Meditation

When you think of the word “meditation” what immediately comes to your mind?

I am sure we all have varying images in our minds when we think of meditation. These images can range from individuals meditating in a yoga class…or an individual sitting in a lotus pose with their legs crossed and palms facing upward on their knees…or a group of individuals kneeling in a prayer-like position meditating for religious purposes.

Whatever image comes to your mind…the meaning of meditation for each of these images can vary as well…from quieting your spirit to emptying your minds of any thoughts to praying to a god or God…to really a long list of many more meanings!

As Christians it is important that we too embrace this concept of meditation…meditation on God’s Word.

Meditating on God’s Word is one of the spiritual disciplines and God actually commands it! There are many scriptures that embody this concept of meditation.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 NIV

But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. Psalm 1:2 NLT

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15 ESV

May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. Psalm 104:34 NIV

So what exactly does it mean to “meditate” on God’s word?

Interestingly…to “meditate” can be defined as “to study, contemplate, ponder, think, consider, reflect, or ruminate.”

Ruminate? This word is usually referenced to an animal…more specifically cows…and means to bring up and chew again what has already been chewed and swallowed. Yeah pretty gross…I know!

Cows have very interesting stomachs made up of 4 parts. When a cow takes a bite of grass…it chews it briefly…mixing it with large amounts of saliva. It then swallows this and it goes down to stomach number one. Here it starts to digest and break down into smaller parts.

After some time passes the cow will bring this food back up again and chew it some more. When he swallows it this time it is smaller and finer and goes down into stomach number two. Here the water is taken out and the food is made into pellets. A little later the cow lays down and brings back up the pellets into its mouth where it chews away for hours….commonly termed as a cow “chewing the cud.” The food then goes to the third and finally into the fourth stomachs.

Just like cows ruminate…we are to meditate (ruminate) on the Word of God. Just like cows eat grass…chew it…swallow it…regurgitate it…chew it again…and again and again…we are to do the same with the Word of God.

Through this process of rumination/meditation the cow will finally digest the grass…and we too will digest God’s Word….our spiritual food.

We can clearly see from this analogy that meditation requires action…it is not passive.

In order for God’s word to penetrate deeply into our minds and hearts, we need to do more than simply read God’s Word…we need to meditate on God’s Word…we need to intentionally engage our minds on God’s Word.

Why should we meditate on God’s Word? Besides the fact that God commands it.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 NIV

The purpose of meditation is application. We meditate on God’s Word in order to actually do what it says. Not to mention the blessings we will receive too!

So how do we meditate on the Word of God?

PACE (your) STEPS

When we pace ourselves it means to slow down and to take things in steps. So instead of rushing into things…instead of rushing and reading God’s Word and checking it off our ‘To Do’ lists…

We need to “pace ourselves”…intentionally slow down… take things into consideration…and meditate.

The next time you read a Bible passage or scripture…ask yourself if there is a…

P…PROMISE TO (believe)?

A…ATTITUDE TO (change)?

C…COMMAND TO (obey)?

E…EXAMPLE TO (follow)?

(your)

S…SIN TO (confess)?

T…TRUTH TO (receive)?

E…ERROR TO (avoid)?

P…PRAYER TO (pray)?

S…SOMETHING TO (thank God for)?

This is a very practical way to meditate on God’s Word because PACE (your) STEPS is an acronym to help us think about what we are reading and how we can apply it to our lives.

Another way to meditate on God’s Word is to spend time reading in the morning and then remind ourselves sometime during the day what we read and then remember and ponder once more before we go to bed.

I know what some of you are probably thinking…I can’t do that…I don’t have time for that…I am too tired! Well…I love what Pastor Rick Warren says…

If you can worry, you can meditate! Rick Warren

And a final way to help you meditate on God’s Word is by writing scriptures on cards…taking them with you throughout your day…and reading through them during a break in your day. This is actually a Jewish practice in the Old Testament.

The Jews were told to tie little leather boxes called “tefillin” (often seen in English translations as “frontlets”) to their body which contained a small scroll of parchment with written scriptures. God wanted His people to remember and to meditate on scripture.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 ESV

Mediating on God’s Word is a very important spiritual discipline for us as Christians. When God’s Word penetrates our hearts and minds we will be careful to do everything written in it. And as a result we will be prosperous and successful! (Joshua 1:8)

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 NIV

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 NASB

Reflection Points:

  1. What does it mean to “meditate” on God’s word?
  2. What does it mean when cows ruminate?
  3. Why should we meditate on God’s Word?
  4. How do we meditate on God’s Word?

Action Points:

  1. Meditating on God’s Word means…not just reading God’s Word…but ruminating on His Word. It means to continually study…contemplate…ponder…think…consider…reflect on His Word.
  2. The word “ruminate” is often referred to animals such as cows and means “to bring up and chew again what has already been chewed and swallowed.” Just like cows ruminate…we are to meditate (ruminate) on the Word of God. Just like cows eat grass…chew it…swallow it…regurgitate it…chew it again…and again and again…we are to do the same with the Word of God.
  3. The purpose of meditation is application. We meditate on God’s Word in order to actually do what it says. We will receive many blessings as well when we meditate on God’s Word.(Joshua 1:8)
  4. Please refer to the 3 practical ways mentioned above to better understand how we can practically meditate on God’s Word.
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