“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 good success” (Joshua 1:8 ESV).
Have you ever been given simple directions to get to someone’s home, or to a business or park? It sounded simple enough when the instructions were given, anyway, so you didn’t feel the need to write them down. Admittedly I’m dating myself here. Nowadays someone sends their address to your phone and you tap on it and maps and voice directions guide you right there (most of the time!). But even my outdated reference illustrates the point of this blog post. It is all too easy to forget the truths of scripture that we have heard; and then we wonder why we aren’t spiritually prosperous.
In this one verse we are told that if we constantly speak the Word, meditate on the Word, and I believe we can infer from the text memorize the Word, we will prosper and have success. I’m not saying that if we do those things we will become wealthy in material things and not encounter bad things, as some proclaim; but I am preaching a prosperity Gospel!
God wants us to grow in our faith until “we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13 ESV). While not everyone is called to full-time ministry, we are all to be mature and filled to full with Jesus. And if we are to be successful in accomplishing that mission, we must be full of God’s Word. The words of men (and women) are subject to failure, but God’s Word will never fail. “Let God be true though every one were a liar” (Romans 3:4 ESV).
We speak what is inside of us (Luke 6:45).We cannot help but spurt from the wells of our souls. That is why it is so important that we make sure that we are filling ourselves with the right thing, God’s Word.
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame’” (Romans 10:8-11 ESV).
So, keep the Word close. Fill yourselves with it. Chew on it. Tuck it away where you can find it when the need arises, as a squirrel hides nuts and seeds. Speak it with your mouth and be refreshed; speak it with your mouth so that others may be refreshed, too.