Reading: Joshua 1
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Joshua was about to lead several million people into a land that God had promised to his ancestors hundreds of years earlier. After all this time, he was the one to realise the promise. This would require military leadership as well as civil governance responsibilities.
Joshua had done his apprenticeship under Moses for 40 years or so. He knew what it was to be in God's presence, having spent much time with God in the Tent of Meeting. Yet now, prosperity and success depended on this one thing – that his mind and his heart be so filled with the Book of the Law that he would unswervingly live by God's Word. He was to think it, speak it, and live by it.
The same applies to me, yet so much differently because of God's promise which is now fulfilled: “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33 No longer must I try my hardest to internalise his Word, hoping thereby to obey it and somehow reach his required standard. Instead, God's Word is already within me, written on my heart, and his Spirit is now helping me to externalise or live out that Word.
The pressure now comes right off, because God himself is doing this work in me. “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. Now as I read God's Word, I am transformed by it because the Spirit is doing this work in me. Now as I 'marinate' in the words of the Word, it's flavour can soak right through me. In effect, the Word is being fulfilled in my life, not because of my own efforts, but because God is doing it. Mine is simply to submit myself into his hands, cooperating with him and trusting him for everything.
God, you are so good. Thank you for your precious Word. Thank you for opening your heart to me so that I can know you and enjoy your promises. And thank you Jesus for your sacrifice that has made all this possible. Holy Spirit, have you way in me now, and may all your plans and purposes for me be fulfilled.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11