Parenting is trial & error. My wife Crystal & I have 3 kids, all separated by about 4 years. I told my oldest (the only boy) once as he was entering teenage years to be patient with me b/c I had never parented a 13-year-old before. We have made it through (in about 8 more months) his teenage years successfully. I feel like we deserve a trophy . . . filled with a cash reward . . . and a cinnamon roll.
Years ago, I learned I’m not able to download into my kids everything they must know to navigate life.
And even if I could, they won’t remember, or even hear, all of it.
Rather, my goal is to maintain open communication with them. While I might not always agree with decisions they make nor can I prepare them for all life’s challenges, I have greater influence if I have ongoing dialogue with them.
I can at least walk alongside them through those challenges.
My goal is to be a root for them to lean on versus just a branch to cover them from everything.
Similarly, Joshua had to find a root to lean on. Joshua was called to a tall task of filling Moses’s role as leader of the Israelites after their exodus from Egypt. In Joshua chapter 1 we see God speak to him about this calling and just how big of a job it was going to be.
The whole chapter is a beautiful snapshot of this transition in leadership and how God is with us, even in the most daunting circumstances. God consistently tells Joshua to be STRONG & COURAGEOUS, and when you peel back the layers of how he is to do that, you’ll find that He instructs Joshua to “meditate on His word day & night” (verse 8).
That’s Joshua’s root.
Everything that will enable Joshua to accomplish the goals God has for him pour out of meditating on God’s word.
Strength & courage, staying the course, prosperity & success, bravery & courage, and God’s presence.
All of it from meditating on God’s word!
What does that look like for us as we seek freedom from pornography & lust?
First, we can only meditate on that which we consume. So, a key part of this process is regularly consuming God’s word.
Second, God offers a prompt for how meditating is accomplished. At the beginning of verse 8 God tells Joshua to keep His word ‘always on your lips’ (NIV).
There are many applications here and one I’d offer is to speak His word into decisions & opportunities. Strive for every choice you make (big & small) to align with God’s word.
Third, and probably the most important, properly meditating on God’s word means putting it in its proper place as you wrestle with things of this world. In other words, when you’re confronted with something that doesn’t align with God’s standard, we must place one in submission to the other.
God’s Holy Scripture is perfect and inerrant.
Meditating on it is in part, figuring out how life fits within it, not the other way around.
Are you following me?
Thoughts to Journal:
- What do you meditate on regularly? What do you consume, use as an evaluative tool for decisions, and figure out how to align with life? Something for sure fills this role in your life?
- What are some additional ways to meditate on God’s word?
- What does your calling have in common with Joshua’s?