Posts Tagged Joshua 1: 8

Chief Advisor

Psalm 1: 2

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

Verse two of the first psalm is also part two of the road map for blessing. Yesterday we saw that to live in the blessing we should not take counsel from the wicked, sinners nor should we abide scoffers. Part two shows us the affirmative side of positioning ourselves for the rain of the blessing. It says delight in the law of the Lord and meditate therein night and day.

It turns out, then, that the pathway to the blessing is in the scriptures. It is the road map. We are advised to meditate on it day and night receiving, therefore, our advice from the Lord rather than from people, especially people who are not walking in the blessing of the Lord.

Jesus is the Word, so it makes perfect sense, in this light, that the way to the blessing would be through him. I don’t think most of us appreciate the value of this advice. This is the same advice God gave Joshua when Joshua had to fill Moses’ shoes. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 success,” (Joshua 1: 8). This is such a great verse! I am surprised that we don’t hear it shouted from the rooftops and in sermon after sermon. Why do you suppose that is the case? God is the speaker in this verse and He is giving His best advice to Joshua. I don’t think you can do much better than Yahweh as your advisor.

The psalmist reiterates the Godly wisdom which was handed down through generations of Jews. Meditate in God’s Word and be blessed. Can it be that simple? We can test the theory and find out for ourselves.

TV Bomb

Joshua 1: 8

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 success.

Joshua was about to take over the leadership of the nation of Israel from Moses. How would you like to follow in those footsteps? Yahweh God went to Joshua. This is the advice the Father gave him. If you were about to take over the leadership of an entire nation of people, the nation of God’s people, wouldn’t you expect the advice God gives will be the most critical piece of advice available. Perspective on the situation Joshua found himself in when God gave him this instruction gives great insight into its importance.

Should we expect God’s guidance to us to be any different? Of all the things God could tell us, this is the one bit of wisdom He chooses for us. Keep this Word in your mouth; meditate on it day and night. Well, one would easily conclude that to keep the Word on our lips constantly, we will have to read it and meditate on it continually. How else will we know enough of it? We have major impediments in modern life, though. Joshua didn’t have television or the internet. He didn’t have a video console or an electronic tablet. He didn’t run his kids to soccer practice or any of the many other distractions we have.

We are busy people, over busy really. Somehow we have to learn to control the chaos so that we do as Mary, Martha’s sister did, put first things first. If we don’t have time for prayer, mediation and time in the Word, then we are too busy. Most of us, I find, have time for TV and few of us miss many meals. If I had a red button that, when pressed, would blow up every television, I bet many of us would find more time for contemplation and our Bibles. There are just too many things demanding our attention and who doesn’t enjoy sitting in front of the TV to relax? Perhaps we could have our time with our beloved and then turn on the TV. I know that I am much more productive if I don’t turn it on. Once on, it is hard to pick up my book and read or to pray.

God gave Joshua the secret to success and prosperity. In truth, He has revealed this key to us as well. What do we have to do in order to find the time necessary to engage this all important principle? Each of us must decide for ourselves but I would suggest we each have that button which will disable the television, at least for a while. Push the button. Go ahead. You will find some time you didn’t have before. Here’s to your success and prosperity.

Fire Brick

Joshua 1: 8

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 success.

Do you know what a fire brick is? According to Wikipedia it is “ a block of refractory ceramic material used in lining furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fireplaces.” Have you ever wondered what material is used in the kilns and furnaces? With the fires getting so hot, how can any material hold molten steel or glass or even survive the temperatures of the furnaces?

Years and years ago I heard Dick Mills give a talk in which he used fire brick as an example. Obviously, it stuck with me. He compared the Bible to fire brick. As we read the Bible, day after day, searching its pages and gleaning the wisdom of God, we are actually laying in the fire brick of our souls. Those days and days of reading prepare us for the days when the fire is really hot. We are prepared, in other words, for what the world throws at us because the Word of God has been laid in like fire brick.

A friend of mine is enjoying “overnight success.” In the last year she has published two books, being invited to speak at conferences, done TV interviews, has just returned from a ten week speaking tour in Australia and New Zealand, and her ministry has gone from almost non-existent to flourishing. Why? Answer – fire brick. She has been laying in the Word for 20 years. Bit by little bit God has built a majestic tower out of her daily diligence. That is the way overnight success works, through year by year faithfulness.

