How to Meditate on the Word for Intimacy with God
“…he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night. He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts.” Psalms 1:2-6
.God speaks to people in many ways and his followers know His voice. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you would love the undoubted assurance of crystal clear guidance. Chances are that you highly value your relation to our Lord. Chances are He’s calling you unto the deep. Chances are you love Him and are searching for ways to meet Him there.
In Psalms 119, the Psalmist explains the invaluable benefits you can expect from meditating on scripture:
- It allows God’s words to penetrate deeply, “hidden in our heart,” which can keep us from sinning!
- We learn to delight in his ways, making it easier to follow His lead.
- It imparts wisdom, guidance, and joy.
As It Is Written
Today, a widely adopted understanding of meditation is an Eastern or New Age practice of emptying the mind and focusing on a present awareness of your senses. On the contrary, throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew words that are translated to meditate mean to ponder, to think, and even to speak, utter, mutter.
As you consider the testimonies, promises, warnings, and commands that God has secured for us through generations, speak them out loud. Speak them softly to yourself, and, similar to the practice of affirmations, it will work to change your mind and your heart. Remember, “faith comes by hearing” and there is power in words, they are by which this very world was created.
Let’s go a little deeper…
Meditate is also defined as ruminate, and vice versa. To ruminate is defined as:
- To think deeply about something; to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly;
- To chew repeatedly for an extended period; to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed: chew the cud
Let’s hone in on the second definition. The steps to “chewing the cud,” the way that ruminant animals eat, is to bite, chew, swallow, regurgitate, and chew again. This process yields optimal absorption of nutrients. Here is a great article that goes into a little more detail and also offers a practical way to apply these steps to ingesting the word of God.
This Isn’t Fast Food
If you take one thing from this article to put into practice, let it be to slow down. Lectio Divina, literally divine reading, is a way to personally connect to the Scriptures by reading it…slowly. Here are 3 simple steps to improve your ingestion of God’s word:
- Isolate yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically, if you can, to focus on hearing from God.
- Invoke the Holy Spirit with thanksgiving and asking Him for guidance and a fruitful understanding.
- Internalize the message from God by re-reading the scripture, thinking about it, and speaking it aloud to yourself as often as it comes to remembrance.
This is a great way to practice intimacy with God and it is one in which you can be assured that He is waiting for you there.