Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked . . . But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
Last week Laura wrote about God’s holiness and said, “God is far above what my mind can conceive.” She spoke of the practice of renewing our minds in order to understand fully God’s holy character. Peter gives insight into how we are to seek to know and practice God’s holiness when he instructs us to prepare our minds for action, not conforming to our old pattern of living, but to live holy lives because God, who called us into relationship with Him, is holy. (1 Peter 1:13-15) This week I would like to share with you about meditation, the discipline of preparing your minds for holy thinking and living.
“Meditation is holding the Word of God in the mind until it has affected every area of one’s life and character.” (Andrew Murray) The world’s view of meditation involves emptying the mind and centering on one’s self, while the biblical view of meditation is filling our minds with God’s Word and centering our thoughts on His character. Meditation is also defined as going over a matter in one’s mind, rehearsing it whether inwardly or outwardly.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, treasured up all the things she had heard and seen and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19) To treasure up is to guard or protect the memory of and to ponder is to confer or dispute. Mary in preparation for all that would take place after the birth of Jesus guarded the memory of what God had promised and continued to have a conversation in her mind over what it all meant as her unexpected story unfolded. And it was said of Mary that she was blessed because she believed God would accomplish what He had promised.
My story has taken an unexpected turn in recent days and I have struggled with disappointment, grieving what could have been. For months I was unable to keep my mind focused on the truths of God hidden deep within my heart and instead became bitter, stuck, and stale spiritually. Over time the Holy Spirit reminded me of the treasured words of a friend, “Nancy, keep standing on the shore and the tide will come in.” I then went back to what I knew would renew my mind; back to memorizing, meditating, praying and practicing His truth. I began focusing on the word the Lord had given me this year – trust. Immediately Proverbs 3:5 came to my mind, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
As I practice standing at the shore of God’s Word day after day, the tide of His truth rolls in, renewing my thinking and transforming my bitterness into forgiveness, my stuck into progress and my stale into sacrifices of praise. Instead of dwelling on my despairing thoughts I am choosing to trust in the character and truth of God, who is at work transforming me more and more into His image. You see the goal of meditation is transformation!
What conversation are you having in your heart and mind today? For practical help in the practice of meditation check out my book, “Taking the Word to Heart” on my site and available through Amazon.com. If you are in a place of pain and bitterness take a look at Emily’s story called Pushing Down Walls.
Standing on the shore,