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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.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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.
(Ps. 1:1-3)
It seems people are always looking for a quick way to success. For example, have you ever seen an advertisement or a book that had something to do with a quick scheme to make you a success in life? Many people are gullible enough to buy those books, tapes, or other materials that supposedly guarantee success.

Why do people buy these materials? Because they're interested in being successful!

Years ago, a book was written about how to dress in a way that exemplified success, and millions of people bought that book. It was a reputable book, and not long after it was published, you could see business people walking down the streets in big cities wearing the same style of clothing. They were all dressing for success!

Most people want to be successful in life. I don't know anyone who wants to be a failure. But do you know that the best place to find out how to be successful is in one of the oldest books in the world? This book has been a best-seller for hundreds of years. I'm talking about the Bible.

The answer to success in life comes from the Bible! Yet so many people look everywhere else for success, only to find disappointment. But there's really only one way to be truly successful in life, and that's God's way!

Look again at the first verse of our text: "Blessed is the man [or woman] that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."

I want you to notice that this verse starts out with—"Blessed is the man...." Then the passage goes on to describe the blessed or successful person. But the chapter starts off with what you might describe as the negative side, because verse one says, "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." In other words, this chapter first tells us what the blessed person does not do!

Emphasis on the Negative Can Be Positive!
Many Christians want to learn all the positive aspects of success, but not nearly as many want to hear anything that's negative in connection with success. These people are what I call "Ostrich Christians." Like the ostrich, they want to bury their heads in the sand, thinking that no one will see them or that all of their problems will just go away. They have the attitude, if I just make positive confessions and don't ever acknowledge anything negative, I will be a success.

But sometimes you have to look at the negative side of things. Sometimes, to accentuate the positive, you have to look at the negative first so you'll know where you are; what you're supposed to do to improve your situation; and what you are not supposed to do! And our text, Psalm 1:1-3, tells us both what we should and shouldn't do if we want to be successful.

Someone might say, "Just preach the do's; don't preach the don'ts."

In my teaching and preaching, I try to pull people out of the extreme "do's" and "don'ts" ditches, so they can reach their highest potential in Christ, and we can all accomplish more for the Kingdom of God!

I believe its important to preach on the don'ts once in a while—as well as the dos. As we've seen in Psalm 1:1, the Bible has something to say about the don'ts. It says, "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." In other words, it's saying that the person who wants to be blessed just doesn't do certain things.

First, he doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Now what does that mean? That means the blessed man doesn't abide in the counsel of the ungodly, and he doesn't live or govern his life by it. He shuns or turns his back on that kind of counsel.

Lets read Psalm 1:1 again to see something else the Lord is saying to us: "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."

I want you to notice that this verse starts out with the word, "walking," and ends up with the word, "sitting." In other words, the sequence indicates we see an increased intimacy—walking, standing, and then sitting—with the things that are not right.

This verse is warning us, if we begin walking with those who are ungodly and begin taking their advice, pretty soon we'll be standing in their way of life. We'll accept their code of conduct and adopt their values and philosophies. And if we're not careful, we'll eventually find ourselves sitting with the scornful.

Beware of the World's Philosophy
One philosophy of the ungodly is the attitude, its all right to do anything you want as long as no one gets hurt. For example, someone with that kind of mentality will say, "Its all right to have a beer or a glass of wine now and then."

But, no, its not! That's what sinners do. People of God shun the very appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). Yet if a man or woman of God begins to "hang around" the ungodly and walk in their ways, he or she will begin to adopt some of their philosophies. That's how it starts—just by hanging around the ungodly a little bit and walking in their counsel.

More than you may realize, its so important who your friends are and who you fellowship with. If you're fellowshipping with the wrong crowd, you will start accepting their code of conduct. Then the natural or logical sequence is that you'll find yourself taking your seat with them, sitting in the seat of the scornful.

One of the devil's greatest conquests in the Church would be to get as many Christians as he could to sit in the seat of the scornful. To "scorn" means to reject, despise, deride, disdain, or to think of with contempt. And do you know what? Its not always just sinners who are scornful.

I'm talking about the Church! We are not to take our seat with the scornful by criticizing fellow believers because they may not believe exactly the way we do. We are to walk in love and fellowship with others who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God and the one and only true Savior of the world.

Certainly, we're not to have close fellowship with those who don't believe the Bible and who are unsaved. We already saw that the Bible talks about not walking with those kinds of people.

Someone asked, "Well, what are we going to do then—become hermits?"

