Joshua 1:8 - May I not let Your word depart from my mouth, but meditate on it day and night, so that I may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then I will make my way prosperous, and I will act wisely. (Ken Boa paraphrase)
This Verse is for You
This verse, from the first chapter of Joshua, has been paraphrased in the first person to remind us that God’s Word has application in our lives. It is, in a manner of speaking, addressed to us.
That’s relevant in light of the fact that this single verse is exhorting and instructing us to saturate ourselves in God’s Word. Why? Because that’s where we meet God, hear God, are confronted and instructed by God. In short, it is where we learn to “act wisely.”
But It’s Not Magic
Scripture encourages us to pursue wisdom on a daily basis. James puts it bluntly in the first chapter of the book that bears his name. Verse five reads,
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
It doesn’t get any plainer than that. Ask for wisdom and God will give it, generously. That seems simple enough. Yet what I have learned over the years of my spiritual pilgrimage is that this “formula” does not work like a magic genie in a lamp. You don’t rub the lamp and make a wish. It doesn’t operate like taking an aspirin for a headache. You don’t take two tablets and get wisdom in the morning.
Instead, our text from Joshua gives us a pretty good understanding about how to attain wisdom. If the wisdom we want is God’s wisdom, and God has revealed his wisdom to us in and through his Word, then it would behoove us to read, study, mediate upon, pray over, and apply that source of wisdom.
If we want God’s wisdom to rub off on us and get into our spiritual bloodstreams – into our hearts and minds – then we have to do the hard work of “not letting it depart from us.” We will want to “meditate on it day and night.” We will “be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Only then will we become prosperous and begin to act wisely.
That’s the cost to this component of faithful discipleship. It’s not easy and it certainly does not come instantly. This is not for the lazy or the faint of heart. But wisdom is a pearl of great price that is worth more than we can possibly imagine.
· Read through the Book of Proverbs and write down all the descriptions of wisdom you find.
· What is it about wisdom that makes it so important to acquire?
· How is wisdom different than knowledge?
· What are three things you can start doing today that will help you grow in wisdom? Write them down and then share your list with a friend.
All-wise and loving God, you have graciously revealed your wisdom to us in and through your written Word, and most especially, through the Word, Incarnate. I pray for wisdom. I desire it. I need it. I’m lost without it. And yet, O Lord, I have been guilty far too often of not doing what it takes to have such wisdom. I have expected you to dispense it like cheap grace. I know you desire to give it generously to those who ask, but please forgive me for neglecting your treasure chest of wisdom found in Scripture. Please, fill and lead me with your Holy Spirit so that I will turn to your Word, and then read, pray over, meditate upon, study, and apply it. Only then can I expect to truly act wisely. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
This Week’s Prayer Guide
[You can use this prayer guide in your own personal prayer time. However, I encourage you to use it with a group of Christian men. Each week you should spend time praising God for who he is, confessing your sin to him (be specific) as well as expressing gratitude to him for his gracious forgiveness. Also, don’t forget to thank God for the many ways he has poured out his goodness in your life. Then, focus on the following areas of supplication, which will change from week to week.]
Petitions – prayers for yourself
· Lord, help me to faithfully participate in the life of my congregation and for the sake of my community…
Ø By my prayers
Ø By my presence
Ø By my gifts
Ø By my service
Ø By my witness
· Today’s events and interactions with others, planned and unplanned
· Other needs
Intercession – prayers for others
· My family
· For those who serve in government, at the national, state, and local levels
· For those who serve in law-enforcement
· For those who serve in fire and rescue
· For those who serve in our nation’s military
· Other needs
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