The same thing will work for you too. The time you spend today in God’s Word may be next month’s saving grace. Your daily reading of scripture is preparing you for everything which will come your way. So, don’t be caught unprepared. Get your Word on.

Abiding with Jesus

John 15: 4

Abide in Me.

We know that we supposed to abide in Jesus, and we accept the idea fairly easily. However, how do you abide in him?

One of the easiest ways I know to abide in Jesus is to meditate on his Word. Meditation is dwelling mentally and spiritually with Jesus. Some of us were raised with the idea that meditation was a “new age” practice and thus forbidden to us. Well, it is only new age if you consider the Old Testament times “new age.” The first mention of meditation is in Genesis. Joshua 1: 8 records the advice God gave Joshua as he was about to take over leadership of the nation of Israel from Moses. It reads, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night.” Since this is the advice God gave Joshua, it must be good advice for us too.

Jesus is the Word (John 1: 1,14). What better way to abide in Jesus than to abide in the Word? As you ponder the Word of God, you are also effectively searching the heart of God. As you dwell on those words and thoughts, your heart and mind dwells in Jesus.

Sometimes we make Christian Theology way too hard. Christianity is really as simple as hanging out with Jesus. As we dwell with him he becomes our friend, then our best friend and finally the love of our lives. If you want to be a friend of God and a close friend to Jesus, then hang out in The Word. You will find Father, Son and Holy Spirit there and have fun at the same time.

Getting to Know You

John 14: 9

Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me?

Philip was one of Jesus’ hand-picked apostles. He was on the executive council, if you will, of Jesus’ ministry. He walked, talked and lived with Jesus everyday for three years. They ate together, traveled together and ministered together. One would think that anyone in that position would know Jesus pretty well. None the less, Jesus accused Philip of not knowing him at all. Jesus sounds pretty astonished that they spent so much time together and yet Philip still did not have a revelation of who Jesus was.

Of course, my reaction is if Philip walked daily with Jesus while Jesus was in the flesh, on the planet and didn’t really know him then what chance do I have? The truth is, many of us call ourselves Christians or followers of Christ and yet do not know him very well at all. It should be our goal, though, to become intimately familiar with him. We can do that, you know. Jesus is still very much alive and although he is not here in the flesh he still talks with his people every day.

In many ways we have even more of him now than the apostles did. He has now made our hearts, your heart, his temple. We can, and many do, have daily fellowship with him. Reading Jesus’ words to Philip makes me cringe. I sure don’t want Jesus to say those words to me or worst yet the words he spoke in Matthew 7: 21 – 22: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”.

So what is the point? The point is that we, like Philip, can hang out in all the right places, partake of all the right feasts and rituals and yet come to the end and find that we don’t know Jesus and he doesn’t know us. So how do you get to know Him? Well, John 1: 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So we start with the Word, but you knew I was going to say that didn’t you?  Next, jump over to Joshua 1, verse 8 and see the advice God gave Joshua: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 success.” So, step 2 is to meditate on what you read from the Bible or ponder it, we might say. This really isn’t an intellectual exercise although it may sound like it. We aren’t analyzing, cogitating or thinking about what we have read. It is more like mulling it over, rolling it around inside of you for its deep meaning. Through this process, revelation arises.

And then we should have the word in our mouths. That’s what God said. We speak as he speaks. We keep His words in the forefront of our thoughts and in our heart. Lastly, pray but when I say pray I really mean spend time seeking Jesus. Talk to him as you would a dear friend. Take him with you everywhere you go. Spend the day talking with him and listening to his responses. The more you hear him, the more you will get to know him. Seek him, that is the real key. If you seek him, you will find him. I promise.

The greatest reward of Christianity is getting to know Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. They can become your closest friends if you like and it is nice to know they are always there with you. Don’t get caught out in the cold. Get to know Jesus.

Wait Lifting

Hebrews 4: 11

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

No, I didn’t misspell the word “wait” in the title. There is a concept imbedded in those two words. It is the precept that in our quiet contemplation with the Lord there is power to lift great weight and succeed in every calling of the Lord.

