Nancy Leigh DeMoss of the Revive Our Hearts radio program has been teaching an encouraging series called Lessons From the Life of Joshua for over a month now. Yesterday was a message called Planting Your Life in God's Word from Part 7: Indispensable Ingredients for Life. The focus was on one of two keys to living a successful and prosperous Christian life - meditation & obedience - which are spoken of in Joshua 1 and Psalms 1.
(God speaking to Joshua) Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. -- Joshua 1:7-8
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD and on his law he meditates day and night. -- Psalm 1:1-2
Nancy explained that meditating on the Word of God is a far different idea than the Eastern idea of meditation, which focuses on emptying the mind. Meditating on the Word is all about filling our mind with Him and His ways. She shared that there are two Hebrew words for meditate: one means to mutter; to sigh; to whisper; to make sounds like a dove. (Love that!) The other means to consider; to ponder; to rehearse or review something in one's mind.
She went on to share some practical ways to meditate on the Word:
* Make it a habit to read Scripture daily
* Ponder passages - not just a quick read-through, but stopping to think on
* Ask questions as you read the Word
* Cross-reference passages to other passages
* Memorize Scripture
* Pray the Word
* Talk to others about what you're reading/learning
* Look for ways to keep Scripture in front of you (verses displayed throughout your home, for example)
* Take notes during sermons and programs to process and chew on
At the end of the program, we were encouraged to share with others ways that we have found to meditate on the Word and keep it ever before us throughout the day. One thing I've found helpful is to listen to Scripture being read on my computer throughout the day. My oldest son downloaded a free copy of an audio Bible onto our laptop. Instead of listening to the books in their typical order, I listen to them in alphabetical order. This, of course, mixes Old and New Testament together and has given me a different perspective on the Word. My audio version is a different translation than the version I typically read from - this also gives me a new and fresh twist on it.
Another thing I've found helpful is to jot down a few things each morning after my devotions that I want to keep before me. These notes get posted in the middle of my frig where I stop and read them several times each day.
Keeping the Word ever in our minds and before our eyes is an absolute must to keep us on track and walking in His ways. Filling our minds with Him results in our lives being filled with Him.
We become what we take in.