Revelation # 4 – MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF GOD.
The Bible promises that if we will meditate on the Word of God, we will have good success and everything we do shall prosper. Biblical meditation is different from transcendental meditation (which leads you to empty your mind); biblical meditation leads you to fill your mind with God’s thoughts from His Word.
The Bible uses different words to explain the nuances of meditation; here are examples.
Psalm 1:2 “on His Law he meditates day and night.”
The word here for meditate is hagah which means to murmur (in pleasure), and to ponder. It’s a pleasant murmuring of Scripture to oneself. This might be comparable to you softly reading Scripture aloud to yourself.
Psalm 119:99 “for I meditate on your statutes”
The word here for meditate is sicah which means to reflect with deep devotion; to contemplate. This is quiet contemplation and reflection on Scripture.
Psalm 19:14 “May the…meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord…”
The word here for meditation is higgayon meaning a musical notation, a murmuring sound, as in a musical repetition of God’s Word, in essence, singing it.
1 Timothy 4:15 “Meditate upon these things…”
The word used here for meditate means to ponder carefully with your mind; to muse upon. This is speaking of careful reflection and prayerful reviewing of Scripture.
How we think and the kinds of things we THINK ON are going to affect us and impact our day. If you habitually focus and meditate on fear, you will often be afraid. If you meditate on how unhappy or upset you are with things in your life, you will often be depressed. If you meditate on the ruthless boss who makes your work life difficult, you will not only be depressed, and possibly afraid, but you will also build up a furnace of anger inside.
Every thought you meditate on – positive or negative – has the potential to act as a type of kindling in your mind and emotions. They can either fire up your emotions in a positive, life-affirming way, or they can cause crushing despair, fear and anger to rise up.
If, however, we are meditating on God's Word, particularly His promises to us as believers, we are filling our minds with encouraging, life-giving, good, positive and godly thoughts.
Scriptural meditation in its simplest expression means thinking about and reflecting on the Word of God. It means pondering a particular scripture and mentally applying it to your own circumstances again and again, even memorizing it, until that scripture is
planted deep in your mind and memory.
As you do this, it renews your mind and eventually works its way from INSIDE your mind to your outside words and actions. For example, a new Christian who may be struggling in certain areas of their life would do well to meditate more in God's Word, as God's Word has transforming power to change and deliver them from bad habits, addictions, and a
negative thought life.
Two of my favorite verses on meditation include:
Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”
Proverbs 4:20-22 “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”
So we are to keep the Word of God going in our eyes and ears on a regular basis. Attend to them – elevate them over all else. If you’re doing something the Word tells you NOT to do, then with God’s help you seek to stop doing it and He will help you to change. If you see something the Word tells you to do, then do it and ask God for help to follow His Word. To see any real change in ourselves or our lives, we must read the Word daily. Just like we need physical food for our bodies every day, we need the Word of God to feed our spirits.
In the verse from Proverbs above, verse 22 finishes with “for they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.” God is saying that His Word gives life and the ancient Hebrew that is translated as “healing and health” actually means medicine, healing cure and deliverance for both body and mind; in essence, the whole being of a person.
So try reading the same verse this way (my explanations in parentheses):
Proverbs 4:20-22 “My son, attend to my words (give attention to them); consent and submit to my sayings (follow My ways). Let them (His Words) not depart from your sight;
keep them in the center of your heart (stay focused on them, keep reading and meditating on them, get them in your mind and heart, and turn to them in every circumstance). For they are life to those who find them, healing and health (medicine, a healing cure and deliverance) to all their flesh (their whole being).”
Did you know that God has a lot to say in His Word about meditation, our mind and our thoughts? Take a look at these points and the related Scriptures.
