A weekly devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
Say the word meditation today and most people think you are referring to an Eastern religion, the lotus position, or looking for a way to reduce stress. But meditation, as presented in the Bible, is a contemplative spiritual discipline that calls for the filling not the emptying of the mind. The Hebrew word for meditate means to rehearse, chew on, and go over in one’s mind. For the followers of Jesus Christ, the practice of meditation should entail reflecting on the character, works, and Word of God. The Puritans were strong advocates of this discipline and saw meditating as “…moving from intellectual issues to exciting the heart’s affections in order to free the will for conformity to God.”
A great place to begin developing the habit of meditation is to read through the book of Psalms. To get started, let’s take Psalm 119 as an example. This particular psalm is organized according the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and focuses on the nature of the Bible. After reading a paragraph, select one or two key words from the text and give some thought to their definition and application. Then ask God to help you recall those words throughout the day and apply them. When Psalm 119 tells me that God’s word is the ultimate source of wisdom (vv.98-100), I will be looking for ways that I can keep this before me in as I go through my day looking to make choices that magnify and please God.
Let’s restore the practice of meditation to the place it must have in the life of every Christian as we strive to live in conformity to the will of God. Like the psalmist may we be able to say every day, “I will delight in your statues; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:16)