A Divine Agenda: Meditating on the Word

A Divine Agenda: Meditating on the Word

“It indeed is a hard discipline to be useless in God’s presence and to let him speak in the silence of my heart. But whenever I become a little useless, I know that God is calling me to a new life far beyond the boundaries of my usefulness.”  (Henri Nouwen)

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Jesus reserved his most scathing words for those who knew the details of scripture but not the meaning. The religious of that day knew their stuff, but they didn’t know their God. Instead of holding a little seminar with the Lord, meditation allows us to merely sit at his feet and choose “the one thing needful.” Facts and bald knowledge are earthbound if seen as the end, but are heaven sent when viewed as a means to wisdom and understanding.

Hunger for soul food, not sermon material. How easy it is to gather insights for someone else’s benefit, eg, She really needs to hear this. Meditation is not for purposes of spiritual one-upsmanship. It is for strengthening the inner person, and for deepening one’s union with the person of Jesus. It is God’s business how divine insights might be fleshed out in the lives of others. Leave that to him.

The self must empty before God can fill. Our spiritual journey is largely a movement from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. Meditation moves in the same direction, and it is truly creative… walking from the emptiness and nothingness and impotence of self to the fullness and richness and power of the holy Trinity. Meditation fills the time with God and his thoughts, transforms the self, and proceeds to “renew the right spirit” within us.

Learn to progress from adult to child. It takes a child-like spirit to meditate, someone who is open, teachable, and adventuresome. The tendency is to try to be God’s equal, approaching him with a briefcase full of pet doctrines and human agendas. The child-like meditator, though, is unafraid to admit ignorance, tapping the mind of the Eternal Teacher in a spirit of discovery and innocent doggedness. Meditation is buttoning our adult lips and opening our child-like ears to listen.

Become a sacred cow. To ruminate means to literally “chew your cud.” So, take a small mouthful, pray over and through it, chew on it, let it slowly digest, keep it in your heart for on-going pondering and spiritual nutrition. Take bite-size, rich morsels in a quiet corner of your soul. Meditation is not using the drive-through for MacBible fast food. What’s the hurry? You have forever.

The heart needs to keep its reason.  Even though meditation is heart-to-heart conversation with your Maker, your mind needs to remain engaged in key ways: in the imagination as you picture the scene and context; in the reason as you test insights later against other portions of the Word; in the conscience as you strengthen your resolve to overcome evil and ignorance. Heartfelt meditation is not a mindless exercise, but in fact allows you to love God with all your mind.

Worship first and ask questions later. Nothing opens your spirit like a rush of worship and praise. Thank God for who he is, for what he has done through history, and not for whatever spiritual goodies he might provide. We don’t talk to God like he is some divine Santa Claus to see what we can get out of him. Instead, we approach the heavenly King in adoration, thankful that he has graciously extended the unmerited invitation to enjoy his presence and favor and grandeur. What else is there that compares with that?

One Reply to “A Divine Agenda: Meditating on the Word”

  1. Loved this. A couple that got me was “Meditation is not for the purpose of spiritual one-upsmanship. It is for strengthening the inner person, and for deepening one’s union with the person of Jesus.” We(Christian circles) can get caught in these ‘one-ups’ and lose the whole meaning of why we do what we do( similar to Pharisee and Sadducees). It also leads me to feeling like I have to read a lot of the Bible quickly…like MacBible fast food. Best one is “Meditation is buttoning our adult lips and opening our child-like ears to listen.”
    -Keep em coming! 🙂

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