This Sunday, we continued a break from our series in Ephesians to focus on meditation. You can view the sermon here.
Meditation is the bridge from our Bible reading to applying God’s word in our lives. Psalm 1 and Joshua 1:9 are pivotal texts on meditation.
The past two weeks have made the case for the importance of meditation, and how it is the norm and not the exception of the Christian life. Those who meditate are not super Christians, but normal, ordinary Christians. The Scriptures give us examples of this from the life of David, Isaac, Joshua, and Jesus.
Now that we know the importance of meditation, we need to know how to do it, the mechanics of it. We accomplished this by answering three questions.
When Should I Meditate?
Does the Bible prescribe a time that is best for me to meditate? When is the best time to meditate?
The answer is, it depends. The Bible is not dogmatic about when meditation should happen so much as that it should happen. Psalm 1 describes the godly person as meditating on Scripture day and night. The practice is commended as something we do continually. Scripture should never be far from our mind.
The practice of meditation is more important than when we do it.
But we do want to be practical here. We should meditate when our minds are at their best. If you are a morning person, then you should make and take time to do this then. If you are a night owl, and you do your best work in the evening or at night, meditate then.
There are two keys here. First, you must plan for it. If you use a paper or digital calendar, make sure this time is blocked off and guard it. Second, be consistent. The goal is to have meditation become normal in your life so that you might know God more. This happens through consistency.
Where is the Best Place to Meditate?
Like our first answer, the answer to this is one is going to be what works best for you. Find a place where you are free from distractions. For me, this means going to my office early in the morning. No one is awake and I know my phone will not be a distraction.
Our phones are something we must guard against if we are going to meditate. If you are on your phone often, as many are, it would be wise to leave it in another room so you can meditate.
Being alone so you can focus is important as well. Do whatever you can to be as distraction-free as possible, so you can focus on God’s word.
How Long Should I Meditate?
Is there a magic set amount of time we should meditate to get the most fruit from it? No. But the time we spend doing it should be sufficient. There will be times when the Holy Spirit impresses upon you quickly the meaning of the passage you are meditating on, and how it applies to your life.
The key is to know yourself. I know that fifteen minutes to meditate will never be sufficient for me. I am a slow thinker when it comes to meditation and the norm is that I need anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour for meditation to be fruitful.
Don’t rush your mediation. The goal is to know our great God more intimately and to live a holier life before Him. We should take our time and pour over the words God has given to us.
Additionally, we should not put too much pressure on ourselves. In meditating we are not trying to figure out the deepest mysteries of the universe. God knows those, and we can leave them to Him. The goal is knowing God. As we meditate, we love Him more and desire to obey Him more.
We should meditate until we know our minds have been informed, our emotions (affections) have been stirred, and our will has been inclined to obey the passage we meditated on.
Are you anxious and worried about the details of life? Then meditate on Scripture. Stay there until God has shown you His character and that He can be trusted. He is faithful, He will do it.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Now is the time for action. Begin meditating today. We started this short series because of what Scripture taught us in Ephesians 5:18, to be filled with the Spirit. This command is impossible to obey if the words of Christ do not dwell in us richly. And the words of Christ dwell in us richly when we meditate on Scripture.
If you desire to live a life that honors God (The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit), then you must meditate. God has given us His word and His Spirit to help us in this task. He has issued the command and He has given us the tools to obey the command. The question is, will you obey?