How many times have you seen this error message when trying to get your computer or smartphone to connect to a network. The world of technology can be a source of anxiety at times.
We can experience the same anxiety in God’s economy because we fail to connect. There are certain protocols that must be observed or our connection to the economy will fail.
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. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. (Psa 1:1-6 NLT)
Psalm 1 is an example of life lived by faith and is an expression of God’s economy! The many examples in the New Testament of Christ’s magnification of a little into an abundance are everywhere. But looking at Psalm 1 the first question we must answer is, “what is the source of the water in the river?”
California is enduring a lengthy seasons of draught. America is experiencing a lengthy season of spiritual draught. If you ask the average citizen of either dimension they might answer that their water comes from the river. But where does the river get its water? From the mountain snowpack. Where does the snowpack get its water? From the sky. Where does the sky get its water? From the ocean. Where does the ocean get its water? From the river.
In the Gospels we find Jesus taking a child’s lunch and turning it into a feast. In 1 Corinthians 9 we find Paul reminding us that ministry is to be supported “in the same way” as the Old Testament system of tithes and offerings. In 2 Corinthians 9 Paul amplifies this by reminding us that our giving ought to be NOT from compulsion BUT purposeful, proportional to how He has blessed us and with hilarity. This is so that Christ may magnify our little into an abundance.
It is the same with our prayer life. From where does the water in Psalm 1 come? It comes from our prayers. The water that emanates from the threshold of the temple is our prayers (Ezekiel 47). It flows by the right-hand of the alter (where Stephen tells us that Christ is standing at the right-hand of the Father). Then it flows out the eastern gate until it becomes a river of healing. Christ takes our little prayers and turns them into a mighty river! From where do our prayers come? From the Word of God where we meditate day and night! The consequence of being planted by the river is leaves that do not wither (an evergreen) and the work of our hands prosper. The prosper part is often misunderstood because of the difference in definition between the English word and the Hebrew word.
The English word definition, according to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is:
PROS'PER, v.t. [L. prospero, from prosperous, from the Gr. to carry to or toward; to bear.] To favor; to render successful. All things concur to prosper our design. PROS'PER, v.i. To be successful; to succeed. The Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. Gen 39. “He that covereth his sins, shall not prosper” (Prov 28).
1. To grow or increase; to thrive; to make gain; as, to prosper in business. Our agriculture, commerce and manufactures now prosper.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary gives us a greater understanding of the original:
6743:. צָלַח ṣālaḥ, צָלֵחַ ṣālēaḥ:
A verb meaning to rush, to break forth, to come mightily. It describes the Holy Spirit’s affect on persons, making them powerful (Judg. 14:6, 9; 15:14; 1 Sam. 16:13); or causing persons to prophesy (1 Sam. 10:6, 10; 11:6). It indicates the effect of an evil spirit as well (1 Sam. 18:10). It has the sense of persons breaking out, rushing forward in battle (2 Sam. 19:17); and of God breaking out in acts of judgment (Amos 5:6).
A verb meaning to prosper, to succeed, to be victorious. It is used of causing something to turn out successfully (Gen. 24:21, 40); of prospering a person (2 Chr. 26:5). It indicates a successful person (Gen. 39:2; Jer. 12:1). Some actions are not able to succeed, especially those breaking the commandments of the Lord (Num. 14:41; Deut. 28:29). It has the sense of succeeding in an endeavor (1 Kgs. 22:12, 15). It describes the success of a powerful weapon in warfare (Isa. 54:17), its successful use. What the righteous person does will eventually prosper (Ps. 1:3); but the seeming prosperousness of the wicked will fail (Ps. 37:7). Concealed sins keep one from prospering (Prov. 28:13). The will of the Lord will prosper in the hand of His Suffering Servant (Isa. 53:10).
Why is this important? Because the context is those who forsake the satanic world system and instead meditate day and night on the Word!
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (1Ti 4:8 NLT)
The tree is not one that springs up spontaneously but rather one that has been planted in a favorable place and then cultivated with care. The word riverbank (rivers or streams of water in other translations) does not express adequately the sense of the original (6388 פֶּלֶג peleg̱). The allusion is to the Oriental method of irrigating their lands by making artificial rivulets to convey the water from a larger stream. The whole of ancient Egypt was irrigated in this manner and was the method that achieved its extraordinary fertility! Once again the idea of something little becoming abundant in the Lord’s hands!
I was watching the television news the one night. It was the usual fare: wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilence, human tragedy, murder, drugs, rape, violence, perversion of justice. The kind of thing we are used to hearing in the modern world. Then I heard a voice saying, “have I got good news for you!” It was the commercial.
In the days of John the Baptist, the headlines spoke of only bad news. Roman tyranny was oppressing the people. Herod the puppet king divorced from his wife was now involved in an incestuous marriage. Taxes were high and unfair. Heavy burdens were on the poor and the system favored the rich. Religion was sterile and hypocritical. Corruption, compromise, and sin were everywhere. And into this atmosphere came a man clothed in rather rude garb crying out to the people “have I got good news for you!” It was a message of hope and joy. It was the message that Jesus is coming.
The message of Jesus Christ and his disciples was the same. Except for the fact that they were now saying Jesus has come. He is here. God become man and dwelling among us.
The message the Apostles was a similar message. Jesus has come. He died for your sins according to the scripture. He was buried and rose the third day according to the scripture. It is today, good news!
When you joined CMF you became part of one of the rivulets that feeds the river! Are you connected? Is your ministry positive or negative? Are you helping the body to fill the river or are you part of the draught? Step out in faith! Become a local leader! Start a local ministry!