The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow
like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
The spiritual battle was finally won on the cross on Calvary, but at times it seems as though the wicked are in ascendance—for the enemy is a guerilla fighter, cunning and vicious and capable of appearing to be counted among the upright. He often adapts the guise of being the holiest of men, though hidden from view is a heart full of malice. And he has troops willingly working under his command: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. . . . Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, ‘Who sees us? Who will know?’” (Isaiah 29:13, 15).
On the other side are those who have been transformed through God’s grace and over whom darkness does not prevail. No matter the circumstance, the righteous will flourish even when the situation appears to be hopeless. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither” (Psalm 1:3).
While the righteous might prefer a tranquil and sequestered life, God is calling them into his service. If you count yourself as one of the righteous doing your part in advancing the kingdom, ask yourself this: Are we ready? Are we willing? You have heard God’s call; are you prepared to join?
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts