Lead Where You Are–through Meaningful and Frequent Times in God’s Word
Joshua is a Bible character who has brought encouragement and inspiration to countless leaders. His life and example are vivid images of the challenging responsibilities of leadership. As leaders, you and I can identify with Joshua on many levels. Consider just a few: he was following in the footsteps of a larger-than-life leader; a group of God’s people were looking to him to guide them to the next place; he felt underqualified for the challenge; his predecessor, though respected, had made some mistakes that he did not want to repeat.
There will always be voices that try to drown out truth and try to influence our behavior, but God desires that we listen closely for his voice so we can make appropriate decisions.
Interestingly, when God advised this young leader, Joshua, on what it would take to be effective at leading his people to the next level, he told him that it was important to do two things:
1. “Never stop reading The Book”
2. “Day and night ... think ... about what it says.”
I wonder, How much reading of the Bible are most Christians doing today? How much time are they taking to think about the Bible? How can we do more than just “read” the Bible? Here are a few approaches you might find helpful:
Pray the Bible—This is a simple practice you can incorporate into your times of Bible study. As a passage opens up to you, turn the relationships and principles you encounter into a prayer that you pray over your life, over your congregation, or over your family. It is also helpful to write out this prayer and then pray it aloud. This practice brings a passion and soul-connection for the reader to the very words of God.
Picture the Bible—In particular, when you read a Bible story through a time or two, put your Bible down and open your imagination. Take some time to picture the story in your mind. Ask yourself, What might this scene have looked like? What might it have been like for you to be there? How might these characters have felt given the circumstances and what the Bible reveals about them? What were the characters’ views or viewpoints of this scene? What might God’s view of it have been?
Ponder the Bible—When Mary was first told that she would bear the Christ Child, the Bible says she “kept thinking ... and wondering about” these things (Luke 2:19). It says she “treasured these thoughts in her heart.” Meditating on the Bible is just that—thinking about it, about its words, about the significance of these words, and about the implications of these words. The Word of God is meant to be carefully considered—to be treasured, reflected on, chewed over, pondered. Pondering the Bible and journaling can go hand in hand. What questions come to mind as you engage?
Practice the Bible—As you find biblical directives and principles regarding compassion, generosity, and so on, lead your family or your team in practically living them out through an act of service or compassionate ministry. The Bible can be considered from a spiritual perspective, but it is generally better experienced with some measure of action and physicality.
Praying, picturing, pondering, and practicing the Bible—use these simple methods by yourself and with your family and congregation to help you think about the Bible and meditate on God’s Word.
Thought of the Day
Scripture engagement involves a leader’s consistent devotion to the Word of God.
Is my engagement with God and his Word passionate and consistent, or is it becoming monotonous and irregular—more a “part of my job”? In what ways does the Word of God regularly inform my lifestyle, my decisions, my values, and my leadership?
Practice thinking about the Bible ... on your own. Over the next four days go through the four different Bible meditation practices (Pray, Picture, Ponder, and Practice) as part of your daily time in God’s Word.
Dear Lord, help me to draw deeply from your Word and the insights it contains. Open my mind and heart to not only read and study it, but to do so eagerly and consistently. Make me truly a student of your Word.