Imagine, if you will, a Christian young person, they are newly out of college and working a great job. On the side they've started up a really exciting business, they're preparing to get married and start their own family and they are helping with the ministry at church. Wow, they've got a lot going for them, but things just aren't working out as smoothly as they had hoped. They suddenly strike upon the wonderful idea that if they can just get God on their side things will turn out fine. So they set out to convince God to join forces with them but no matter how much they ask and plead, things continue to go awry. God just doesn't seem to be interested in uniting with their efforts and making everything wonderful.
This could easily be a description of any one of us for although we work hard, do our best and hope things end up alright, we often have to wonder if we have God's blessing. We might say that the aim of this article is to discover how to get God on our side but if we want to be honest with ourselves we have to admit that God is not the one who needs to change. So what we will really be discovering is not how to get God on our side but rather how to get us on God's side! Thinking back to the story of how Israel took Jericho you will recall how, when Joshua was by the city he looked and saw a man standing with his sword drawn in his hand.(Josh 5:13) Stepping forward, Joshua boldly asks "are you for us, or for our adversaries?" The reply came with authority, "nay, but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come." In other words, it doesn't matter whose side I am on, the real question is, "Joshua, on whose side are you?" The same is just as true for us today.
I would like to consider three different passages of Scripture. Through them we will discover how to get us on God's side. We will learn the way to success, how to be fruitful and have whatever we do prosper and how to prove and discover for ourselves what is the will of God. It sounds like a rather big promise but I am convinced that each one of these is readily available to every child of God who will just do the one simple thing that God requires. That one thing is meditate upon His Word!
Let's start by looking at Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." It is that simple; just meditate on the words of this book. Meditate on them when you wake up in the morning, meditate on them as you go through your busy day, meditate on them in the evening, meditate on them as you go to sleep, meditate on them when you wake up in the night. So, we may rightly ask, "what is meditation?" You and I know many things in our heads, we have read the Scriptures and have even memorized portions of it but do we really know it? There are two ways for us to know something, we can know it in our head, this is the knowledge that profits us only a little, or we can know it in our heart, this is the knowledge that transforms our life. Meditation is the process whereby we take the head knowledge of the Scriptures we have read or memorized and transfer them into heart knowledge where they can transform our lives. You probably noticed that in Joshua 1:8 there is only one command, meditate therein day and night. In this verse God didn't say 'keep all my commandments and then you will have good success' instead He said, meditate on my words so that you may observe to do all that is written there. If we truly meditate on God's words we will discover that we soon begin to do whatever is written in it because heart knowledge transforms lives. If it hasn't transformed our life then I suggest that it is not heart knowledge. Be very careful on what you meditate because both good and evil when meditated upon will of necessity change your life. That is just how meditation works.
Psalms 1:2-3 says "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." That is amazing! Do you want to be like a fruitful tree planted by water, always green and having the thing that you do prosper? If so then delight yourself in the law of the LORD and meditate on it day and night. But how do we meditate on God's Word? There are numerous variations to meditation but for now simply start with a small sentence or phrase of Scripture. The beginning of Psalms 1:2 is a good example. "But his delight is in the law of the LORD." Start by asking the Lord to teach you by His Holy Spirit and to lead you into the truths hidden here. Be alert so as not to take your portion out of context but rather consider it, from time to time, with the surrounding verses so as to keep it in the proper perspective and remember, meditation is not a fast process so take your time. Read the portion several times, you may even want to memorize it so that you can pull the words into your thoughts as readily as possible. Now begin to mull over the individual words, the concepts and the truths contained in the portion. Think upon them all day long, each time you find your mind unoccupied, grab that verse, bring it into focus and reflect on it. Chew it up, digest it and let it become part of you. The author is always the best commentator on their own writings, so ask God throughout your day to teach you the hidden gems of wisdom secreted away in this passage. After you have thought on it for awhile (possibly several days), lay it aside and meditate on a different one, come back to this passage later on and you will discover far more here than when you meditated on it the first time!
Moving on from here let us consider our last portion. In Romans 12:2 it says "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Renewing the mind is an ongoing process which is closely linked with meditation. We are commanded to renew our minds because we do not naturally think like God thinks; we must therefore constantly replace our thoughts with His. This is an important process that should be taking place in our minds at every moment of every day but the need is most obvious when evil or impure thoughts enter our minds. Then instead of trying in vain to fight against the bad thought we must replace it with a different thought. Simply take the Scripture verse that you have been meditating on and start thinking on it, you will find that the bad thought will soon disappear. Do not be conformed to this world, they who are conformed to this world think like this world thinks, act like this world acts, are part of this world. But you, you have been called out of this world, you are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Let me remind you again, what you meditate on will transform your life, so meditate on God's Word and let it transform you. God's promise is sure. If you will renew your mind with His Word and allow it to begin transforming you, you will embark upon that journey which will enable you to prove and know for yourself what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God!
So there you have it, the fool proof way to get you on God's side. Meditate on His Word day and night, as you do so it will become heart knowledge and then of necessity that heart knowledge will set in motion the process of transforming your life. You will learn to love what God loves, to hate what He hates, to think like He thinks, to delight in that in which He delights, to do His works. Then your way will be prospered because it will be His way. Then you will have good success. Then you be like a fruitful tree whose leaf is always green and whatever you do will prosper. And then you will prove for yourself what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God!
Don't delay; start today to meditate on God's Word. Simply pick one small sentence or phrase from one of the verses quoted above and jot it down on a scrap of paper. As you continue your day begin to meditate upon it."
But his delight is in the law of the LORD."