What does it actually look like to meditate on God’s Word?
Like with all habits, it starts with practice. We take baby steps and, over time, these steps, these practices will become routine. Furthermore, as it becomes a habit, we will find ourselves loving the Bible more.
So, let me give you three tips (three steps, really) on how to develop this habit.
First, regularly listen to the word.
Notice: I said listen. That’s because we are all at different places in our reading. Some of us are good readers and some are not. That’s okay. Nevertheless, all of us can listen. So, if reading is challenging for you, then listen to the Bible. You can listen to the Bible on biblegateway.com. Listen to the Bible while driving to work or driving home. Listen to it while you’re exercising. And, really listen. Don’t let your mind wander. Really listen. Listen to a chapter several times or, if you’re reading, read a passage of Scripture several times. Doing so will allow your mind and heart to be engaged with the text.
Let me get more specific: we should be listening to the word, at least, five times a week. During these times of listening, we should engage the passage for, at least, 15 minutes. Read or listen to the passage several times.
Then, ask yourself the following questions: What does this passage say about the triune God? What does it say about humans (and me)? What is this passage calling me to do (e.g., praise, challenge, encourage, instruct)?
Genuinely, think through these questions and even write them down. I encourage a lot of people to keep some sort of notebook or journal so that they can not only put their answers down in writing, but so that they can return to their writings later for remembrance and reflection.
Third, and finally, process the passage.
Process it with your spouse, a friend, a colleague or even roommates. That’s what Moses urged the Israelites to do. Think of the passage in Deuteronomy 6:6-11, where Moses commands God’s people to talk to everyone, including their own children, about God’s Word. They were to talk about it when they woke up, when they went to work and when they came home at night. Their meditations on God’s Word was to take up the main bulk of conversations in the day. Can you imagine how differently your speech might be if you held yourself to the same challenge?
That is our challenge for you this week. To not just meditate on God’s word in some abstract form, but to try out these steps of prolonged reading (or listening), of memorization, of reflection and in verbal processing/engagement. And in doing so, may you see and delight more in what God has to speak to you each day.
Did you miss the first part of this series on why we should meditate on God’s Word? If so, click here.