No, that's not the answer at all. Did you realize that's the way the monasteries of old were started? They were started because people wanted to pull away from all the evil in the world.

These people thought that if they secluded themselves behind stone walls and didn't let in any evil influence, they would not be bothered by evil! They thought that their rigorous way of life and their religious services would shield them from everything that wasn't good. But those people failed to realize that the devil is a spirit, and stone walls can't stop him! They failed to realize that as a spirit, the devil likes to sit on people's shoulders and talk to their minds and try to influence them.

Renew Your Mind and Resist The World With the Word
A person could shut himself away in a room somewhere like a hermit and still have bad thoughts. So to become a hermit is not the answer for living a holy, separated, and consecrated life. The answer is to be in Christ and to let Him have full control of your life. How do you do that?

First, you must be born again and become a new creature in Him (2 Cor. 5:17). Then you must renew your mind with the Word:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by The renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).

Notice what Paul said in verse 1: "I beseech the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice..." Many people don't like to hear about making sacrifices. (They also don't want to hear anything about God's judgment, especially in regard to their being judged!)

But, friend, the Bible tells us how to live a blessed and victorious life in Christ, and it involves living holy or separate from the world's ways. It involves making sacrifices—doing things our flesh doesn't want to do.

Psalm 1:1-3 and Romans 12:1-2 show us both how to live holy and the outcome of living holy before God: "...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" (Ps. 1:3).

"...Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2).

God shows us the way to be successful in life—through obedience to His Word. But there is also such a thing as exhausting the mercy of God. Once a person exhausts God's mercy toward him, he must face the judgment of God.

In the Old Testament, we see the children of Israel exhausting God's mercy time and time again. Judgment would then come when they refused to cooperate with and obey God. God would even tell them ahead of time what would happen if they didn't straighten up and obey Him. He'd send His prophets to warn them, but often the people still didn't listen. It usually wasn't until they were judged and got into trouble that they would cry out to the Lord. And since He's a merciful God, He would hear their cries and deliver them.

After God would deliver the Israelites, they were all right for a while; they'd serve and obey God, and He would bless them. But then they'd turn around and disobey Him, forgetting His Word. Eventually, God would have to judge them again.

You see, what happened to God's own people also happened to the Egyptian people in the Book of Exodus when God sent Moses to Pharaoh—they were judged. Why? Because they rejected the mercy of God. But the Bible talks about judging yourself so that you won't be judged (1 Cor. 11:31).

God Wants His People To Be Blessed!
Thank God, there is such a thing as judging yourself. As I said, some people don't like to hear any preaching about judgment. But I believe its time somebody preached about it. Thank God for all the great things we have because of the Word of God and His goodness. But many people are totally missing out on the blessings of God because of their disobedience to His Word. They are walking with the world—in the counsel of the ungodly—and they are not judging themselves.

The Word of God says, "There is a way that seems right to man, but if he follows that way, he's going to be judged" (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). But the Bible also says that if a person judges himself ahead of time and straightens up his act, he will not bring God's judgment upon himself (Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37; 1 Cor. 11:31)!

I'm saying that judgment is as much a part of God's Word as faith, prosperity, healing, and all the other good things we like to hear about!

Mental Reasoning Can Distract You From
The Word And Rob You of God's Blessings

Sitting in the seat of the scornful doesn't just automatically happen to a person. It starts when he hangs around and fellowships with the wrong people. Then he finds himself listening to what they have to say, and he begins to reason out their advice in his own mind.

The devil will accommodate you if you begin to reason against God's Word, and he will try to use the avenue of reason against you. You see, the devil is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). You contact the world with your mind and your senses. That's why your mind has to be renewed by the Word of God. Then when you hear the counsel of the ungodly, you'll immediately reject it because it doesn't line up with the Word that you have put into your heart or spirit.

So you see, the answer to living a blessed, separated, and sanctified life that is pleasing to God is not to become a hermit and hide yourself away from the world. No, you just need to be who you are in Christ! You need to know who you are in Christ Jesus—a new creation! Then you need to act upon that truth and reap the benefits of it by continually renewing your mind with the Word and doing those things which are pleasing to God.

Source: Blessed Is... by Kenneth Hagin, Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth W. Hagin
Web site: Kenneth Hagin Ministries
Kenneth W. Hagin, President of Kenneth Hagin Ministries and pastor of RHEMA Bible Church, ministers around the world. Known for calling the Body of Christ to steadfast faith, he seizes every ministry opportunity to impart an attitude of “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit.”

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