“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8.
The word meditate is used multiple times in the Bible including the Joshua passage above. Another example is Psalms 1:2 which says, “But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night” Meditation is a biblical exercise that has very practical applications.
We all meditate. Worry, for example, is meditation. When we worry we fixate on one thing, work our minds around it, ponder it and try to think our way through it. Worry is a form of meditation that we can become pros at over time. Meditating on God’s Word is a much better use of our time. Psalm 77:11-12 (ESV) says, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”
Too often we can find that after reading the Bible or hearing a sermon, the truth that captured our attention can quietly fade amid the clutter and noise of the day. And that can also be the case in our daily quiet time. We should not be content to skim through a chapter merely to check off some box. Rather, we should strive to “hide the Word of God in our hearts.”
Biblical meditation is the habit of pondering, personalizing, and practicing Scripture. You do not have to memorize a verse or a passage to meditate on it, but it’s very helpful to do so. We all want to be near to God. We also know that God speaks to us primarily through His Word. God uses biblical study and meditation to rewire our brains. The Bible says “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2) And the Bible says, “letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) Bible study is intended to change us. We should train our minds to meditate on Scripture all the time and applying them to our life’s situations.
Suppose you were meditating on Philippians 2:3-5 which says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” This is a verse about having a servant’s heart. After meditating on the verse, look at your life to see how often you think of others. Then you realize that Aunt Sarah has so many needs and you have made the decision to worry about the troubles in your life rather than worry about her troubles. Ask God to give you a heart for serving others and more specifically Aunt Sarah. And then look for ways to help her. Then you do the same thing tomorrow and the next day and the next until you see God working a servant’s heart in you.
- What does it mean to you to meditate on God’s Word?
- What can we do this week to invest some time in meditating on God’s Word?