“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 ESV)
As I prepared to teach a class on Joy in the Holy Spirit recently, I came across an article by John Piper entitled, How Shall we Fight for Joy? (Click on the link to read the brief article.) Item number 9 on the list is: “Spend time with God-saturated people who help you see God and fight the fight.” I love that description, “God-saturated people.” You know the people. They have spent so much time with God, worshiping God, reading God’s word, serving God, that, like a wet sponge, when squeezed they drip God.
I have been blessed to know people like this. During conversations about anything, God just bubbles up to the top like the fizz in a cold glass of Coke. We don’t have to be having a “theological conversation,” but there is deep theology that pours into every thought. They see glimpses of God in everything; there is a reference to God’s Word in every utterance. They are so saturated with God that God bursts forth, not in a way that is forced or contrived, but springing forth naturally from the abundance of their heart.
The Psalmist says that surrounding yourself with people like this (rather than the wicked, the sinners, and the scoffers) is a blessing. They remind you of the truth when you are prone to forget it. Sometimes they remind you of the fullness of God’s Word when you are stuck on one particular passage. They help you to see how God is working in and around you when you have a hard time seeing it.
So if you want to be blessed, find God-saturated people, Bible led people, to surround you and help you walk in this life. Seek them out. Ask them questions. Turn to them for help.
And avoid walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the way of sinners, and sitting in the seat of scoffers. Each point given here describes an ever closer association with sin, “walk, stand, sit.” At first we simply walk in their counsel, like hanging out with a certain crowd; but eventually we stop walking and stand still and let ourselves be associated with them; until finally we sit and make our camp. The influence of sin in our lives is progressive, but it leads to death (Psalm 1:6).
Finally, become a God-saturated person yourself, so that you can be a blessing to others.
Start by constant, daily, thoughtful reading of the Word of God. As Piper says elsewhere, “All of the Bible is the word of God. All of the Bible is God’s inspired foundation and explanation and application of the gospel. It is all inspired and all profitable for you. So immerse yourself in it, and let it abide in you so that you enjoy the triumph over the accusations of the evil one.” Or as Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:7–11).
But don’t just read God’s word, apply it to your life. Allow God’s Word to shape you and to influence your life so that you live according to God’s word. James 1 reminds us, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22–25).
Look for God’s word being evidenced in and around you. When you hear of healing or answered prayers, praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy. When you see the beauty of God’s creation, taste something truly satisfying, or hear music that is awe-inspiring, give glory to God. When calamity falls or crisis ensues, proclaim your faith in the steadfast love of the Sovereign God. Let God spill out of your heart so that others may see and know that the Lord is good.
Surround yourself with God-saturated people that you may be blessed. Saturate yourself with the Word of God, that you may be a blessing to others.