Meditate on God’s Word
Meditate on God’s Word? Christians in the world can be uncomfortable with meditation, associating the practice with Eastern mysticism. Meditation is a biblical practice that can lead to life-changing encounters with God. Through meditation, we can go deeper with God and gain profound insights from him. Meditation can occupy a brief period or an extended time span. At times, circumstances may compel us to quickly focus on God’s Word.
Psalm 46:1 says that God is a “helper who is always found in times of trouble.” In moments of need, we can experience the reality of God’s presence immediately. Likewise, through the psalmist, God instructs us to be still “and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). In the calm, quiet moments of our lives, or in the middle of a hectic day, we can become keenly aware that God is with us. We can pause at any hour to contemplate what God has promised us through his Word.
It is also wise to devote extended periods of time to hear from God. Jesus often made time in his schedule for prolonged prayer sessions with his Father. He would go to a mountain to pray throughout the night Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12. He would rise early to enable solitary, uninterrupted communion with his Father Mark 1:35). These encounters were Jesus’ lifeline as he constantly sought to align himself with his Father’s will.
To clearly hear from God on weighty issues, it is not prudent to launch a hurried prayer on the way to the boardroom or staff meeting. Some matters are so vital, they demand that we do whatever is necessary to hear from God. This may require sacrifice on our part, as Jesus demonstrated, but obtaining God’s divine wisdom is well worth going without sleep or food.
Meditation sometimes involves sustained concentration, focusing on God for several days, weeks, or even months. Twice, Moses spent forty days and nights on Mount Sinai receiving God’s message Deut. 9:9, 25. Jesus, too, spent forty days and nights in the wilderness as he prepared to commence his public ministry, Matt. 4:1-2; Luke 4:1-2. The apostle Paul spent three years in Arabia allowing God to prepare his heart and mind for God’s magnificent work through his life Gal. 1:15-18.
Even if you cannot retreat to be alone, you can maintain an elevated level of spiritual concentration and watchfulness. A time of extended focus on God is crucial when you are facing a major decision or undergoing difficult circumstances. At such times, you need God to walk particularly closely with you. Throughout the days and weeks, God may use a variety of means to communicate his heart. He will build upon what he said earlier until, over time, you gain a full understanding of what he is teaching you.
Here are several truths to consider regarding meditation:
- To meditate is to remain in God’s presence until you clearly hear from him. Christians rush in and out of God’s presence, yet they expect to gain an understanding of profound, divine realities. Meditation is a discipline wherein you focus long enough for God to lead you into a deep encounter with him 2 Cor. 3:18, allowing the time for God to teach you scriptural truths at a deeper level than usual. Eastern mysticism uses meditation to empty the mind; biblical meditation is focused concentration on what God says about a specific subject. It helps you comprehend the magnitude of Christ’s suffering on the cross or more fully grasp the multifaceted reality of God’s character. Meditation leads to a deeper understanding of God’s truth—the truth that sets you free John 8:32.
- Some religions encourage you to repeat the same phrases over and over while you meditate. Biblical meditation is not a practice of speaking but of hearing from God. The Spirit of truth is prepared to guide you, but you must remain silent before him and listen to him John 16:13.
- Meditation is God-centred, not self-centred. The primary focus of meditation is to know God more fully and intimately 9:23-24). Christ can present himself so simply that a child can enjoy a sweet relationship with him. He can also offer glimpses of his character that are so phenomenal, they baffle the sharpest human mind. When you meditate, you take time to concentrate on God, so he reveals new insights into his nature. Regardless of how much time you spend in this pursuit, there will always be more to learn because God is infinite.
- The secondary purpose of meditation is to better understand ourselves and our circumstances. Pondering our spiritual condition can prevent sin from gaining a foothold in our heart. The automatic by-product of an encounter with God is seeing ourselves as we are Job 42:1-6; 6:5. The downfall of many leaders occurs because they don’t take time to understand their own weaknesses and God’s corresponding strength.
- Meditation can be enhanced through fasting. Fasting takes the emphasis off your physical appetites so you can satisfy your spiritual need. Every distraction that can be removed while you meditate will channel your concentration and receptivity to hear more clearly from God.
Meditation can enable you to experience profound insights into God’s Word. It can forever change your life. Set aside time for meditation so you can begin to go deeper with God.
Questions for Reflection
1. How often do you meditate on the Lord and his Word?
2. What are some issues that call for extra wisdom wherein you could benefit from meditation?
3. What truths or Scriptures do you feel would greatly enrich you if you were to meditate on them?
4. What steps can you take to facilitate meditation?