This past Sunday we talked about learning to Meditate on the scriptures. For most followers of Jesus that is a scary thought. They imagine a group of bald headed men, dressed in orange, sitting in a very uncomfortable position, humming because they forgot the words to the song.
But that is not what meditation on the scriptures is about. Biblical meditation is about focusing our mind on Jesus and His word. The Bible has much to say concerning the benefits of meditation. But the primary reason to meditate on God’s word is that without it we will be unable to find our way to the heart of God.
Many followers of Jesus are under the false impression that if they read a prescribed amount of verses each day – they will be holy and Christ-like. In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?” We’ve all discovered that reading a few verses in order to check off a box on our reading plan – has little to no effect on the way we live our day. James describes that scenario like this,
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” James 1:23,24
So we’re warned about becoming a forgetful hearer. The only way to avoid becoming exactly that is through meditation.
When someone mentions meditating on the scripture – we usually check out of the conversation. Meditation is for the super spiritual people of the world – and I’m not one of them. But what if I told you – you already know how to meditate? It’s true! If you know how to worry – you know how to meditate – because it works off the same principle. When we worry we keep thinking about the same thing all day long. Meditation is choosing to think about God and his word all day long. Allowing a truth or principle from God’s word to be at the forefront of our minds throughout the day.
So allow me to share just a few practical things that may help you with the process of meditating on God’s word:
1) Less is more – Instead of trying to cram chapters of scripture into your mind – why not read just a few verses. One reason we don’t meditate is because we try to read too much. When having your time in the scripture give yourself enough time to consider what you have read.
2) Become a detective – Every good detective asks the crucial questions who, what, when, where, why, and how. Every time you read a passage of Scripture ask the questions. Who is this referring to? What is the main idea of this passage? When is this to be practiced in my life? How does this apply to my life? What can I do today to put this into practice? (not every question will not fit the passage you read – but you get the idea)
3) Take time to think – As you drive to work ask Jesus to help you to remember what you learned from his word. At your break time – use your phone to take a quick look again at what you read in God’s word. Ask the Lord to help you remember and practice his word throughout the day. At lunch take time to think again on what you read that morning. Repeat the process all through the day.
4) Keep it Simple – It takes time to get used to something new. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. Start with passages of scripture that yield themselves to practical things. Psalm 119 would be a great place to start as we journey through this great psalm. Other Psalms that might be of interest include: Psalm 1, 23, 34, 100.
The primary thing to know about meditation is that it’s about keeping God in your thoughts – not once a day – but through