MEDITATING ON THE WORD
This is a day when meditation is not common among those professing faith. It is good that we gain a spiritual perspective of this key activity. Meditation involves giving the mind over to the consideration of truth. The whole person becomes absorbed in the activity. When truth is thus considered, it has a calculated effect upon the believer. Without meditation, this will not occur.
An Essential Part of Spiritual Life
The Psalmist declared this an essential part of spiritual life. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2). The 119th Psalm is replete with references to mediation in the Word. The man of God meditated on God's "precepts, and considered His ways" (v 15). He meditated upon the Lord's "decrees" and "wonders" (v 23,27). The very Law of God was the subject of the writer's meditation "all day long" (v 97). The Lord's "statues" and "promises" were matters for meditation (vs 99,148). The 143rd Psalm speaks of meditating on the "works" of the Lord (v 5), while the 145th Psalm refers to meditating on the "wonderful works" of the Lord (v 5).
There is no question about the appropriateness of meditation--of taking the Word of God into your heart and musing upon it. This will cause the heart to burn, provoking us to draw closer to the Lord with a passion for truth (Psalm 39:3).
The Word Dwelling In Us Richly
Believers are urged to involve their hearts and minds in the Word of the Lord--to meditate upon it. If it is, in fact, God's word to us, then we do well to think upon it. This is the activity urged upon the Colossians. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly . . . " (Col 3:16, NIV). The Word of God will do its work only as it controls our thinking. If it is not dominate in our contemplations, it will have no power in our lives. Those that choose to subject their minds to the Word of God on a seasonal or occasional basis will obtain no lasting benefit from it. The Word dwells richly within us as we ponder it, focusing our thoughts upon it, and considering its implications. We thus become preoccupied with "the word of Christ," i.e., the word that proclaims Christ, and which Christ proclaimed..
Give Me Understanding!
This richness is not produced merely because we think upon the Word, allowing it to become dominate in our thoughts. The Lord draws close to us and opens His Word to us, enabling us to see the extent of its message. This should not alarm any one. Men of God have often prayed for the Lord to open their understanding, as well as that of their listeners or readers. "Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart"(Psalm 119:34). "Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands" (Psalm 119:73). "Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live" (Psalm 119:144). "May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word" (Psalm 119:169). " . . . we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Col 1:9). "Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this" (2 Tim 2:7).
When this "understanding" occurs, the Word of Christ is dwelling in us "richly." It happens in the activity of meditation, when our hearts and minds join together in a sober contemplation the Word of our Lord.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul urged the young evangelist to devote himself completely to the consideration of his words. "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" 1 Tim 4:15). Half-heartedness in our relationship to Scripture is devastating. It pulls us into the sphere of mediocrity where Satan easily deceives and overcomes us. It is alarming to me that so much casualness exists among professed believes toward Scripture.
The responsibility to meditate upon the Word of God is not just to fulfill a Divine requirement--it is necessary for survival! Triumph over the evil one simply is not possible without having our minds dominated by the Word of the Living God!
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work"
(2 Tim 3:16-17).