“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”—Joshua 1:8
Most of us wish that God would work on us while we’re asleep so that we could wake to face the day with unwavering confidence and faith! We wish that good intentions, combined with attending church once a week, would bring about permanent changes in our attitudes and behavior. How nice it would be if our spiritual laziness was offset by our good intentions, then we could sit back and still become spiritual giants!
The simple fact is that we are not going to live differently until we think differently; and we will not think differently unless we have the discipline to learn to think God’s thoughts after Him. Paul says that we should not be conformed to this world, “but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” It is quite correct to say, “You are not what you think you are…but what you think, you are.”
Only meditation in the Scriptures can change our thinking. But how do we learn to meditate?
We begin by praying, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Somewhere I read, “As long as my mind is raging with thoughts, ideas and plans, and fears, I cannot listen significantly to God or any other dimension of reality.” How true!
Before we go through these steps, open your Bible right now to a passage of Scripture, perhaps one of the Psalms, and begin the process of meditation.
Step one: Analyze. Ask these questions about the text: What does this passage teach me about God? Is there a promise to be believed? Is there step of obedience I should take?
Step two: Personalize. Choose to bring your life under the authority of God’s Word. Ask what difference should this passage make to me? What sin am I aware of that I must confess? What truth or verse can I take with me today? Don’t close your Bible until your heart is at peace and you have either a verse or a phrase that you can take with you for the rest of the day. Ask God to give you something to chew on!
I like the story of an American tourist who bought a special jewelry box in France with the assurance that it would glow in the dark. He took it home and put it on his dresser, but it didn’t live up to the promise he was given. A friend, who was able to read French, looked at the instructions and read, “Put me in the sunshine during the day and then I will glow in the dark.”
Do you want to glow in the dark, spiritually speaking? You must meditate in the law of God, and you will see transformation. Yes, you will “glow in the dark.”
Let Us Pray
Father, give us the discipline to meditate in Your Word, “day and night.” Help us to take Your Word into our minds just as we take food into our bodies. Teach us to hide Your Word in our hearts that we might not sin against You. Help us to not succumb to the path of least resistance, but have the discipline we need to follow through with our good intentions. May we be motivated by our loving relationship with You.
I pray for ____ who is struggling spiritually, neglecting Your Word, perhaps deliberately, perhaps because he finds Your words confusing or irrelevant. Help them to come back to Your promises, back to reading Your Book, and taking the time to think about it, to analyze it, to personalize it, and even memorize it. Lord give him a desire to live by every word that proceeds out of Your mouth.
Lord, our love for Your Word must be birthed in us by Your Spirit; we must be lovers of Your truth, so that like Joshua, we can mediate in Your Word with the same promise of success.
I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.