Bible Reading: Psalm 1
"Blessed is the man whose ... delight is the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1-2)
It has been a while since I've written here, so I would like to touch base. How are you doing spiritually? How is your walk with God? These are important matters that ought to be a matter of self reflection every day. Particularly, over these past few months since our retreat, has your spirituality increased or decreased? Don't be discouraged if your answer is either or, for God uses both seasons in due time for good.
Want I want to address today is this — in all seasons of faith and life, meditating on God's Word is what will revive, sustain, and bring endurance, even joy, in our Christian walk. Yet, to walk this pilgrim journey "alone with God" does no good. Our efforts to meditate must be a communal one whereby we encourage and hurry each other on to deeper thoughts of the things of God. So here is a rallying cry for our community, one I now find much needed, let us get back into the Word. Not only to skim it on rushed mornings, but to meditate on it deeply until it stirs our affections and changes our way of life.
What is Meditation?
Meditating is the art of pondering on God's Word until it stirs our affections within, bringing us to praise God and further commit our lives to Him. Thomas Watson says, "Meditation is the soul’s retiring of itself, that by a serious and solemn thinking upon God, the heart may be raised up to heavenly affections."
Often, God's promises and Word seem superficial to us because we have never solemnly considered the meaning of them. As a result, in today's culture of busyness, we have lost sight of the most important things. When you read God's Word, do you allow whatever truth you are reading to really sink into your heart and change the way you think, feel, and live?
How do we Meditate?
The Puritans gave a very practical outline on how we should meditate.
Firstly, we ought to prepare our hearts as meditating means communing the most serious and holy God. We must clear our hearts from the cares of this world, both from outside and from within. Then, we should pray for the Spirit's help, asking for a fervent love to God. Pour out your heart to God and bring your needs and struggles to Him. We must also approach God in seriousness, and a body posture that reflects this.
Second, we open God's Word and read His Word. Be attentive to the needs of your soul. Is your soul downcast? Read of the hope in God. Is your soul overcome by worldliness? Meditate on the sinfulness of sin. Is your soul apathetic? Meditate on the infinite love of God surpassing all understanding. If you can apply the right remedy to the ailments of your soul, it will be of great benefit. Don't just skim God's Word. But, pay close attention to detail and choose a single verse or doctrine in think over.
Third, take that verse or doctrine and reflect over everything that has to do with it. For example, if our souls are dry and apathetic and we happen to be reading about the love of God, lets say from 1 John 4:9-10, then meditate on the love of Christ, the meaning of His sacrifice, the nature of God as love itself, our lack of love for God, i.e. our sinfulness before God and yet the height and depth and breadth of God's sacrificial love for us.
Fourth, let these truths stir your affections until your heart can praise God. Sing out your praise in song or psalm and pray to God prayers of thanksgiving. Commit yourself again to the Lord and submit yourself once again to Him.
This kind of way of meditating on God's Word is foreign to us today. Let's get into a new habit of meditating on God's Word, for blessed is such person, says the psalmist.