I was speaking with some friends last week when this idea, this principle came to the foreground of my thoughts and I have been unable to shake it. The awareness that we are meant to glean from this passage is that our labor, our effort is in entering into the rest of the Father whereby we cease from our striving. In Him, we are able to do all things (Philippians 4: 13). Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15: 5). Therefore, the purpose of our effort is to become integrated with Him and thus be “in Him.” The King James Bible says it this way, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

We have become such externalists that our faith and the expression of our faith has become largely external rather than internal. Contrast this ideology with some of the great historical icons of our faith. People like Thomas á Kempis, Martin Luther or Julian of Norwich. These and others, noticeably the Apostles John and Paul, believed and argued that the labor of our faith was to come to know God in the quietness of our spirits. Our faith is not in the things we do but in our connection internally with the Father, Son and Spirit. This is our works, extending our faith, believing with our hearts. Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6: 29).

We should not “do” works at the cost of sacrificing the quiet contemplation of our souls. Instead, external work should be at the direction of our Father and as an extension of the quiet, meditative connection with the Father. As in all things, balance is key. I know people who are so spiritual that they are no earthly good. What do I mean? They spend all of their time feeding themselves but it never has any expression beyond their own gorging. The true unity with God ought to show. It ought to spill over on to others but not by mere works but rather from the overflowing grace of the Lord.

When we rest in the presence of the Lord we gain substantively. This is not all subjective. It has real world consequences that can be objectively observed. We are empowered in the presence of the Lord and through communion with His Spirit we are guided; directed. He imbues us with power and then directs that power to His good intentions. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40: 31). He fills us up to overflowing, speaks to us in our spirits and directs our paths. He gives us the power to do all things. All of this comes from spending time and investing our effort in “knowing Him” and the power which flows from just such a knowing (Philippians 3: 10). 

When Moses died and Joshua was appointed by God to take over the leadership of the nation of Israel God’s advice to Joshua was, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 success (Joshua 1: 8). I think that same advice will serve us well today. We should wait upon the Lord in the meditation of the Word, prayer and in the contemplation of the Lord. In that waiting, that quiet communion spent with the Lord, is great power; great strength. As we rest in Him, as we wait in His presence and in prayer He performs the works; His power goes into action rather than our limited power. He assigns angels and directs ministering spirits. His is the power which does all of the heavy lifting while we meditate in Him and the authority of His grace. In Him, in our rest, we become powerful ministers of the gospel of grace. In Him we become mighty “wait lifters”.

Please share your thoughts with me. How did this Word of the Day impact you? We always appreciate your comments. Thank you.

Success in the Word

Joshua 1: 8

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 success.

There is a very good reason that this devotional is called the Word of the Day and why it begins with God speaking. Each one of us has a definition of success for our lives and each of us aspires to attain that success. Every one of us wishes to be prosperous in various ways. It would be ridiculous for us to be otherwise. Joshua was no different from us in this respect. He wanted to be successful at the task which God had given him. However, he was a little overwhelmed too. His job was to fill the shoes vacated when Moses died. One can imagine that Joshua was a bit concerned about his ability to lead the people into the Promised Land. So, God gave him this advice. Keep the Word of God in your mouth; meditate on it day and night. 

So, I send you God’s Word every day because I know that it has power to positively impact your life. The text that I write is for the purpose of elucidating what God has said. My writing is meant to explain a bit more of what is imbedded in the scripture and sometimes to bring out background information that we may not all have. And sometimes, it is meant to bring to you a revelation that God has shown me during my studies. However, it is not the most important part of the devotional. It is my intense desire that what I write blesses you but what God wrote is much bigger. 

I realize that you are busy people. Everyone is very busy these days. I also understand that sometimes my comments get long and that you may not feel you have time for the full text. I can appreciate that. I read daily devotionals too so I encounter the same emotions. My advice is that you open the Word of the Day devotional email everyday and read the scripture. Look to see what God is speaking to you even if you do not have time to read what I have to say. I am not offended. His Word ministers life. It will generally take you less than 2 minutes to read the scripture and I think it is pretty safe to assume we can all scrape together 2 minutes to receive a Word deposit from God. The Word is our secret to success so we need to have those deposits daily. And then throughout the day perhaps that verse will turn over and over in your mind so that you receive the inspiration of the Word.

I want you to read the full text of the Word of the Day everyday but that is not always possible so just allow yourself to ingest that most important part. Read the “Word” of the Day, the scripture, and let Dad minister its deep meaning to you.

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