Sunday, October 14, 2007

Meditate Day and Night? (Psalms 1)

It has been my experience that when ungodly counsel is received, ingested, and digested, it becomes a part of me. I begin to think less about how wrong it is, and accept it simply as part of who I am. I have slowed any movement towards God, and have no problem justifying and excusing my sin in every way. Eventually, the result is blindness to the sin and its' negative effects.

Definitely a state of being 'unblessed'.

So, how can I avoid this? It seems that there is only one way: taking delight in communication from God and mediating on God's Word day and night. This moves me in the right direction.

Reading, gaining knowledge of, and meditating on God's Word is the only way to ensure that we are on the right path of being blessed.
In my online study of Psalms 1, the question is asked, "Assessing your current level of delight in God's Word, where are you, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a very low delight in God's Word and 10 being an intense desire for and delight in it?"

This was a tough question. It's not a '1', but it's certainly not a '10' either.

So, how can I change this? For me, it is simply a matter of discipline. It's a choice to pick up my Bible, read something, and purpose to think about it throughout the day. One of my favorite things to do is read a verse or story from the Bible then go for a jog. While jogging, I will think about what I read from every angle that I can think of. It is amazing some of the insight that has come from that time of meditation.

But, there are many other ways to discipline ourselves to think about God's Word. Here's what works for me:
--Journal my thoughts about what I read.
--Discuss it with someone. (not an argument!)
--And probably the most powerful: Ask myself questions about the text.

For instance, as I meditated on Psalms 1, I spent a long time asking questions about the first verse: What is blessed? What is counsel of the ungodly? What does it look like? What does it sound like? What is the seat of the scornful? What is the main thrust of the verse? What are the verbs that stand out and why are they used? Why use 'walk', 'stand', and 'sit'??

The more questions that are asked of the text, the more you will get into God's Word. (The best commentary on the Bible, is the Bible itself. There is always another verse somewhere that will help in understanding what you are currently reading. Simply asking myself that 'blessed' meant, led me to look up everywhere in the Bible where that word was used…well, most everywhere.)

By the way, I would be interested to know what works for others....

If we hope to be blessed by God and grow in Christ, it is absolutely essential that we hunger and thirst after God's Word, and learn to delight in it. Too many believers have an appetite for the Word only sporadically. Growth will come only as we choose to discipline ourselves to live in the Word day by day. If we will continue to do this, eventually we will find ourselves delighting, and finding pleasure in it.

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