A4P Guest: I’ve heard most of your YouTube videos and read most of your posts on this page. I heard you say many times that we need to meditate on the Word of God. What does meditating on the Word of God mean?
A4P: I love this question very much! Thank you for asking!
First, know this: Reading the Bible alone can’t be meditation. Reading is part of meditation but not all there is to it.
Meditating the Word of God includes the following: reading, reciting (putting the exact word in the memory bank of our brain with a tag) and thinking about the verse over and over and over again.
The one good illustration some Bible scholars give for meditation is worrying. So, how do you worry? Let me give you one example. So, let’s say you are a first year medical school student and you are about to take your final exam and, all of a sudden you lose your appetite to eat and drink. On top of that, you can’t sleep more than a couple of hours. You are sitting and studying day and night but you can’t concentrate. Why? You are worrying. How? By thinking about things such as, “What if I don’t make it? What would I say to my friends if I fail? Oh, my mom will die if I tell her that I didn’t make it! What if all the questions are in Latin and I can’t even answer one of them? What if I get held back one year and can’t graduate with my friends? Oh, LORD, I don’t even remember what I had studied a week ago; how can I remember it all during the exam? I think I’m losing my mind. Oh, no, I’m not losing my mind, but I may.”
I am sure you did this to yourself once or twice or even more than you can count throughout your life. Well, I was actually speaking from experience if you didn’t notice already.
When we worry, we focus on one thing and we think about that issue frequently. The main difference between worrying and meditating is the object of our focus. With worry, we focus on failing, and with meditation, we focus on God, His Word.
So, how can we focus on God? Remember, we can’t know God outside His Word. (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1). We can’t separate God from His Word. The moment we do that, we are worshiping and thinking about another god who is not the True Triune God. That means, when we think about the Word, we are actually thinking about God.
Let’s meditate one verse as an example: Proverbs 23:7a “For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he” (KJV)
Remember, whatever I’m writing here now is what I’m letting my mind dwell on. When you meditate, it is very important that you shut off your phone and everything that calls for your attention. Focus is very important part of meditation (which is very hard to do where everything has a ring tone and distracts you very easily – so, shut them all off) and focus. So, here we go; (read my mind):
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. The thinking is the one which makes a man who he is. A person’s lifestyle or identity is made in his heart, not in his action. First comes the thinking; then follows the person who is the reflection of his thought. He first thinks and he becomes his thought. No wonder the devil targets my thought life to get me to do and to be what he desires.
The Bible says, “And supper being ended, the devil having now PUT INTO THE HEART OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2) The devil puts a thought in Judas’s heart, a thought to betray Jesus, and Judas didn’t refuse the thought but he took it in and he became the thought itself, betrayal of Jesus. As he thinks, so is he. (Before we lead a sexually immoral lifestyle, our hearts become full of lust and sexually immoral thoughts.)
No wonder the Word of God says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Everything I do, in words and deeds, comes from my heart. I become internally before I become externally! So, internally is where the war has to be waged and won!
What can I think then so that only life flows from my heart? The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
What is there that is lovely, noble, right, and pure to think about than the Word of God? Nothing! So, it is pretty much saying to think always about the Word of God so that it will be well with my soul (“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”Joshua 1:8).
Well, what would I do with the thoughts which come to my mind? Get rid of them with the thought of God. Oh, that is why the Bible says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
And that weapon that has divine power is called the Word of God. The Bible says, “Take the helmet of salvation and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is THE WORD OF GOD.” (Ephesians 6:17)
Well, this is what I think and believe meditation is all about. Meditation takes time and energy. If we set aside at least 10 or 15 minutes a day for meditation, we slowly but surely become the people God wants us to be.
The best method I learned from Rick Warren’s book, “Purpose Driven Live” is to meditate the Word while I write my meditation. So, while I am responding to your question, I am actually meditating on the Word. Which word? “As the man thinks, so is he.” Beautiful!
One last point: Notice that I didn’t try to understand the Word of God according to my own opinions and understandings but according to the Word of God. The meaning or the message of the Word of God can only be found from the Word of God itself! That is Key for meditation! ///