Slideshow image

"Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed." - Joshua 1:8 (CEB)

I have been preparing in August to record a video summary of the books of history in the Old Testament. This video will be viewed by the pastors in Uganda and Kenya who have been receiving video training from us throughout the pandemic. The purpose of the video is to teach Scripture in a way that is relevant and transformational for these pastors. Scripture is supposed to be transformational for all people, after all. I have seen it turn people from wicked behaviors, convict hearts of sinners long lost, and provide direction to those seeking further relationship with Jesus. There is power in Scripture!

As I read through Joshua, this verse of Scripture stood out to me. Joshua had just received instructions from the Lord for the conquering of the Promised Land. The “Instruction scroll” (as the CEB phrases it) is what many of you call “the Law,” given to Moses in previous chapters of the Bible and reinforced in God’s speech to Joshua in this chapter. Essentially, God tells Joshua that the land will be given to them so long as they remain obedient and brave. God will win every battle for them if they just obey Him. Jesus words it a different way in the Gospels: “follow me.” “Follow me” and “obey me” are almost identical commands.

The point of this specific verse in Joshua, though, is that in order to obey God (and therefore successfully accomplish your objectives) we must be connected enough to His instruction that we know what we are being obedient to. Think about it: to be obedient to God, we must know what God has said and is saying. Otherwise, we won’t know what to be obedient to. For Joshua, it meant he must “recite it day and night so that you can carefully obey everything written in it.” See the correlation here?

The same truth applies to our lives. Unless we are connected God’s truth and His instruction, we cannot be obedient to Him. We cannot have right answers and next steps unless we are connected to the One speaking answers and revealing steps. If you have been struggling recently to obey God, consider how much time you have spent in Scripture lately. Can you know what God is asking you without being in Scripture, His Word to us? Joshua was told to recite it day and night; would you describe your relationship with the Word that way?

If you are feeling as convicted as I do, let me give you some small starters for this whole “recite it day and night” thing. Start by looking up Scripture that applies to the thing you are praying about. A quick internet search will give you some good pieces of the Word. Pick one verse and then set out to memorize it. Just that one verse. Put it on a sticky note in your car or on your desk at work or write it on your mirror at home. Put it everywhere. Then, when you need encouragement or you are struggling with that issue again, you will be constantly reminded of God’s truth. Recite it day and night. Start with one verse. You can do it!