How happy is the man

who does not follow the advice of the wicked

or take the path of sinners

or join a group of mockers!

Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction,

and he meditates on it day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2, HCSB)

Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Psalm 34:8, HCSB)

Praying Hands bible

I have a confession.  Until recently, I had very little clue how to meditate and was very uncomfortable with the word meditate.  Meditate seemed to me like a different religion, like something where you put your fingers out in circles and wait for spirits to come talk to you.  Not something for a Christian to do.

I don’t read my Bible seeking to meditate.  As Max Lucado points out in the video Be Still, there are two ways of reading Scripture

  • Information
  • Inspiration

Both bring fruit, but different fruit.  I guess I mostly read for both at the same time, but really using the way of gathering information, rather than the way of receiving inspiration, which is pretty new to me.

Of course, to meditate in the way that pleases God, you must have God’s Spirit within you.  You must be a born-again believer, meaning He has molded a new life for you in God’s Spirit, with the old life that conformed to the confusion and rubbage of this world cast aside.

In the video Be Still, theologian Richard Foster suggests the following steps for meditating.  I hesitate to use the word “steps”, because it implies a “formula”, and reading God’s Word is always about receiving it into your heart and mind and not about checking off boxes.  But the way Mr. Foster meditates is practical, easy to start, and I’ve found it to be a great introduction to meditation.

  1. Pray for God to reveal His Word to you.  Then, read through a passage.  Underline words, phrases, and verses that especially captivate you.
  2. Go back through and read the underlined passages.  Pray for God to help you choose one passage to focus your day on.
  3. Reread and reflect on that one passage all day.

(For those who have their devotion time at night, notice that you could choose a passage to reflect on before bed and all the next day.  You don’t have to have a morning devotion time in order to meditate.)

I have another confession.  I don’t have a good highlighter right now to use in my Bible.  I’ve been reading a passage once and then choosing one portion to focus on.  It’s easy to let things like not having the right highlighter stop you from meditating.  Don’t.  🙂

If you feel overwhelmed at reading a passage three times, do what I, the newbie, have been doing, and read through it once.  Then focus on one Scripture.  Build endurance for reading and reflecting on God’s Word the same way you build endurance for a sport.  Give your mind and heart a work-out as you would give your mind and body a work out if you were learning how to ride a bike, or take up archery, or lift weights.

Meditation is a most beautiful spiritual practices.  It’s worth every bit of time and effort–and a trillion more bits, too.  I have noticed even with my scrawny, beginner attempts that my mind is more focused on God during the day, and my heart more open to the Kingdom.  I didn’t realize until I began watching Be Still how much I was missing my walk with Christ.  Meditating is really like eating and drinking at God’s table–and you can feast to your fill.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” (John 6:35, HCSB)

Published in: on April 12, 2014 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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