When we open God’s Word, He speaks to us. Meditating is a tool for listening carefully to what He is saying. Too often today, we listen shallowly when someone speaks–if we listen at all. God deserves our undivided attention, but we have developed poor listening habits. If we rush our attempt at listening, we will often miss what He is saying and how we should respond.
Meditation with the God of All Time
Past. Meditation is an attempt to connect past, present, and future. When we open God’s Word, we connect with a God of the past. We listen to what He has said and done with people in previous generations. We get to know Him and His expectations for them.
Present. But that same God who spoke and moved in the past, has a message for today AND for us. We must seek to understand the message and truth in the original context before we jump to the present. To stop at applying the message to the past is to relegate the Bible and God to a historical study. God in His Word is alive and still speaking. Are we listening?
Future. How can we prepare for what God wants to do with and through us if we have not paid attention to His message in the past and present? Meditating on His Word leads us to reflect on the past and present. We raise the level of our understanding and our trust and relationship with Him. In turn, we can step boldly into what lies ahead–even when it is scary–because we know Him and have seen Him at work.
I am reading Robert Mullins book, Write It Down!, which is about his journey and about using the tool of journaling to teach us to listen to God. His book is more than information about how to journal, it leads you to practice what you are learning over 40 days (long enough to develop journaling into a habit).
The first step Robert shares is reflection. When we write down what God is saying to us, it requires us to focus and listen. Meditation focuses on God and His Word to help us to do just that. This may take more than 15 minutes. Consider what the Psalmist said:
How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers. Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.Psalm 1:1-2, CSB
When we reflect on what God has said and done in history and in our life, we are better prepared (in the present and future) to avoid evil influence. We are less likely to consider evil as good. And we are better prepared go where He leads.
Writing down what we are hearing helps us to reflect and meditate more deeply. We are less likely to miss Him or His message to us. And we can check back on what He has said as our future unveils itself to recognize how He has been at work.
I want to challenge you to slow down to meditate on God and His Word. Memorization helps (see Memorizing Scripture). I also want to challenge you to try journaling for at least three weeks (so it has time to become more comfortable and a habit). Grow as His disciple. Make disciples!