Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. Joshua 1:8 (NLT)
“You are constantly biting your nails! You need to learn to stop it.” Those were the words of my mother. Was I biting my nails constantly? No, of course not. But I was biting them frequently and it was a habit that needed to change. Eventually, I kicked that habit.
Habits are hard. Hard to break and hard to form when it’s a change that needs to be made.
What’s your habit with God’s word? Do you study it daily? Do you commit the words to memory, or as some may say, to heart? Do you spend time letting the word roll around in your mind as you seek to understand and apply it? I will confess, I’ve been guilty at times of a quick “morning fix” and moving on. But I’ve learned that I don’t change much with that approach and changing this sin hard heart is my goal!
Joshua is addressing the people of Israel just as they are about to cross out of the desert where they had wandered for 40 years and cross into the land of promise. A lot of things were about to change. Old habits would be no more and new habits would form to take their place. No more daily manna, they were entering the land of milk and honey and would harvest the food that would be eaten daily. No more pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. They would have to learn new ways of keeping the Lord foremost in their minds. Just as God had provided for 40 years in the wilderness he was providing now. The instructions were to study those words, those instructions, those laws that God provided to guide them in the new life they were about to enjoy.
Joshua goes on to say that only then if you keep God’s word continually before you will you prosper and succeed in all you do. If you read on, they didn’t. And the outcome was not so great! The word translated here as meditate is best represented by the concept of pondering the word.
Take a look at Deuteronomy 6:7-9 “Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” These are the words of Moses.
So here’s the deal. We are supposed to have God’s word constantly before us if we want to stay in his will. I was thinking too, that the instructions Moses gives are really some great memorization tips.
- Repeat them again and again.
- Teach them to your children.
- Talk about them with those you come into contact with throughout the day.
- Stick them up where you will see them.
- Write them on your hands and your foreheads if need be!
I’m sure you have seen the pictures of Jewish men with little boxes tied to thier heads or arms. But here’s what I’m thinking. Do they even know what’s in those boxes? I hope so! I really don’t plan to go around with a box tied to me. And that is really not going to help me remember God’s words. However, if I put that verse on my phone, on note cards on the table beside the chair I like to sit in, on a sticky note on my mirror and computer monitor, well, then I’m getting somewhere!
Learning from the mistakes of others is a relatively painless way to learn. Won’t you join me as I make it a daily habit to ponder God’s word?Learning from the mistakes of others is a relatively painless way to learn. Won't you join me as I make it a daily habit to ponder God's word? #Memorizetheword #averseaday #steepedintheword Click To Tweet
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