather clear. But the answer is …

an intense focus on Jesus and a life saturated within His Word.


Blessed is the Man

Psalm 1 has always been one of my favorites. I remember memorizing it when I was a kid but the truth continues to grow and expand in my life as I get older. The first three verses read:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 1.1-3

The word “blessed” in this Psalm is the same word that is used in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5 meaning:  congratulations, blessed, or happy. But the Psalmist gives five tests or points of clarification to describe someone who is in this state of blessedness:

  1. If you do not live in the counsel of the ungodly
  2. If you do not dwell in the path of sinners
  3. If you do not remain in the place of the scornful
  4. If your delight is in the law of the Lord
  5. If your thinking is all wrapped up, night and day, in His law

It is important to emphasize that it takes all five of these points to be true in order for you to be “blessed.” You can’t just have one, all five must be evident in your life.

It is also pertinent to point out that the first three (the negatives) are in stark contrast with the last two (positives). In other words, you cannot be delighting in the law of the Lord, meditating upon it day and night, and yet be living within the counsel of the ungodly or living in the path of sinners. It’s your choice, one or the other.

The “law of the Lord” in our passage can be translated and understood as the Mosaic Law (the Old Testament law God gave Moses to declare to the Israelites); however, this word is more often used Biblically to describe the instruction and direction of the Lord.  It refers not just to the laws themselves but the words, prophecies, laws, and history God gave to His people. It is, in essence, the Word of God, Scripture, the Bible.

The Psalmist is saying blessed is the man (or woman) whose delight is in the Word of God, day and night they are meditating upon it, it is filling their heart and mind, they can’t nor want to escape it, they are saturated with Scripture.

This is one of the reasons I am such a proponent of Saturation Bible Study. Most people study the Bible for 15 minutes in the morning and can’t remember by day’s end what they read. Saturation is about taking Scripture and allowing it to permeate your mind like a sponge plunged into a bucket of water. The Word of God is to constantly be upon our hearts and minds, it is to fill up and be the foundation of our lives.

God told the Israelites: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6.5-9). A few chapters later God repeats the command by saying: “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 11.18).

The Word is to constantly be on our mind, in our hearts, the tone and foundation of our life. It is to be our focus and what we measure and evaluate everything by. We are to be in the Written Word because it leads us to the Living Word (Jesus).

All throughout Scripture the declaration is to know the God of the universe intimately. Not just know about Him but have relationship with Him! It is all about Jesus. Over and over, the New Testament says you are to know your location: IN Christ. To have your mind fixed upon Him. For Jesus to be the big deal of your life.


Like a Tree Planted by Rivers of Water

The Psalmist says you are blessed when the Word of God is your delight and you are “saturating” in it day and night. When the Written and Living Word becomes your source of counsel (not the ungodly). When the Word determines the path in life you take (not those who take lightly the Truth of Scripture). When the Word is what you listen and take advice from, not from those (the scornful) who are arrogant and mocking what God has said.

When this is true, you are like a tree planted by rivers of water.

Have you ever seen a tree in the middle of a dry field? It is always concerned about when the next rainfall will come. It tries to conserve as much water as possible so it can make it through the dry season. Leaves upon the tree wither quickly because they are not receiving nourishment.

But that is opposite of a tree planted near water.

A tree planted by a river of water is never concerned about the circumstances and situations going on around it. It could be a drought but the tree by the river of water is unfazed. It is not worried or fearful. It does not need to conserve energy or fret about what might happen if it doesn’t rain. It remains strong … because it has a constant source to draw from. It always bears fruit because there is nothing hindering it.

So too is the Christian whose delight is in the Word of God and who meditates upon it day and night. For the believer who is saturated and grounded in Scripture, there is no need to fear or worry, no purpose in conserving precious strength or energy. The tree can pour out, produce fruit, and have no concern that it will ever lack … because it is planted near rivers of water.


What about you? Where are you planted? Do you have constant nourishment from the Source of Life? The book of Revelation talks about the trees being planted by the River of God that produces fruit in and out of season. In fact, the trees are always producing fruit. There is strength and health, a calm confidence and trust, for the tree planted by rivers of water.

A Christian who is planted in the Word of God, with an intense focus on Jesus, receiving His Life – the life of the vine (see John 15), need not fear any circumstance, situation, or temptation that comes into life. Finances, the economy, even family issues need not be a place of despair for the one who is firmly planted in rivers of water.

Where are you planted? In a dry wasteland? Next to rivers of water? Are you producing fruit or trying to conserve what you have? Are you fearful of the circumstances around you or do you lived unfazed because you know where you are planted?

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, 
That brings forth its fruit in its season, 
Whose leaf also shall not wither; 
And whatever he does shall prosper.

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