By Joe Eastman
As 2016 continues to unfold we continue our focus on Spiritual Disciplines. For the first quarter of this year we took a good look at the discipline of simplicity. This quarter we continue by looking at the discipline of Biblical Meditation.
Biblical Meditation means to internalize and personalize the Scriptures so that the truth of God’s Word can influence how we think, our attitudes, worldview, and ultimately our actions. In essence, it is to give the time and energy necessary to let God’s Word renew and change our minds. (Romans 12:2)
The question you might ask is, “why should I do that?” Or, “Why does Biblical Meditation matter if my life is fine and I am going to Heaven anyway?” Well, I hope that you will see that there are very good reasons to discipline yourself to meditate on the Bible. Namely, three things we can gain through Biblical Mediation and two things we risk losing without Biblical Meditation.
The first thing we can gain from Biblical Meditation is the understanding and the ability to claim the full promises of God. Too often as Christians, we settle for a life that is just ok. Like the children of Israel, we don’t take the time to really understand all that God offers us in Christ. Consequently, we don’t know what is ours from the promises of God. Meditating on the Bible is a good way to keep top of mind all the promises of God so that we can live in faith and claim them.
The second thing we can gain from meditation is the reminder of the fierce spiritual battle we are in. It has been said that “the biggest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convince the world he doesn’t exist.” As Christians we can be lulled into a false sense of security by the world and we can forget the seriousness of our situation. Meditating on the Bible reminds us of the reality of the spiritual battle and helps to remind us to keep guard and alert. (1 Peter 5:8)
The final thing we can gain is to be reminded of the reality of the challenge. Everyone in the Bible were given a destiny and calling from God. Anyone who God calls as his child has a role in the Kingdom and a destiny from God. Moreover, this destiny is not chosen but is assigned to us. With salvation comes the responsibility to live up to our calling. (2 Peter 1:10) In reality, the only question we must answer as Christian isn’t, “do I have a calling” but rather “will I be obedient to my calling.”
The two things we risk losing without the practice of Biblical Meditation are true success in life and stability in the face of trials. True success is not measured in wealth or abundance (Luke 12:15) but in relationships. Primarily our relationship with God and our ability to live out our faith and overcome the world. The fact is, we risk true loss in life if we don’t stay focused on God. The Bible is filled with warnings and examples of people who have made shipwreck of their faith. The possibility of loss is real and we should take it to heart. True success in life is only guaranteed by God if we stay on His path and we stay on His path primarily through knowing His Word and we know His word the best through Biblical Meditation.
The second thing we risk losing is stability in life. God promises His people stability in the face of trials and troubles but stability is always tied to trusting and knowing the Word of God. (Psalm 1, Matthew 7:24-27) In order to experience stability from God we must know His word and make it a part of who we are.
Overall, Biblical Meditation is about making the scriptures part of who we are. But how in practical terms is that accomplished? Well, here are some meditation strategies which I suggested last Sunday in Church.
1. Get into the word. Read the Bible, memorize it, listen to it, think about it (get a book from a bible teacher)
2. Make hearing it preached a priority- If this is your church then God has something to say to you every week.
3. Make multiple appointments to meditate every day- instead of doing a marathon session do three small 15 minutes’ sessions.
4. Memorize scripture- nothing works as well and memorizing the promises of God to get them into our hearts. Once those promises are in your heart you can meditate on them no matter the circumstances.
5. Expect God to speak to you through those times. Including crafting and changing your thoughts and attitudes.
6. As this quarter unfolds please be on the lookout for more resources to come!