By Oral Roberts
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
In the first chapter of the Book of Psalms, God sets out several basic principles to follow in order to have a blessed and happy life. I believe we ought to pay particular attention to this chapter because it shows that God intends for us to be blessed.
What to Avoid, What to Pursue
The first thing God tells us in Psalm 1 is what to avoid in order to be blessed (one translation uses the words happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable). He says that we are not to seek or to follow the plans of those who do not serve God. Nor are we to hinder them from coming to Him by living an ungodly lifestyle while claiming to follow the Lord.
We’re also told to avoid becoming scoffers and critics—that is, becoming the kind of people who are so miserable that nothing ever suits them.
After God tells us what to avoid, He tells us what to pursue in order to keep His blessing on our lives. He says that we’re to delight ourselves in His Word and meditate on the Scriptures day and night.
Remember, we live in a world that is constantly pulling on us to do ungodly things that cannot be blessed. It is essential to choose to do right. And when we meditate on God’s Word, Psalm 1:3 says that we shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither. His Word directs us in what is right, and it gives stability to our lives in what can be an unstable world.
God Can Divinely Place You
Psalm 1:3 says that we can be planted. In other words, God can place us where He wants us to be. That’s an important point.
Many Christians don’t know that there is a particular place where God wants them. They’re doubtful and wandering, always asking, Should I be here or somewhere else?
But God says that if we delight ourselves in His Word, He would not only plant us but He would plant us by the rivers of water—that special place of richness where many rivers come together, where there will always be an abundance of life-giving water.
Nature’s Power Source
A tree needs an abundance of water to live, grow, and produce fruit. And that’s the next promise. God says that the godly man bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither (v. 3).
I recently made a study of leaves with biologists and botanists, and discussed with Jewish rabbis what the phrase his leaf also shall not wither means in the Hebrew. I discovered that the leaf of a tree is like a little green factory that produces food for the tree. It is actually the power source of the tree. The leaf connects itself with the water source, scoops up the water, and spreads it throughout the tree. In other words, the leaf keeps the tree alive.
God’s Power Source
What keeps us alive spiritually is the living water Jesus referred to in John 7:37–38.
The Bible says that on the feast day called the Day of Pentecost, the people overturned barrels of water and let the water run down the temple steps. Then they danced in it, rejoicing and praising God for a successful harvest.
Watching the people celebrate, Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me…out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (vv. 37–38).
Then the Bible says, This spake he [Christ] of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified (v. 39).
In other words, Jesus planned from the beginning that when we believe on Him, we would receive the Holy Spirit to live inside of us as our Helper. And with the Holy Spirit in us, out of our bellies—our inner man where speaking in tongues begins—would flow rivers of living water.
In essence, Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans. When I am sitting at My Father’s right hand and you’re here on the earth with unanswerable questions, not knowing what to do, I will send you another Comforter to take My place. It will be as if I am there with you in the flesh.”
People often ask me why I pray in tongues. I pray in tongues because the mysteries of life are too much for me and the problems are overwhelming. I pray in tongues because I don’t know how to pray as I ought every time, but the Holy Spirit knows. He knows the mind and will of God, and Romans 8:26 says that He intercedes for us with groanings for which there is no equal in human speech.
The next line of Psalm 1 is amazing to me. It says, Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Time and time again, people take this verse out of context and confess it over their lives. But it won’t work that way. According to this Scripture, true prosperity only comes when we do what God is telling us to do.
Are we refusing to base our decisions on the advice of ungodly people? Are we avoiding being a stumbling block to sinners? Are we choosing not to be a gossiper, a scoffer, a critic, or a worn-out, miserable person? Are we delighting ourselves in God’s Word and meditating on the Scriptures day and night?
Godly prosperity only happens when we do what God’s Word tells us to do…and this includes planting our seeds of faith to God and expecting Him to multiply them back to us in the way we need it the most.
Blessed Is the Man…
If you are basing your life on the Word of God and following all that He tells you to do, according to Psalm 1, I believe we can make this declaration of faith right now:
Thank You, Lord, that You have planted me by the rivers of living water. I bring forth fruit in my season, and my leaf—which is my power source—does not wither. Furthermore, I have the Holy Spirit living in me, and I’m taking up the living water of the Spirit and letting it spread throughout my being. And because I am a child of God who follows Your Word, all that I do can prosper.