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Read the Word (Part 3)

Joshua chapter one also shows us how powerful meditation is. Joshua had a big challenge ahead of him. He had to conquer the Promised Land with its walled cities and giants. He was getting ready to face a formidable foe. Did God give Joshua a surefire military plan? No, He told him:

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)

The power of meditation is that it gives you success in your life. Does that mean a BMW in every believer’s driveway? You and I know better than that. For us as Christians, success is fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives, whether or not that includes driving a nice car. 

God told Joshua in my Tony Evans' paraphrase, “If you are going to accomplish the goal for which I am sending you into the Promised Land, you will need to meditate on My Word until it is part of your very being, until it guides every step you take and every decision you make.” 

If meditation is that important, we’d better find out what it means to meditate on Scripture day and night. The word “meditate” makes me think of the activity of a cow in chewing its cud.

A cow will eat grass and swallow it. But later, the cow wants the taste of that grass in its mouth again, so it regurgitates the grass and chews on it some more. The cow keeps doing this until the cud is thoroughly chewed and ready to be swallowed for a final time and taken into the digestive system to nourish the cow.

That’s the picture of what God wants us to do with His Word. We may chew on it on Sunday and swallow it. But then on Monday, we bring the Word back to our minds and think about it some more, turning it over and over until we absorb more of it. 

Or we read and swallow the Word on Tuesday, but then something happens on Thursday that causes us to bring the Word back up to meditate on it again. If we do that often enough, the Word will become so much a part of us that it infiltrates our entire being. Then we begin to act and react with a kingdom mindset as a way of life.

You say, “Tony, how will I know when to meditate?” You won’t have to worry about that. If you are consciously aware of trying to please God through your life, whenever God teaches you something from His Word, He’s going to give you a chance to bring it back up again and apply it, meditate on it, and gain insight from it. 

The reason many Christians don’t experience this proc­ess is that they aren’t looking for it. They aren’t sensitive to the working of the Holy Spirit. They have forgotten most of what they once “ate” from the Word. Medi­ta­tion is the second step in understanding and applying God's Word.

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