Latitude, Attitude & Gratitude

 

     David spent most of his life on the run. He knew how to survive physically, as well as spiritually. There are so many lessons we can learn from him! Let’s start in the beginning, with the words of his very first Psalm.  
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,    nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
     David outlines three important principles that will enable you to keep your head above water on life’s stormy seas. Let’s break them down.

Latitude

     Latitude and longitude are terms that define your location on Planet Earth. I am borrowing the term to apply to our surroundings. What do you cherish? Where do you spend your time? What influences dictate the course of your life? David cautioned us to walk not in the counsel of the ungodly. What you listen to; what you watch; the type of people you surround yourself with can cloud your ability to hear from God. Your “latitude”, or surroundings, should reflect your determination to lead a godly, Christ-centered life. So said Paul in his advice to the Church at Corinth:
“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Attitude

Our next piece of advice concerns our attitude. David sounds a second warning: don’t stand in the way of sinners. We were commissioned to be ambassadors for Christ. Sinners can see evidence of the grace of God, and experience the love of God through our testimony. Our walk and our talk should draw people to Christ, not drive them away. Jesus taught on the importance and transparency of our attitudes in Matthew:
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

We are either drawing people to Christ, or pushing them away. Where do you stand? 

 

Gratitude

The third piece of advice concerns the necessity of being grateful for what God has done for us. Life’s ups and downs, it’s many trials and tribulations should not cause us to end up sitting in the seat of the scornful. Every event in life, good or bad, brings much needed truth and wisdom to our lives. A spiritual man or woman can see God’s hand in their lives, and is exceedingly grateful for His loving guidance. 

 

A Final Thought

We must jealously guard our spiritual lives. Our zeal and fire can be quickly extinguished if we aren’t careful. David outlines the progression that takes you from spiritual growth to spiritual decline.
     You begin the downward spiral as you are walking. You are active, but moving in the wrong direction. You suddenly find yourself standing. Your progress has come to a screeching halt. You are no longer gaining ground. It becomes only a matter of time until you are seated. The downward spiral has left you bitter and unmoving. This can happen quietly and quickly to any one of us who takes his or her eyes off of  Christ. 
     Be careful, my friends, and make Him the centerpiece of your life today.