After Moses died, God told Joshua in Joshua 1:8
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.
I want to focus on a couple of things in the scripture above. First, what does it mean to meditate on something? It means to think deeply or 'focus one's mind' on something. How often do we actually sit in our quiet places and actually focus our mind on the Word of God? Look at the word "observe" in the scripture above. Observe in the original Hebrew means:
- to hedge about
- to guard or protect
- to take heed to
Remember, we are to guard our hearts, too (Proverbs 4:23). Now, if I may, let's insert our new definitions into what God told Joshua and let's see what it says:
"This Book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall think deeply and focus your mind in it day and night, that you may place a hedge about it to guard and protect and take heed 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."
I am not trying to add anything to the Gospel here. I am only exercising a concept that we used to use in English and Grammar classes - replacing the word with the definition of the word. It changes slightly the meaning of the scripture doesn't it? Once we know who we are in Christ, then this is how protect who we are. But notice something else...God also Joshua to take heed to "do all that is written in it." He didn't say some, part, only what is in two books of the Bible. He said to do ALL that is written in it. So, as it relates to our identities, what are we to do?
As I study this subject, Building the City on a Hill, more I am noticing how everything in the Word of God is interlocked. One thing cannot happen or exist without another thing. Above in Colossians we are told to put off all these behaviors. (Which we have seen Paul and Jesus say in other places.) It is up to us to put off behaviors from our mistaken identity. It is an action that we must complete. When we are getting dressed in the mornings, no one does that for us. Or at least I don't have a lady's maid that helps me dress, laces up my corset, and does my hair for me. I have to get dressed all by myself. The same is true here. We have to make the conscious decision to no longer be angry, or use filthy language. Our new man is renewed, Paul said to the Colossians. As part of our identity, we are the elect of God, true?
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; (13) bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (14) But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
So as the elect of God, we are to put on things just as we are to put off. As I stated earlier, no one does this for us. It is an action we have to complete. God doesn't do this for us. He gives us the power to do it through the Holy Spirit, but He does not do it for us. Do you see a correlation with the things in Colossians we are to put on with the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5? Do you see what I mean when I say it is all interlocked together? We cannot do one thing without doing another?
Ephesians 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, (2) with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, (3) endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Paul asked the church at Ephesus to walk "worthy of the calling." Those that believe only in grace will say that we are saved by grace through faith and that is all there is. There is nothing more for us to do. God has done it all and therefore we are relinquished from any responsibility of doing anything. Our works don't save us and can't get us into Heaven. That is true. Our works and being a good person do not get us into heaven. They do not save us. Only the grace of God saves us as we have faith to believe in His Son. However, we are not intended to stay children. To protect identities and prevent the enemy from trying to keep us deceived, we have to grow spiritually in the ways of the Lord and the mind of Christ. Paul said,
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
We don't stay a child forever in our natural bodies. We grow up and pass through various stages of development. Nor should we stay a child in our spiritual minds.
1 John 2:12-14 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. (13) I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. (14) I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.
Notice the stages of development that are mentioned above and what differentiates each. A child cannot protect itself and relies on his or her parents to provide and care for them, and keep them safe. Teenagers or "young men (people)" are invincible!! Or so they like to believe. They can take on the world and win! They are overcomers. Fathers, parents, those that are older, have known God. This is a part of protecting our identities - growing in our Father, developing the mind of Christ, learning to be an overcomer, putting off the things of the old man and putting on the things of the New Man. We cannot protect our identity from being mistaken if we do not think deeply on, focus our minds, guard and protect and take heed to do all that is in the Word of God. Anything less keeps us in a state of vulnerability, no knowledge of how to use the Word of God, which is our weapon - the Sword of the Spirit. As we meditate day and night on the Word of God, we can also learn how to hide in Him; how to run to our refuge and fortress; and most importantly how to trust God.
I know there is a lot of information here, but there is so much more that I wanted to include, but I guess that should be for another time. This morning before you go out to your job or take the kids to school or do whatever, choose a scripture and meditate on it today. Think about it. Ask God to show you what it means and how to apply it. When the day gets tough, go back to the scripture you selected and remember, if our God is for us, then who can be against us?
Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Let us share in our praise reports! We love to hear of the marvelous works of our God!
If you have a prayer request, please let us pray for you. Email us.