Joshua 1:8 NKJV
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as foundation for what we believe and what we do. Principles inform how we reason and what we believe in. What we call morality is derived from the principles we have accepted as truth, and thus we build our lives on them. What may be immoral in one community may be considered moral in another community because the principles differ.
Joshua is about to lead the children of Israel into the promised land to take it. God gives him one essential instruction that will establish the principles he needs to build a belief system that will sustain his relationship with God and his success in the land.
He is to read the word, meditate on it day and night, be careful to do all it says and with that then he is guaranteed of prosperity and good success.
What that instruction is telling us is that God’s word contains principles that are necessary for our success and prosperity.
Jesus is the word of God according to John 1. He also said he is the way, the truth, and the life. If principles are the truths that serve as a foundation for what we believe and do, then Jesus is the foundation that we must build on. God was telling Joshua to build his life on Jesus, “the word”. Paul says that no other foundation can be laid for us to build our lives on except that which has already been laid, which is Christ Jesus.
Whether we know it or not, we each have principles that we are building our lives on. To know what those principles are, just look at what you believe. To know what you believe, just look at what you do and how you behave because what we do is built on what we believe. You cannot claim to believe that family time is important yet every little time you get off you run away from your family. You cannot claim to believe that Jesus is Lord, and yet, he is not Lord of your life. Likewise, you act based on what you believe.
Romans 12:2 reminds us not to be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world. This is because if we do, the principles of the world will become the foundation of what we believe and determine how we behave. Instead, we are to be transformed in the way we live and behave by having our minds renewed by the word of God. This word will give us the truth, Godly principles that will form our belief system and way of life.
What principles have you built your life on? Be like the wise man and build your house on the Rock.
What is one thing you were told as a child and believed but found out it was not true when you grew up?
What are some worldly principles that we have embraced in the church in this generation?
What three principles from the Bible have you believed and applied in your life? How is that working for you?