This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.
Should Christians meditate? Absolutely!!! As long as we understand three principles of meditation we as Christians should absolutely meditate. The three principles are as follows:
1.) What should we meditate on?
2.) How do we meditate?
3.) What is the purpose of our meditation?
Let’s look at these three principles so that you can fully understand how meditation applies to the Christian life.
- What should we meditate on?
The text we are looking at is Joshua 1:8. It’s very clear and gives us a very straightforward answer to our question. We are to meditate on the Book of the Law. The Bible. Christians are to meditate on the Bible. So let’s backup. What is mediation? We are certainly not talking about how Buddhist Monks meditate to alter their consciousness…My dictionary says that meditation is continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation or spiritual introspection which is the inspection of one’s mental or emotional state.
So we are to inspect our mental state constantly and to spend extended thought focused on the Word of God. This goes farther than just reading a passage or chapter of your Bible before going to bed. Often you see these help books on reading your Bible completely in one year. While reading your Bible is a good thing and I do believe reading through it completely over the period of one year is a noble cause I think it does an injustice to us if all we are doing is “reading”. We are to meditate on the word. Meditating on the word is far more than just reading. It is contemplating and digging deeper to understand the things of God. I believe that its far more beneficial to the Christian to take a particular passage and break it down and meditate on it that to just quickly read through a passage and move on to the next without any focus. By meditating it becomes a part of you and it becomes easier to remember and apply to your life.
- How do we meditate?
We are to meditate day and night as the verse indicates. Seems simple enough. Well it’s much harder in practice. How do you meditate on God’s word while living in a fallen world? How do you meditate at work while focusing on your job, being around lost people, dealing with the things of life that come up and while also having some type of entertainment in your life. It’s not easy to constantly dwell on the things of God. Especially surrounded by the things in this wicked world. Below are a few quick ways we can constantly meditate on God’s Word.
- Being in a constant state of prayer. I don’t mean go around praying everywhere. But we should have our spirit in a constant state of prayerfulness. There are points through the day you can and should pray. But your spirit should be in constant communion with God. When you are confronted with sin this will enable you to recognize it and avoid it easily
- Memorizing scripture.It’s tough…Memorization is time consuming and hard. But there are simple ways that we all learned in grade school on how to memorize things. I know guys that can memorize sports stats of their favorite teams, players’ names, jersey numbers, etc…But they can’t quote any verse other than John 3:16. How can you meditate on God’s Word if you don’t carry it with you wherever you go?
- Maximum Exposure to God’s Word. Go to church assembly every opportunity you can. This will only reinforce your ability to stay focused on God’s Word. Sunday morning is not enough to keep you focused when you spend the other 6 ½ days in the world. Sunday night is typically a more deep doctrinal message than that of Sunday morning and Wednesday night is typically even deeper in theology. The more in depth we can understand God’s word the better equipped we will be to keep it at the forefront of our minds throughout the week as well as apply it to our daily lives
3.) What is the purpose of our meditation?
So this is the crux of it. What is the purpose? The verse says “that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.” We are to observe the things of the Word. This goes back to what we stated already about digging deeper into God’s Word and not just “reading”. We are to observe. Observation calls for a more detailed understanding than just looking at something. We are not only to observe we are to do according to what is written. What good is knowledge of the doctrines of the Bible if we don’t apply it to our life? A brief example. My grandfather told me of his neighbor who is literally a nuclear scientist. One of the most knowledgeable educated people you will probably meet. Probably too smart for his own good. One day my grandfather was out cutting his grass when the neighbor approached him and in complete seriousness asked. “Have you ever wondered how the lawn mower cuts the grass but doesn’t leave a line in the grass down the center since the center of the blade isn’t sharp where it connects to the mower?” No joke!!! I couldn’t make this up. Someone working in one of our highest secure nuclear facilities asked this. The point… Knowledge does you know good if you can’t apply it to your life.
We should mediate on the word of God, focus on it day and night, and lastly let it become a part of our life. By applying it our life we can be a greater witness to the world which is desperately needed. Our neighbors will take notice and see Christ in our life if we will meditate on God’s word and allow it to control our actions and govern the decision we make.