HOW TO MEDITATE: LEARN TO READ, REFLECT UPON, & RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD
As we continue to study the book of Ephesians, it is imperative that we know how to meditate on God’s word, and to respond to what He is telling us. Dr. Oscar Owens, West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, teaches us about biblical meditation as one of the keys to success in Jesus Christ.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” – Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
Meditation has become very popular in today’s world. We might hear about concepts such as “mindfulness” or “how to be still, to breathe and to rest,” and “to be present and aware wherever you are.” But many of these traditions on how to meditate have come from other religions, belief systems and cultures.
As Christians, what we don’t know is that the Bible has taught us to meditate on God’s word from its beginnings. Not only does the Bible teach meditation, but to meditate is also God’s command.
One of the keys to success in Jesus Christ is learning how to meditate on God’s Word.
DISCONNECTED FROM GOD?
Our key scripture comes from God Himself, speaking to us, His servants, in Joshua 1:8. Today, however, we have great challenges and distractions which interrupt our connection with God:
- The smartphone.
- The television.
- The radio.
- Social media.
We’re now meditating on these things day and night, instead of meditating on God’s word. What are we going to do?
CHRISTIAN BIBLICAL MEDITATION IN 5 STEPS
God tells us in Joshua that the way to success and to prosperity in Him is through meditating on His word day and night. We are to take His Scripture within us, to speak it, and to consume it by putting God’s words in our mouths.
Start by preparing yourself; become prayerfully still before God in praise and worship. Silence or turn off your electronic devices, and begin your biblical Scripture meditation with a prayer such as this:
“My Heavenly Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit, please reveal to my mind and to my heart wonderful things about You and Your relationship with me, through Your written words of Scripture! In the mighty name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray. So be it! Amen.”
- Read the Scripture – with your eyes and ears. Meditation comes from the Hebrew word, “Hagah”: to moan, growl, utter, speak, or muse; to make vocal sounds. In Joshua 1:8, God says that His word must stay on our lips; therefore, the first step in meditating on scripture is saying God’s word aloud to yourself. Let’s start with a simple, familiar scripture, Psalm 23:1 – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Say the Scripture aloud to yourself, several times. Listen to God’s words. Think about what the words of Scripture are meaning and saying. What is one word or phrase that the Holy Spirit is drawing your attention toward? Take note.
- Reflect – Meditate, ponder, think about, and ‘chew on’ the words of God. Say that word or phrase to yourself several times, in God’s presence. Listen to God’s words. Meditate, think about, ponder, and chew on God’s words until you taste the sweetness and goodness of the Lord for you. QUESTION: What do you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, through God’s written words, and His Son Jesus, the Divine Word of God, saying to you through this Scripture passage? Take note; write down what you hear: for example, “don’t fear, don’t worry, I love you, obey me,” etc.
- Respond – Talk to the Lord (pray, praise and worship Him). What do you want to say back to the Lord, in response to what He has said to you, through His words? Now, speak to the Lord what is in your heart, this is prayer guided by God’s Words in this Scripture. For example: “I love you Lord for being with me always and for being my Good Shepherd.” Thank and praise the Lord. Begin to worship the Lord based on what the Lord is revealing to you, and saying to you.
- Receive from the Lord, Rest in Him, Rejoice in Him. Let the Lord bless you through His Word and Holy Spirit. Let go and let God! Allow God to bless you. Again, receive from Him, rest and rejoice in Him! Receive His love, His forgiveness, His righteousness, His holiness, and transforming power! Receive Him inside you, upon you, at work in you! Receive Him in all His glory!
- React in obedience, act and do what He has revealed or done in you. What do you want to do now for God, in love, for what God has revealed, spoken or done for you during this time meditating and praying His Word? Ask the Lord to help you by the power of our Holy Helper, God’s Holy Spirit.
Remember to concentrate on God’s word again and again, throughout your day. Read. Reflect. Respond. Receive. React. Bring God’s word back to your mind wherever you are and in whatever you are doing. Continue to receive from our wonderful God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Romans 10:17 says that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” God wants you to speak His word to your own ears, and as you do, your faith arises…“He will restore my soul”; “He is my provider”… Learn to say what God says: in your mind, in your life, and in your world. And as you confess His word, it embeds in your heart.
When you confess aloud with your mouth and believe that Jesus is your Lord and that you will be saved; when you believe that God is your Shepherd, it awakens your mind: and no matter what the devil says to you, you are saved through faith in Jesus Christ!
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Joshua 1:8, Psalm 23:1-6, Romans 10:17, Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:19, Ephesians 6:10-20.
Dr. Oscar Owens, Jr., has a passion for helping others deepen their connection to the Bible and to the Lord. He currently serves as West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, as well as President of the West Angeles Bible College, where he teaches Christian Spiritual Formation. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Spiritual Formation at Azuza Pacific University’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also teaches Urban Spirituality. He’s been married to the powerful singer and Tony-nominated playwright Lita Gaithers Owens for 31 years. Read more about Elder Oscar Owens HERE.
Main photo: Annie Spratt for Unsplash.
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