A Passion for His Word (Joshua 1:8-9)
Joshua 1:8-9, This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Meditation on the Word of God is to be done continuously, not spasmodically. Meditation promotes consecration. If you do not meditate on the Word, you will not be obedient to the Word. This success needs to be understood as spiritual success, not necessarily material or financial success.
The thought is that God’s Word was to be so familiar to Joshua that it would continually be upon his tongue. Familiarity with the Word of God to such a degree that it modifies our behavior comes by meditating therein day and night. The word meditate has the sense to ‘muse or think upon.’ The absorbing the Word of God to the degree that it soaks down into one’s heart. This clearly implies reading and studying it. The phrase “day and night” has the sense of spending time in God’s Word each day and evening. It is only when God’s Word so saturates our mind, soaking down into our heart, that we will actually do all that is written therein.
Biblical mediation is not at all the same thing as non-Christian forms of meditation. In those practices, many of which have become popular in the last twenty-five or thirty years, the focus is on emptying the mind. In Biblical meditation we seek to clear our minds of the clutter that prevents us from focusing fully on God. We push aside that which keeps us from filling our minds with God's Word and his work in creation, the world and other people.
Meditation could be summed up by this comparison: we seek to immerse ourselves in God’s Word as a sponge soaks up water. We train ourselves for a time to set aside everything we have to do and focus on what God wants us to become. We spend time intentionally listening for the voice of God (not audibly) speaking to us, through Scripture.
We must be careful what we fill our minds with. It is very important that meditating on Scripture be our first priority. Otherwise we may lose our ability to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, which He promises His followers will recognize in John 10:3-4. But beyond that meditation on Scripture, we should begin to meditate on how God is working in the various people and situations we encounter, always listening for (meditating on) how God might want us to respond to those encounters. We can also look for (meditate on) God's work in creation.
We must then in all humility take the things we have heard from God in our meditation and process them with other Christians. Since Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14), we need to have accountability regarding "a Word from the Lord." History is littered with the destroyed lives of those who did not heed the warning to seek accountability.
How do you meditate Biblically? Example: If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Worry is taking a fearful thought and thinking about it over and over from every angle. Meditation is taking a verse of Scripture and thinking about it over and over from every angle, looking for application. Meditation always has application as its goal. The result of meditating on God’s Word is that we stay spiritually healthy and strong during the difficult seasons of life (Psalm 1:3). Bible study and Scripture memory should never be an end in themselves. We must also meditate, which always enables us to apply God’s Word to our lives. Going through God's Word is not as important as allowing God's Word to go through you.
Seven Scriptures referencing meditation:
Psalm 1:2; Psalm 19:14; Psalm 63:6; Psalm 119:15; Psalm 119:97; Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:8.
Prayer, Father, thank You for creating in me a passion for You. Help me to better understand and apply Your Word. Help me to clear my mind of those things that will prevent You of helping me have the mind of Your Son. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.