♕ Today's Promise: “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:9
Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing how to be blessed in 2016. To review thus far, we learned three principles:
Principle #1 God WANTS to Bless You!
Principle #2 Suffering and Sorrow help us obtain the maturity to enjoy the blessing!
Principle #3 To be blessed, you must love Him enough to obey Him.
This week we want to learn a fourth principle.
Principle #4 To be blessed, you must meditate on His Word.
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
If we use Psalm 1 as our guide, we see that it promises that IF we meditate on God's Word to the point that we are thinking about it all day and also at night— we will be like a tree that’s been firmly and solidly planted by streams of water, which brings forth its fruit when it's in season and its leaf will not wither or dry up, and, most excitedly— in WHATEVER we do, we will prosper!
I know what I wrote is not word for word and the punctuation too is far from the verse I pasted above, but that’s because I typed it from memory, from my heart, this is all the embellishments that I have since come to experience in my own life.
When I was first introduced to this verse, I believed this promise so much so, that it’s the first verse I made a point of memorizing. Actually I memorized the entire 1st Psalm the Monday after I heard this principle for the first time when I was attending a seminar. At that point in my Restoration Journey, my husband had been gone for a year and eight months.
I believed what that verse said, and took it as His promise to me and, as they suggested in the seminar, I began by memorizing the entire Psalm 1. Prior to this, I had actually hidden many verses in my heart from writing down scriptures on 3x5 cards.
Psalm 119:11 KJV—
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." NASB "Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You."
Let me say as clearly as I am able, that if you memorized just this ONE principle it will change your life, just as it changed my life—FOREVER! Ever since I meditated on this one verse, I have never been the same.
Because above all, God is faithful to His promises. So whenever we take them as His promise to us and believe, in faith, that He is faithful and all His promises to us are "Yes!" and "Amen!" And we speak them back to Him, it will succeed.
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.“
The first thing that I noticed when I began trying to memorize this verse was that I seemed to say it over and over again—day and night. That’s when His promise became alive to me. It became a part of me. And very soon I noticed that, yes, whatever I did I prospered!
No, my marriage was not restored overnight; actually the very next month is when my husband divorced me. I know, too, that the enemy continued to mock me saying, "Hey so this is how you'll prosper! You memorize Scripture and your husband divorces you!" But, this was my test of faith, and without a test, how can we have a testimony?
How else can God know our heart? Remember, He says, "I the Lord, test the heart, I test the mind, to give a man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10. We may not know our own hearts, since it also says "the heart is more deceitful above all else, and is desperately sick, who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 So that is why God tests us.
So, if we prove to be faithful and do not "weary in well doing" Galatians 6:9 then "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
By the way, each and every verse that I have "hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee" has proven to transform me by the renewing of my mind. Then when my mind was changed, my heart also changed, and if that weren't enough, God also promises each of us, as we have been discussing, that we will PROSPER in whatever we do! Wow!
*Incidentally. If you shy away from the notion of “memorizing” Bible verses, every Bible verse I wrote down above was written from my memory. His Word I had hidden deep in my heart, from simply writing verses onto 3x5 cards and reading them once in the morning (the moment I woke up), once in the evening (before going to sleep), and whenever I knew I’d need a shot of encouragement (which during my RJ was all the time!).
Now, when we speak of obeying Him and meeting the conditions of His promises, Principle #3 To be blessed, you must love Him enough to obey Him, we obviously need to know and understand what He’s asking us to obey.
That's where "renewing our mind" with the Bible — meditating on Scripture — being washed in His word —is so important. To be able to change or be transformed, you need the renewing power of His Word. You need to meditate on it, in other words, to think of it over and over and over again!
Which Scripture verse should you meditate on?
Begin with the promise we began with, that unlocks all the others! Next, move to verses you read in our resources, since each of those verses poured out of my heart after I finished my Restoration Journey. They were planted there when God allowed my marriage to crumble, leaving me a tender heart or good soil in which to plant His Word.
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
Recently I received a letter from a woman who questioned the authenticity of our restored marriage testimonies because, she said, they sounded like a commercial for our resources. I assured her that they were authentic and that we simply asked women if there were any resources that they would recommend that would help men and women who, like them, also have a desire to restore their marriage.
Many she questioned were from men and women with restored marriages, which all had/have one thing in common; they each renewed their mind with the principles and verses that they’d hidden in their heart that led to God restoring their marriage.
It was God's Word that transformed them; it was God's Word that transformed me. It will be God's Word that will transform you. Therefore, the more you read, meditate, and then read and meditate on His promises some more, the more you will be transformed into a new person. How much you want to be transformed, will determine how much of your day, week or month you spend in God's Word and in His presence.
So, once again let us remember Principle #4 -- To be blessed, we must meditate on His Word.
Those who write with restored marriages sound different than the world, don’t they? They seem to speak the Word in all they say. That’s because they have been transformed by the renewing of their minds. What about you? How much of your day is spent in His Word and how much do you spend renewing your mind?
If you have never taken time to memorize Scripture, start this week. Write out just one verse that you believe is a promise God has just for you. Write it out on a 3x5 card and take time to mark it in your Bible then simply read it twice every day. Very soon you will be thinking of that promise "day and night" AND you will begin to thirst for His word.
Psalm 42:1. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.”
Then, when you least expect it, you will find that in whatever you do, you will begin to prosper! Now it's time to...