Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | January 11, 2015

January 11, 2015 “The Spider’s Web”

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1: 1-2)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day to Everyone!

I have heard the question asked of some people recently, “Have you made any New year’s resolutions?” If a person has made some sort of resolution, it quite often involves the intention to make some sort of behavioral change like breaking a bad habit of some sort. I have heard it said that “habits are first cobwebs, then cables.” While some may desire that a positive act become habitual, I don’t know anyone that intentionally embraces a negative characteristic in the hopes that it will become habitual. But like the analogy I referenced, a seemingly innocuous act that has a certain allure may draw us in the way a spider’s web draws in a fly and soon capture us until we are hopelessly ensnared.

   A careful reading of the first two verses of Psalm 1 illustrate that point. Someone begins “walking in the counsel of the wicked”, that is, they are persuaded by words such as “this is no big deal…you’re not hurting anyone…come join us”, when your heart tells you it’s a wrong course to take. The next step in becoming ensnared is to “stand in the way of sinners”, that is, you consent to the bad counsel and begin to participate in some bad behavior. Finally you find yourself “sitting in the seat of scoffers.” Now you’ve embraced sin and have become anchored in it to the point that you’re now one of the counsel-givers yourself. You have regressed from dabbling in sin (walking), to partaking of sin (standing), to embracing it as habitual (sitting).  Christian author Elisabeth Elliott suggests, as does the psalmist, that the development of habits, good or bad, begin in the mind. She writes, 

“Spiritual strongholds begin with a thought. One thought becomes a consideration. A consideration develops into an attitude, which leads then to action. Action repeated becomes a habit, and a habit establishes a “power base for the enemy,” that is, a stronghold.” 

Make sure that your particular spiritual “power base”, your stronghold, is on the side of righteousness. It begins, as Paul writes with “the renewal of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) Let’s resolve to develop good , righteous habits. Let’s pray!

Reenew my mind, O Lord, that I may develop habits of righteousness, pleasing to You and a blessing to others. This I humbly pray in Jesus’ Great Name. Amen!

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