Living in alignment with God positions us best to catch His blessing
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Psalm 119:1 NIV
God can bless anyone, anywhere and any time. But we can position ourselves to catch His blessings, when they come. The best way to know God's blessing in your life, is to live with the sense of being on a walk, and walking with Him.
The psalm which this verse introduces is the longest and most complicated of all these poems, and it has a section for every letter of the alphabet. It was written to be memorised, and each section expands that thought. Living God’s way brings His favour.
What living God’s way actually means has been seen quite differently at different times. As the culture has changed, so has the application.
- When the tribes of Europe were pagan, warring and disorganised, God’s way was seen as the the structured formality of Roman religion -- a spiritual version of the Pax Romana.
- In medieval times, the spread of literacy and learning brought the revelation of the Bible and sermons of the church fathers. Communities devoted to copying these and celebrating the words gave impetus to the monastic movement.
- The great Reformation movement that swept Europe in the 16th century brought personal faith in Jesus to the fore as God’s way, not relying on a form of 'institutional faith' to secure salvation (and blessing) in return for financial support, which amassed wealth and power for the institution.
- Class-ridden Georgian and Victorian society had different expectations for rich and poor. God’s way became addressing that divide, bringing the message of hope and new life to working people, and making education and social elevation possible.
- The industrial revolution brought great increase in the population of towns that had manufacturing. Conditions were poor, alcohol was cheap and available, and drunkenness became the presenting social evil. So abstinence became the sign of God’s way.
- The twentieth century brought both death and deprivation through world wars and a new ‘enlightenment’ through mass publication -- inexpensive books and newspapers, and the new experience of broadcasting and films. Traditional religion had not prevented war; new media and freedoms had made the ordered, formal kind of religion perceived as no longer relevant to everyday life. God’s way became a new and dynamic way of walking with Him and being aware of His ‘now’ word through a new awareness of the Holy Spirit -- in new churches representing a variety of Pentecostal expressions.
What is a ‘blameless’ walk according to the law of the Lord now? When we turn to Jesus, and ask Him into our hearts and lives, we are born again spiritually and the effect is to lift off the burden of guilt from us. Jesus has dealt with it!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
That is blameless.
Having a Bible and reading it, being open to hearing God speak through it, and giving Jesus first place as Saviour and also as one’s personal Lord whose direction in our lives we seek — that is walking in t he way of t he Lord as one who is blameless in His sight.
Back to our verse and Psalm 119, we have come full circle. In 176 verses, it encourages knowing God, listening to Him and trusting Him — as He has revealed Himself through the record we have, and reveals Himself by speaking into our lives now.