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Meditating on God’s Word

By William R. Cunningham
June 1, 2011

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Introduction

God revealed something to me within the past two years that was very significant.  I realized that all of the bible study, seminary studies, and the like that I did in the past made God’s word more of an academic activity instead of a spiritual activity.  I have a plethora of bible study tools in my library and all of them pale in comparison to knowing God’s word in my heart.  Theology for me made the bible too much of an academic thing.  Theology builds the mind, but meditating on the word builds the heart towards God.  Both are important because we have to know what the word of God says before we can meditate on it.  This is not to say that every Christian should be a theologian, but rather that every Christian should know what the word of God says.

Before I get too far along here I think it is expedient for me to say that my time with theology was not a waste.  Theology helps provide answers to the many questions that people have.  Apologetics, for example, helps get people over the hump so to speak with regards to putting their faith in Jesus Christ.  Apologetics attempts to provide answers to those people who have issues that hinder them from putting their faith in Jesus Christ.  Though this is a good thing, it does not plant the word in my heart, but rather in my mind.  That in itself is not a bad thing because we do need the word of God in our minds.  However, the word of God grows like a seed in our hearts.  We believe with our heart and that is the most important thing.  So this discussion in no way is attempting to belittle the importance of bible study, but instead attempts to emphasize the importance of having the word of God in our hearts and thus meditating on the word of God.

I have noticed that meditating on the word of God has done wonders for my belief system.  I have spent hundreds of hours studying the bible, but all of that studying is not as effective as meditating on passages of scripture with regards to the word of God being affective in my life.  I forget some of the Greek meanings of words and various other academic things pertaining to bible study, but the truths that are revealed to me after meditating on the word of God have not diminished.  So I have come to embrace the practice of meditating on the word of God.  Though I still study theology and apologetics I have made meditating on the word of God a priority.  This is what I’d like to briefly discuss with you now.

I would like to present to you the things that I have learned about meditating on the word of God.  This includes the importance of meditating on the word of God, how to meditate on the word of God, and the effects of meditating on the word of God.  I will also present resources that you can access to help you in this area of your Christian walk.

 

The Importance and Benefits of Meditation

I recall being at a function many years ago at Victory Christian Fellowship in Newcastle, Delaware where Gary Whetstone is the pastor.  I was impressed with the fact that he could quote scriptures so easily.  Someone asked him how he remembers all of those scriptures (I don’t remember if I asked him or someone else).  He said that he had meditated on them so much that he just remembers them.  He received revelation from the word of God and his ministry has grown tremendously because the word of God is in his heart because he meditated on it.  The bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).  It doesn’t say that faith comes by studying the word of God.  Faith is in the heart gaining knowledge is primarily in the head, though both are important. 

Consider the following scripture.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV) {1} Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; {2} But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. {3} He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

This is a passage of scripture that we had to memorize in our bible study classes of my youth.  Pastor Blumentoe believed that we should memorize scriptures so that we could always recall it whether we had a bible or not.  This passage is actually one of my favorites because it reveals a very simple yet powerful truth. However, what I want to focus on here is meditating on the word of God.  It says that whoever delights in the law of the Lord (the word of God for New Testament believers) will meditate on the word day and night.  The word “meditate” here simply means to ponder or to roll something over and over in your mind.  Meditating that way will cause the message of that word to enter and remain in your heart.

Consider other passages of scripture.

  • Psalm 77:12 (NKJV) {12} I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.
  • Psalm 119:15 (NKJV) {15} I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.
  • Psalm 119:27 (NKJV) {27} Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
  • Psalm 119:97 (NKJV) {97} Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
  • Psalm 119:99 (NKJV) {99} I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
  • Psalm 143:5 (NKJV) {5} I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.

From these we see the importance and benefits of meditating on the word of God.  Here are a few of the benefits taken from the scriptures above.

  • You will bear fruit
  • You will be prosperous in whatever you do
  • It will cause you to understand the word of God

 Therefore, meditating on God’s word is something that we should practice regularly for our own benefit.  How?  How do you meditate on the word of God?

 

What does Meditation Mean?

Meditating on God’s word does not mean that you sit down with your legs crossed saying “ooohm" all day long.  It is easy to think of eastern religious practices when we hear the word meditation.  That is not what this means.  It simply means to ponder what the word of God says.  Typically this is one or a few verses of scripture at a time.  Periodically throughout the day you could just think about the particular scripture and what it means.  Let me give you an illustration that I hope will help you.

The bible says, “He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17)

This scripture hit me like a ton of bricks one day so to speak because it was completely contrary to what many ministers had taught when I was growing up in church.  That is a simple statement, but what it reveals is very powerful.  Throughout the day I would say things like, “Jesus Christ took my infirmities, which means weaknesses.  Jesus Christ bore my sicknesses or diseases.”  I thought about how Jesus Christ’s redemptive act dealt with my own shortcomings and sicknesses.  That passage of scripture wasn’t talking about salvation though we know that Jesus Christ died so that we can be saved.  That passage was talking about our physical wellbeing.  I just thought about this for days periodically throughout the day.  It means so much to me now.  It is becoming more and more a reality to me.

