Read Psalm 128
Focus on verse 4
In America today it would seem that the common understanding of a blessed life would be equated with financial success. If a person can make enough money fast enough and save enough to retire early and have sufficient supply to be able to live comfortably for the rest of his or her days…we consider ourselves to be blessed and in many cases, we are.
This description of a blessed life in today’s reading has some similarities. According to this psalm, the one who is blessed will enjoy the fruit of his labor, will have healthy active children in abundance, will see his community prosper all the days of his life, and will live to see his or her grandchildren. So where is the catch? What is the key to becoming a person who is blessed like this? The clue is in verse four. “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.” (v. 4)
It would seem that at least one of the keys to enjoying the blessing of the Lord is to “fear Him”. Now, we might wonder what that means. What does it look like when a person fears the Lord? I suspect that a person who fears the Lord would seek to live in such a way as to please the one he or she fears. This might involve things like making the effort find out what kind of things please Him, and then putting forth the effort to do the things that please Him. This is commonly called obedience and/or godly or holy living.
Most people desire to live a blessed life; unfortunately few are willing to humble themselves to the degree that it takes to fear the Lord. When we fear the Lord we make Him more important than ourselves. It really comes down to an issue of Lordship. Most of us want Jesus to be our Savior because nobody wants to spend eternity in hell, yet few of us are willing to allow Him to be Lord of our life by allowing Him to influence all our decisions and actions. It would seem that it’s a package deal. We can’t have one without the other. If we want Jesus to be our savior, we have to also make Him Lord. If we reject Him as Lord, can we really expect Him to be our Savior?
When we choose to fear the Lord this way the blessed life is guaranteed, however, the blessed life may not look they way we expect it to look. If we fear God and make Jesus our Lord, He is the one who determines what our blessed life is going to look like. Can we trust Him with that? When we hang on to our own vision of what our blessed life should look like, it sets us up to become disillusioned when it doesn’t turn out as we had planned, and therein lies the rub. If we are in control – He is not Lord. If He is Lord, He must also be in control. It is a frightening proposition because it involves giving up control of our life unreservedly. Interestingly I don’t believe it is something we can do without help. All He is waiting for us for us to give Him permission to take control…and then life gets truly interesting, and invigorating, and rewarding, and amazing and I don’t think I will ever really get what I would call comfortable with it, but I also have no interest in going back to running my life my way. May you also know the wonder of a blessed life!