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June 14, 2013

Spiritual Health

If you are spiritually healthy, you will grow strong and deep spiritually.  How do you become spiritually healthy?  Well, Psalm 1 tells us:

“Blessed is the man (and by the way, the word blessed in Hebrew literally means oh how very happy) oh how very happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”

Basically, there is a progression here. First, the person is walking and letting the things come into his or her mind that are unhealthy, filling the mind with spiritual junk food and at worst, spiritual poison. The next one is standing.  This person is not just walking that way but they are firmly on this track.  The last one is sitting.  So we have walking, standing, and sitting.  This person is going the wrong direction and they are getting firmer and stronger in the way of sin and being spiritually unhealthy. So how do you get healthy?  It says:

“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, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

 You see, God’s word is spiritual nutrition.  When you meditate on the word of God, your soul and spirit become healthy as you connect to the Lord and feed your mind and heart with the truth of God’s word. Spiritually healthy people grow deep and strong.  It compares the person who meditates on the word of God to a healthy tree. A healthy tree is going to produce fruit.  There are several spiritual health benefits that are mentioned, specific benefits of the ancient spiritual discipline of biblical meditation.

The first one is a secure mind. The first part of verse 3 says:

“… like a tree planted by streams of water.”

So the person who meditates on God’s word is firmly planted while everything else around them is being uprooted.  The person who meditates on God’s word is secure in stressful times, and that is good news because we live in very stressful times. Even though circumstances around them may be chaotic, they can be at peace because they have a strong mind with peace and security knowing that God is in control. They have a depth of soul that cannot be affected by the evening news or the circumstances going on around them.

 Another benefit is a productive life.  Verse 3 says:

“… yields its fruit in season ….”

So the person who meditates on God’s word will be spiritually healthy.  If you are spiritually healthy, your life will be fruitful and productive.  Now there is a big difference between activity and productivity.  A lot of us are very active and busy, our lives are hectic and our schedules are overloaded but we are not effective and productive.  You can be efficient and not be effective.  You can do a really good job of it and get all the chairs neatly in a row and be very efficient with it, but the ship still goes down.  God wants you to be productive, effective, and fruitful and the person that meditates on God’s word will be effective, productive, fruitful and spiritually healthy.

The next part of the verse says:

“… whatever he does prospers ….”

 I remember when Chris and I first learned that the Hebrew word here for prosper literally means the ability to make wise decisions. That was eye opening. When we think of prosperity, we usually think of finances; but this is so much deeper and broader.  The word prosper means the ability to make wise decisions in your family, in your relationships, in your workplace, and in your life.

The third benefit of biblical meditation is a fresh faith. The last part of verse 3 says:

“… whose leaf does not wither.”

 The person who meditates on God’s word has a fresh faith. They are alive and they are healthy. Do you ever let your faith get stale?  It is so easy to just go through the motions, but if you meditate on God’s word your faith will come alive. It is amazing to me that the spiritual discipline of meditation makes your faith new again, and that is what it is all about. God wants you to be renewed spiritually by meditating on his word and drinking deeply from the rivers of living water.