Another illustration is Mark 9:23.  Jesus said that everything is possible to him who believes.  This along with Philippians 4:13 are amazing to consider.  The latter scripture says that we can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives us strength.  This means that everything is possible to someone who believes.  I started thinking about Mark 11:22-24 where Jesus said that if we believe what we say and don’t doubt in our heart then we will have what we say!  That is amazing!  Start thinking about this and letting it get deep down into your heart.  People say it is in your heart when you know that you know that you know.  The truth of the scripture transcends your mental understanding of the scripture.  The life of the word of God has quickened (made alive) your spirit.

Now you could study the Greek and Hebrew for the scriptures presented above and get really academic with them.  However, the true power of those scriptures is the actual revelation that they contain and that revelation is evident when we meditate on them and the word of God grows in us like a plant growing from a seed.  Jesus said that the word of God is like a seed (Mark 4:13-20).  So get the word of God in you and allow it to grow and bring life (See John 6:63).  The bible also says that Jesus is the word (John 1:1).  So getting the word of God in us is the same as getting Jesus Christ in us.

Take one scripture passage and just ponder it throughout the day.  Take a break every now and then on your job or wherever you are during the day and ponder a particular passage of scripture.  Think about it and allow it to manifest the life that it is designed to do.  Don’t just recite it, but rather think about it.  Roll it over and over in your mind and think about what it means and what it says.  Remember that the word of God is the revelation of God the Father to us.  Knowing that the words of God are spirit and life (John 6:63, Hebrews 4:12), it becomes essential that we feed on it as we feed on food for the body (See Matthew 4:4).

 

You already Meditate

Believe it or not you probably already meditate on things all day long.  However, the things that you typically meditate on bring doubt and unbelief instead of faith.  We meditate on the fact that we don’t have enough money to pay the bills or we don’t know how we will do this or that.  We ponder things that will produce nothing for us.  Instead of meditating on that which will reveal the solution we ponder the problem.  It’s like a person being stuck in a hole and the only thing he thinks about is how deep the hole is and how he will never be able to get out.  Instead that person would benefit much more if he thought about how to get out and what he can do to facilitate that.  Doing that will more likely get him out of the hole instead of fretting about being in the hole.  Do you see?

So instead of thinking and pondering about how you won’t be able to do this or that ponder the word of God.  Instead of being anxious about how you will get the money to send your kid to daycare, college, or private school ponder on the word of God where it says that all things are possible to him who believes and that we can have what we say when we pray if we believe and don’t doubt.  Start meditating on the word of God so that the “way out” so to speak will become evident to you.

We already meditate, but we meditate on the wrong things.  Let’s start meditating on the word of God so that Romans 12:2 can come alive in our lives.

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Start feeding on the word of God so that you and your faith can come alive.  Just think of it.  If God is for you who can be against you (Romans 8:31)!  Is there anything too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:27)!  So why are you worried?  The bible tells us not to be anxious and even what to do to accomplish that.  Consider the following scripture as an illustration of meditating on God’s word.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) {6} Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; {7} and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25 (NKJV) {25} “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

You may study those passages of scriptures and you are probably already familiar with them.  However, are they real to you?  Do you really believe what they reveal to you about worrying?  If you really believed what these scriptures say then you wouldn’t worry about anything.  Instead of worrying, the bible says to tell God what you want with thanksgiving.  So when you find yourself approaching the state of worrying then stop and tell God what you want and his peace will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus!  You don’t have to worry.  Just tell God what you want.  Meditate on that all day long when you have challenges and especially when you don’t have challenges.   You may know how those scriptures read in the original Greek, but do you know what they mean?  Has the truths they contain changed your heart so that you trust God?  It’s time for us to stop allow life to throw us around and stand firmly on the word of God and trust him in every situation in our lives both good and bad ones.

 

Start Today

Start meditating on God’s word today.  You could write scriptures on 2X5 cards and take them with you wherever you go.  Roger Sapp sells a deck of cards with scriptures written on them.  They are called meditation cards (Go to www.allnationsmin.org  and click on “Christian Meditation Cards” in the left menu).  I have a deck and they are great resources.  Andrew Wommack also has a very good teaching on meditating on God’s word called “Meditate the Word” (www.awmi.net/store/usa/cds/word/c02_c).

If you have a Smartphone, Nook, or any other device where you can store files then you could store a list of scriptures to meditate on.  Don’t make a big list to meditate on all at once.  Just take one or two verses and meditate on them for a while.  Soon the truths of those scriptures will transform you by renewing your mind and quickening your heart so to speak.

You can memorize one or two passages of scripture and just repeat them throughout the day and ponder what they mean to you.  I also like talking to myself about the verses of scripture that I meditate on.  Whatever method you develop just make meditating on God’s word a regular part of your life and a priority.

 

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