March 24 I Friday
“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…” —Psalm 1:1, ESV
What the psalmist warns in the opening verse is not to receive counsel from the wicked, because we know that the enemy has blinded the hearts and minds of unbelievers. The ways of this world are under the influence of the evil one, Satan. Paul tells us, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
An example of worldly counsel is Rhonda Byrne’s self-help book published in 2006 called The Secret, which advocates the power of positive thinking. Byrne unpacks the law of attraction in simple terms, where the energy we put into the universe will dictate the world around us. In theory, if we simply think positive thoughts and send positive vibes into the universe, our life will become better. This false teaching exploded after it went on Oprah, and mainstream culture started to promote the idea of the power of positive thinking.
I am all for positive thinking and having a positive outlook on life, but the wisdom of this world advocating that simply sending positive thoughts into the universe is going to bring prosperous things into my life is, quite frankly, just nonsensical. This worldly philosophy is the work of the enemy blinding the minds of unbelievers.
When we look at our world today, people are on a path of not only trying to self-actualize, but trying to transcend their own limitations. Our world is pursuing a life of prosperity and happiness that is not rooted in God’s Word, but in one’s desires. We see this in social media all the time with people taking selfies of themselves with the caption, “Live life to the fullest” or “You only live once.” They are consuming self-help materials in spades. Yet, the problem with self-help is that it can only go so far, because it is the counsel of this world. What Scriptures tell us is that we were never intended to understand who we are apart from our Creator; we are not designed that way.
Take a moment, as you are reading this devotion, and take a breath in and out—that was our life, from start to finish. For those of us who give no thought to God, but drift through life on the waves of cultural wisdom in pursuit of the good life, do we realize that our life is but a breath? What a sobering reality that shakes us awake to the pressing need to contemplate what truly matters.
Prayer: Gracious God, help me not be blinded by the counsel of this world. May You grant me wisdom and guidance from the false teachings and philosophies of this world. Thank You, God.