Greetings everyone, sorry for the delay but we will continue the series on biblical meditation. If you’re new or want to refresh with previous posts on the topic click here. Without further ado, let’s go.
So today I would like to discuss 2 types of Biblical meditation that the Puritans practiced. One is called occasional meditation and the second is deliberate meditation. First occasional meditation entails meditating at any time in a given day without a specific length of time. This is good as it will keep one’s focus on God throughout the day as often times we have our morning devotion, then forget. As beneficial as occasional meditation is, it is insufficient as it is minimal. It’s like just eating snacks all day, it’s just not enough. You need a full-course meal. You need something substantial. Only then is feasting on the Word possible and that’s through deliberate meditation.
Now deliberate meditation is a more focused, designated time of biblical meditation. This is were one sets time apart to dig deep into the Scripture. It is were the mind marinates on the Word of God. It is were one hears God speak through His Written Word. It is where the mind is renewed. Such practice lacks in our busy age, and sadly we as a church are no different. Nevertheless, it must be incorporated into our lives.
Additionally, deliberate meditation is divided into 2 categories: direct and reflexive meditation. Saxton puts it this way, “The Puritans further divided deliberate meditation into two categories: direct and reflexive meditation. Direct meditation is used to gain a better scriptural understanding of a topic, whereas reflexive meditation is employed to convict the heart about the application of the newly found understanding.”
So there you have it, occasional and deliberate meditation. Both essential as it keeps one in the Word. Ideally, you’d want to practice deliberate meditation firsthand in the morning followed up with spontaneous meditation throughout the day. Consider setting a time period for meditating on the Word after reading it. If you’re just starting, do 5 minutes, then add another 5 as you progress. If you’re not a morning person, you can also wait to the evening. In my opinion, I prefer to do mornings as you are starting the day rather than wait until the end of the day when you’re tired. But to each their own. Always remember, that it the end goal is application. See how can you apply it in your Christian walk. Furthermore, biblical meditation fuels one’s prayer as we will observe in the next post.
“The Puritans understood that an empty or aimless mind would most likely be filled with wrong thoughts. Therefore, they encouraged occasional meditation as a method to promote godly thinking throughout the day.”
As Thomas Manton aptly expressed, “The fruit of study is to hoard up truth, but the fruit of meditation is to practice it.”
“Indeed, the lack of reflexive meditation might very well explain why so few believers are fully resolved against sin. Perhaps this is why they seem to float on the sea of fluctuating earnestness against personal and cultural sin.”