Daniel clearly defined God's principles for a strong people and church who would make and change history by stating ..."The people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits . . . and they that have understanding among the people shall instruct many. " Daniel 11:32, 33One of the main ways of obtaining this knowledge and understanding is by meditating on the Word of God.
In the early 1830's, George Muller was used of God to initiate a project for the housing and care of orphans in the city of Bristol, England. George Muller looked to God for every provision, not looking to man, but to God . . . and the history of the George Muller Homes is a vibrant testimony to the faithfulness of God. His life's ministry and work was an inspiration and blessing to thousands.
He testified to the great value of Biblical Meditation in his own life by a written testimony, entitled "Soul Food," in which he states, "... I was plagued with wandering thoughts during my time of personal devotion. God taught me the truth that my first responsibility every morning was to have my soul happy in the Lord. I began to meditate on the Word, not to get a message for public ministry or my orphans, but that my own soul might be nourished .... Before this time, my practice had been to give myself to prayer after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to MEDITATE on it, thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed, and that thus, by means of the Word of God, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord .... The result I found to be invariably this. After a few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or thanksgiving, or intercession or supplication or having given thanks, I go to the next words of the verse, turning all as I go into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it, but still continually keeping before me that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation."
It is most interesting how the wonderful book of Psalms begins."Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, norstandeth in the way of sinners, norsitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3
In the very first chapter we are given one of the main reasons why David has such a capacity for God. His skill in worship, depth of knowledge of God and understanding of the ways of God all testify to the incontrovertible fact that he had learned to meditate.
David records God's four-fold guarantee to those who "separate from ungodliness"; "delight in God's Word"; and "meditate on God's Word." They will enjoy happiness, fruitfulness, prosperity and the assurance that they will never wither.
Although meditation is probably the most productive of all the means of getting to know God through the Word, it is still only one of the means. It would not be right for anyone to say, "Now I have found the answer... it is meditation!" It is not. It is a vital part of the answer; it is also important to hear, read, memorize, study, write, sing and speak the Word of God.
So we come to the question, "What is meditation?"
Meditation is the devotional practice of pondering the words of a verse or verses of Scripture with a receptive heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to take the written word and apply it as living word to the inner being. The result is the impartation of divine truth, bringing a response to God. Someone has described meditation as the "digestive faculty of the soul."
Jeremiah the prophet wrote, "Thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart"(Jet. 15:16). The Lord Jesus said, "The words that I speakuntoyou, they are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63).Supposing you came to Christ in a church service. The Spirit of God convicted you of your sin, and you heard the great news that God loves you and that Jesus died for you. Now somewhere there came to you "an exceeding great and precious promise" (2 Pet. 1:4). It may have been the precious promise of John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." What happened when this word was believed and inwardly received? You were given everlasting life. Now everlasting life is something of the Divine nature. You received something of God himself.
Not only is there life in truth, but there is also light.
"The entrance of Thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple. "Notice David says it is the "entrance" of the Word that gives light. Not merely looking at truth, admiring truth or agreeing with truthbut inwardly receiving it.
Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14), and we still shine brighter and brighter as we allow his word to enter our hearts, and that same Word will illuminate our way and be "a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path " (Ps. 119:105).
Meditation is receiving revelation through the Word. Truth which vitally affects our lives and changes them does not come merely by explanation but by revelation. Most of us can remember truths we read, or heard ministered, and we knew they must be true because they were in the Bible, but there was no heart understanding. Then one day we said, "Now I see it!" What happened? Did we have a sudden increase in our I.Q.? No, we received revelation, and that truth became meaningful and part of our life.
Many times a verse or verses of Scripture are like flowers which have closed their petals because the sun has gone down. You look at the flower and admire it because it is part of God's creative miracle, but there is much beauty you cannot see. In the morning when the sun rises, the flower begins to open upwards towards the light, then you can see the full beauty and color and details.
In the same way we can look at Scripture and know it is good because God is the author, and yet fail to behold the beauty and detail it contains. However, while you meditate, dependent on Divine illumination by the Sun of righteousness, there comes revelation and insight, giving you increased knowledge of the creator and an imparta-tion of knowledge of which you now become a steward.
Always remember that you are completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to give you such revelation. Do not lean to your own understanding or intellectual abilities.
The right attitude for receiving revelation is illustrated in an incident in the life of Solomon(l Kings 3:7, 9)."O, Lord my God, thou has made thy servant King instead of David my father, and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in ... give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge this thy so great people?" (1 Kings 3:7, 9)Verse 3 of the same chapter says, "Solomon loved the Lord, walking in his statutes."
Therefore, continual revelation is dependent on continual obedience to God's Word.
We come as servants to get orders, not give them.
We need to be childlike.
We need to recognize who we are in God.
Where should I meditate?
Meditation... its practice
Because God knows our needs, and what He wishes us to learn, it is important to let Him show us where to meditate. The best method is a systematic verse by verse meditation, starting at chapter 1 and verse 1 of the book God shows you.
How long should I meditate?
Meditate until you have received from the Lord. Initially it is advised to set aside at least fifteen minutes. The main thing is to start, and then continue, as your hunger and thirst for God increases.
When you meditate.
We need to go in and sit before the Lord as David did (2 Sam. 7). Make sure your heart is pure before GodMeditation always brings a response to God. Part of meditation is praying or speaking forth the Scriptures, as shared through George Muller's testimony.
Give Him time to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life
Submit to God ... Tell Him you don't want to think your thoughts
Resist the devil... thanking Christ for defeating the powers of darkness
Relax with the Lord
Then proceed verse by verse.
Sometimes while meditating on the Scriptures, there is a desire to know more about a particular word or subject, which the verse or verses suggest. There is nothing wrong with gaining more knowledge through a concordance, commentary or Bible dictionary. However, having gained that knowledge, bring it back to the verse, and include it in your meditation. (Keep a record of what God is saying to you.)
It is important that you not only start to meditate, but that you continue . . . . The temptation will come one day to miss your meditation and perhaps do twice as much tomorrow! Sometimes this happens, but tomorrow is very busy too! If you resist the temptation to procrastinate, you will have won a great victory. Next time it will be easier to go on ... saying, "No, the law of the Lord, is the mirror of the Maker. The more I press on to meditate in the Word, the more I will see God Himself."
If you ever want to check the spiritual barometer and see how much you love God, ask yourself how much you love His Word. You cannot separate God's Word from God.
David Brainerd, that saintly intercessor and pioneer evangelist, once wrote the following in a letter to a ministerial student:
"Suffer me therefore to entreat you earnestly to give yourself to prayer, to reading, and meditation on Divine truths; strive to penetrate to the bottom of them, and never be content with a superficial knowledge. By this means your thoughts will gradually grow weighty and judicious; and you hereby be possessed of a valuable treasure, out of which you may produce 'things ; * new and old' to the glory of God."
May the fruits of our meditation be indeed to the glory of God, and acceptable in His sight... our Lord and our Redeemer.
©1978 Lydia Fellowship