In our last post, we looked at some of the reasons as to why we don’t meditate biblically. Here we will observe the opposite in the benefits of meditating biblically.
Benefits of meditation
One feels empowered by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. It is necessary in the renewal of the mind instead of conforming to the world (Rom. 12:2). It is essential in having the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). And biblical meditation functions in this manner. It is what we need to fight against fleshly, sinful thoughts.
As a spiritual discipline, biblical meditation is contributes to spiritual growth as one learns to live by God’s Word in growing in Christlikeness. Let the Word of God be your defense and offense against the flesh, not your own understanding. For how often do we say no to temptation yet give into it anyway? It’s best to apply the Word beforehand instead so one is better equipped against inevitable temptations.
Fellowship with God with delight
As much as studying the text is important, let biblical meditation enrich your fellowship with God. It allows you to think about God biblically, rather than your own understanding. It is in that moment that one cannot help but break out in worship to God, to cry out to Him in prayer, or to just be in His presence. It pushes one to meditate day and night (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2), or even while one is laid down. One cannot help think more about God in reflecting upon Scripture.
Digs deeper in God’s Word
Skimming has unfortunately become the norm nowadays in this digital age. It is all so fast paced with no intention of slowing down. With such a cornucopia of information, it is difficult to make time to muse on your readings, let alone one. Yet God’s Word ceases such skims with a call to careful consideration.
Truth is, the mind runs on autopilot and we up acting in the flesh. But taking time in biblical meditation allows you to slow down and chew on God’s Word as it should be. Mere reading alone cannot do this as it’ll be forgotten immediately. I love how Donald Whitney puts it in his book, Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life.
“A simple analogy would be a cup of tea. In this analogy, your mind is the cup of hot water and the tea bag represents your intake of Scripture. Hearing God’s Word is like one dip of the tea bag into the cup. Some of the tea’s flavor is absorbed by the water, but not as much as would occur with a more thorough soaking of the bag. Reading, studying, and memorizing God’s Word are like additional plunges of the tea bag into the cup. The more frequently the tea enters the water, the more permeating its effect. Meditation however, is like immersing the bag completely and letting it steep until all the rich tea flavor has been extracted and the hot water is thoroughly tinctured reddish brown. Meditation on Scripture is letting the Bible brew in the brain. Thus we might say that as the tea colors the water, meditation likewise “colors” our thinking. When we meditate on Scripture, it colors our thinking about God, about God’s ways, and His world, and about ourselves. Similarly, as the tea bag flavors the water, so through meditation we consistently “test” or experience the reality taught in the text. The information on the page becomes experience in our hearts and minds and lives. Reading the Bible tells the believer, for example, of God’s love. Meditation is more likely to convince him or of it personally and, in biblically appropriate ways, to cause a person to feel loved by God”.
This is a powerful analogy stressing the necessity of a meditational discipline in a Christian’s life.
Finally, Biblical meditation should lead to application
Where the mind goes, the actions follow. None of what we do is done thoughtlessly, it is all premeditated. For instance, those who say they “slipped into sin” as if they didn’t think about it prior are wrong. We are aware of what we do and why we do them. Thus with meditation of God’s Word, as it renews our minds and help us take premeditated actions in a Christlike manner. Ideally, biblical meditation must lead to application.
I know it’s difficult but don’t let God’s Word go through one ear and out the other. Don’t be like the man who looks in the mirror and forgets what he looks like (James 1:23-24). Be diligent and disciplined in the things of God, such as biblical meditation. And as always, ask God to empower you in doing so and take charge! Over the next several posts, we will look at the different types of meditation and how to apply.