Hard as it is to believe, we are already in the spring of the second decade of the 21st century! If you are with me following the Legacy Reading Plan, you are already reading the Book of Joshua. This is a fascinating book. It is the first of the twelve historical books—Joshua through Esther—that forges a link between the Five books of Moses and the remainder of Israel’s history.
God’s plan for redemption becomes a tangible reality in the Book of Joshua. We see that Joshua is chosen by the Lord to lead the children of Israel into the land of promise. The wanderings of Adam, Abraham, and Moses finally give way to rest on every side.
The intrigue this month that will become palpable before spring gives way to summer is that we will encounter the people of the promise living in servitude inside the Persian Empire. Why? How could God’s promises, which reach their zenith under Solomon, have ended in exile and humiliation? Well, the answer is that they forgot the Word of God: They began to do what is right in their own eyes. This of course is precisely why I have purposed to tackle the problem of biblical illiteracy during our jubilee year—our fiftieth year of ministry—for without the Word, we too will surely lose our way, and without the Word, we have no road map for the journey of life.
The Word of God is not only a light to our path; I believe that meditating on the Word of God is the missing link between the intake of Scripture and an effective prayer life. As I have sought the Lord’s face in prayer, I have become absolutely convinced that we need to see the connection between prayer and reading the Bible. Our devotion to the Word of God drives us into the presence of God through the practice of earnest meditative prayer.
If you’re like me, you probably pray backwards. You hurry into God’s presence with a laundry list of prayer requests, and before your knees ever touch the ground, you’re already thinking about getting back into your frenzied lifestyle. Often we treat God no better than we treat our families. We want relationship but without the discipline of investing quality time. So the first step toward intimacy with God is to make prayer a priority.
Intimacy: That is precisely what prayer is. Once we grasp the significance of a dialogue with God, prayer will no longer be a mere duty or discipline, it will become a delight. For prayer is the very means of bringing us into the presence of the one who saved us by His grace.