“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 everything written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8 NASB)
I was reminded recently of one of the great truths from this Scripture. Joshua stated that the Word of God (“Book of the Law” was all he had at that time) was something to be spoken about and spoken constantly (as was commanded in Deuteronomy 6:6-9). This repetition and dedication was commanded to intentionally make the mind “meditate” on the Scriptures. Meditation is most likely the greatest omission in the lives of busy American Christians today. I like to say meditation is the “hinge.” If you follow along in this verse and other verses, you find it brings results – “so that” you “may be careful to DO.” It is the hinge that moves theoretical knowledge about the Word and the Lord into the application stage. It allows the voice of God to personally speak to me from the Scriptures and move my will to action and change in accordance with what God reveals to me in His living Word.
Why are so many Christians educated in the Word (i.e., they are full of information), but yet are so worldly in their lifestyles and thought-patterns (i.e., no transformation)? In those lives, God’s Word never moves from theory to practice. We lack the discipline to meditate on the Word. Christian meditation is taking the time to give prayerful concentrated thought to God’s Word allowing the voice of God to speak to us so that we may obey and act accordingly.
The exciting results are also stated in the verse above, “for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success!” We desire the prosperity and success to be our own way and defined by us. No, God’s way only comes from study, meditation, and the corresponding action — that is, doing what God desires — and therefore it reaps the blessing and seal of God’s approval! It’s that simple. We don’t need to read more about it, just begin doing the right thing (meditation) for the right reasons (intimacy with God) and see God work in your life.
Start a journaling habit to allow your meditation stage to take place as part of your daily disciplines. Read Psalm 1:2-3 and see again how clearly the “hinge” of meditation is a key to changing information into transformation.