Imagine if someone put you in charge of a nation tomorrow. All of a sudden you are the president of your own country. What do you need to succeed? A good army? Diplomatic skill and insight? A thorough understanding of economics and politics? Well, this was the situation that Joshua found himself in the Bible. He was in charge of the nation of Israel. And to make matters worse, he was replacing a legend, Moses, the seminal leader of Israel. So, what did Joshua need? The most important thing he needed was the Word of God.
Joshua 1:8 “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
What was true for Joshua is true for people today. The one guide everyone needs in life is the Bible.
God’s Word Can Give You a Successful Life
Studies show that nearly 1/4th of all Christians never read their Bibles. If these studies are right, then it explains why so many Christians feel like the Christian life doesn’t work. Without the Bible in their lives, Christians are robbed of God’s guidance and insight for living. And the insight for life that the Bible provides is absolutely transformational.
The Bible has the power to help you “prosper and succeed in all you do.” The promise that the Bible makes is grand. It claims to be able to help you find success in every area of your life. This is how the Bible could help Joshua lead a nation over 3,000 years ago and help you navigate the pitfalls of 21st century life. If there are areas in your life where you feel like your failing, then you need to ask yourself if you are letting the Bible guide you in those areas.
Read God’s Word Each Day
God told Joshua to “Study this Book of Instruction continually.” This means that the Bible helps you most when you read it each day. The sense of this verse is that the Bible is always on your lips, in your mind, and guiding your heart. This total saturation of the Bible in your life is only possible by daily reading what it has to say to you. So, pick one of our many reading plans and start reading today.
Think Deeply About What God’s Word Means for You
God also gives instruction on how a person is supposed to read the Bible. He told Joshua, “Meditate on it day and night.” You might think of meditation as an emptying of your mind. This isn’t the kind of meditation that God is talking about. The meditation that God invites you to is to think deeply about the words you read. Don’t just read through the Bible as fast as you can. Think about what it means for you. Is there a promise that God makes to you? Is there something that he commands you to do? Is there something that surprises or confuses you? As you find the answers to those questions keep coming back to those verses or phrases that stand out to you. Figure out how they apply to your life. If you don’t meditate on the Bible, then it will likely make very little difference in your life.
Do What God’s Word Says to Have a Successful Life
God isn’t trying to just fill your head with a bunch of Bible trivia. The end goal of reading the Bible isn’t to be able to win some sort of Bible Jeopardy! once you get to heaven. God tells people to read the Bible so that it will make a difference in their lives. All of the study and meditation is meant to help people “be sure to obey everything written in it.” The Bible doesn’t give you a successful life by accident. You have to actually do what it says.
James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Does the Bible make a difference in your life? Does it change the way you live? If you can see that it does, then you are well on your way to letting the Bible guide you.
Talk About It…
- What is your favorite book or story? Why do you like it so much?
- Read Joshua 1:8. Make a list of 10 observations that you make about this verse. For example, what are the commands in this verse? What are the promises of this verse? What is the meaning of the key words in this verse? Does this verse remind you of other verses in the Bible? If so, which ones?
- Do you agree that the Bible can guide you in every area of your life? Why or why not?
- Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. What else does this passage teach us about what the Bible can do in your life?
- Have you ever had the Bible change your views on an issue? If so, share it with the group.
- Make a list of some ways that you can meditate on verses in the Bible.
- How might memorizing verses in the Bible help you to understand it more deeply?
- Read James 1:22. What is the danger of studying the Bible, but failing to do what it says?