This week as we being to look at Psalm 1, I want to start with an overview of the Psalm to help us understand what God is saying to us.
I remember as a teenager I was living a very contrasting lifestyle! On Sundays I was at church; in the choir; I was in church youth group and mid-week I taught a kid’s bible club. To anyone from church, I was a good, Christian lad. But outside of church, I was messing about big time. I was hanging about with tough nuts in school; I was swearing and messing around with solvent abuse. Anyone from this side of my life knew that I was a hooligan!
Then one night, I had the most vivid dream. I was walking by a river but as I was walking, the ground was getting muddy and more difficult to walk through. I came to a point where a fence went right into the river. The only way for me to continue by the river was to go all the way in - muck and all!
But to my right was another path and people on it were singing and happy. I looked at my options and decided to get out of the mud and join the people on the path.
That dream had a huge impact on me and over the next few weeks I knew what I had to do. I left my friendship group and actually joined a Christian band that took up all my weekends.
Sadly, in the months and years that followed, many of my friends got further involved in the Northern Ireland Troubles and ended up in prison or dead.
I praise God for that dream and the people he put around me to help me get on a new path.
I feel that Psalm 1 helps me navigate away from my path of sin; to ‘take the road less travelled’ and then also helps me to stay on that path; get connected to God and to people who can walk with me on the path of righteousness, making it a delight to follow God.
Throughout our life, in this consumer-based world, we are faced with choices to make. From the car we drive to the brand of food we eat; all of it is a choice.
When it comes to the Christian life, we too have a choice; a choice to follow the footsteps of Jesus or to listen to the world (or even our own self) and wander from the straight and narrow path.
Over the next few days, we will be looking at how to make the right choice.
Today, during the challenge of self-isolation, we will have to make the choices to read God’s word, spend time in prayer, refrain from sin by what we do and say, watch what we watch and how we behave. Temptation is all around us. Let me encourage you to stay on the path of righteousness!
Lord, today I commit with you to make the right choices in my life and for my family by putting your first in all I do. Forgive me, Lord, for giving in to sin and for going my own way. Help me to choose to live a life for you in all I do and say.
• What areas have I struggled in most in terms of keeping on the right path?
• What one thing can I do today that makes the right choice for following Jesus?