1. THE LORD TELLS US TO RENEW OUR MINDS and to take on the mind of Christ. We can understand the mind of Christ first by reading the Gospels, what Jesus said, and how He dealt with people and situations, and then work our way throughout the entirety of God’s Word. There is so much to learn and benefit from the wealth of God’s knowledge. As we read and meditate on the Word of God, His Word starts to take root in our heart and mind; God’s Word has innate power to begin a transformation in you.
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. “
Ephesians 4:23 “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],”
Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”
2. THE LORD TELLS US TO THINK ON GOOD AND GODLY THINGS; to set our minds on things of real importance and not get bogged down with petty arguments over things that really don’t matter. When I was first learning to follow Christ, I would stop myself sometimes (for example, if I was angry at someone, etc.) in mid-thought and I would ask myself, “What am I thinking about right now? What am I DWELLING on? Would the Lord be pleased with this thought?” That would often snap me right out of the negative trail because I could immediately recognize whether my thoughts at that moment were godly or worldly.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any
excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. “
Colossians 3:2-5 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
3. GOD’S WORD GIVES US EXAMPLES of things to meditate on from His Word which include meditating on the Lord Himself, His ways, His mighty deeds, His Word and commands and more. These are some:
Psalm 63:6 “When I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches.”
Psalm 77:12 “I will meditate also upon all Your works and consider all Your [mighty] deeds.”
Psalm 105:2 “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.”
Psalm 119:15 “I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways.”
Psalm 119:48 “My hands also will I lift up [in fervent supplication] to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.”
Psalm 119:78 “Let the proud be put to shame, for they dealt perversely with me without a cause; but I will meditate on Your precepts.”
4. THE LORD TELLS US TO PAY ATTENTION TO HIS WORD and the things we are learning from it – applying or focusing our minds on His knowledge and allowing it to transform us. When I am studying the Bible or listening to a sermon or a ministry teaching CD or a ministry program, I listen, I write notes in a notebook, and then I review those notes as I feel I need to so that I am getting the Word of God and the teaching on it in my mind. He also tells us the benefit of paying attention to His Word – that things will be pleasant as we keep His Words in our minds and get accustomed to speaking His Word aloud.
Hebrews 2:1 “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”
Proverbs 22:17-18 “Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge;” For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to confessing them.”
Psalm 145:5 “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wondrous works I will meditate.”
Psalm 119:99 “I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation.”
5. THE LORD TELLS US TO SHUT OUR MINDS against thoughts, ideas, and things that do not line up with His Word, or things that upset us, or draw us away from the Lord, or that draw us into strife and quarrels. Every day it is easy for us to find SOMETHING to get upset or annoyed at. Every day we can easily fall into anxiety, or an argument or fight with someone over something that is, most of the time, petty and ridiculous.
I used to fall into this trap a lot until I grew tired of apologizing to the Lord for my behavior (smile). I learned to stop myself when I felt that irritation starting. I would ask myself, am I really going to care about this (fill in the issue) a year from now? Am I going to look back through the years, and say, “Wow. I’m really glad I ripped into that person who offended me?” Here’s another thought: when you are tempted to get into strife with someone, stop and ask yourself, “Would I be proud or ashamed to tell the Lord that I ripped this person’s head off (figuratively speaking, of course) in an argument?” That helps me a lot.
2 Timothy 2:23 “But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling
(ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels.”
6. THE LORD CAUTIONS US AGAINST MEDITATING ON OUR ANXIETIES as this does not help us in any way. We need to learn to simply TRUST the Lord; that He has our best interests at heart, and He will always take care of us.
Mark 13:11 “Now when they take you to court and put you under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say nor even meditate about it; but say whatever is given you in that hour and at the moment, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Meditation on God’s Word is important because our thoughts drive the course of our lives. Thoughts and the things we focus on lead to the decisions that we make. This is why it is so important that our minds are renewed to line up with God’s Word…so that we think God’s kind of thoughts in the situations of our lives.
In the next blog, I will provide examples of using meditation on God’s Word to change the
way you view and deal with thoughts and situations in your life.