"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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9 ESV)
I am pretty excited about this. About what we are doing together right now. As part of a Lenten link-up with She Reads Truth, we will specifically be dealing with meditation and confession as the topic of the devotions for these next two weeks. But don't leave yet. Because meditation isn't just yoga and confession isn't just something to make you feel bad. I have provided the definitions of the words within this post because I want you to take away any connotations you may have of these terms and try only to look at their denotation. These things aren't easy though. I think in really preparing our hearts for what we are going to do, SRT puts it best by saying, "
There’s a reason meditation and confession are called spiritual disciplines.
They don’t come naturally. They are not comfortable. But then again, comfort is not the point, is it? Setting our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2) is the point. Coming clean to be cleaned (1 John 1:9) is the point."
With that, reread those two verses up there and lets dive in.
Straightforward, first part of the verse, God is telling Joshua to meditate on the Law. The coolest part is that God even tells him why (sometimes I feel just like a toddler when reading the Bible: "but why?" "why God?" "well, why though?"). The verse goes on to say that he should meditate so that he is able to follow the law and that by that he will be prosperous (not in the gold and diamonds way, but rather that he was going to be the example of obedience of the law to God's people). That's really exciting if we think about it: That by meditating on the word, God will begin to tattoo it on our hearts and our whole being will begin to conform to Him. If I'm honest I would tell you that I don't normally practice this discipline. But I wonder what my life would look like if I did. I know that just in these past few months of reading daily and memorizing a bible verse every here and there, my whole life has changed drastically. So then, if I actually took time to really strip everything else away and focus my whole being on Him regularly, how much more would He do through me?
And now the part we'd rather just skip. Even though this verse doesn't outright command confession, I think that we can all admit that we're not always strong and courageous, putting our full trust in God and His faithfulness. I think that no matter how many times we look at any commandment, somewhere, somehow we've fallen short. Confession is about admitting that and coming before God bare, just laying it all out there even if it hurts or makes you feel uncomfortable. You have nothing to bring to the table except sin, so bring it. Guess who’s there mediating that conversation? Jesus! He just told us that He’s with us wherever we go, and He’s with us when we’re feeling awful about sin and He’s ready to lead us through it. In Calvin’s commentary on verse nine, “...nothing is more effectual to produce confidence than when trusting to the call and the command of God, and feeling fully assured of it in our own conscience, we follow [to whatever place] he is pleased to lead.”
So now, let's take some time to meditate on God's word. Let's put aside any distraction (ehehm, your phone counts) and fix the entirety of our being on God and His word.
And maybe that's going to lead you to a place of confession. That's exactly where God wants us to be. So, lets confidently approach our Father with full assurance that He not only hears us but forgives us because of what Christ has already done for us.
Way better than yoga or some stuffy confessional box.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)
PS: She Reads Truth made some sweet graphics for us. Feel free to save and share or set as your wallpapers and memorize the verses!