Summary: In America we are blessed in ways that the world at large can only dream about and hope for. All of our spiritual and most of our sociological problems can be remedied by heavy doses of meditation.
BLESSED BY A MEDITATION PRESCRIPTION FOR THE HEART
Many if of us older adults take medication to prevent or treat heart trouble. Because of all the medicines on the market today, we tend to live longer than did our ancestors, and we have learned the value of taking medications prescribed by our doctors.
In the spiritual realm, we must be concerned also about the condition of another kind of “heart” – referenced in the Bible as our innermost being – that sphere within us where thinking, will power and emotions originate.
References to “the heart” can be physical or spiritual in nature. Physically, we must try to keep dangerous plaque from building up in the arteries of the heart. Spiritually, we must try to keep deceitful temptations from building up at the core of our very being.
We must avoid letting sinful thoughts occupy our minds . . . sinful desires control our wills . . . unhealthy emotions erupt into sinful actions. How?
God’s Word prescribes Meditation for the prevention and treatment of spiritual problems we may be exposed to during our daily walk - as children of God, as sinners saved by grace, as Christians seeking to please the Lord.
God’s prescription for healthy spiritual living is laid out by the psalmist in Psalm 119:9-16 . . .
By treasuring God’s Word in our hearts and minds, the young in heart will keep from sinning against God . . . seek to better understand God’s Word . . . take God’s Word seriously to such an extent that we will rejoice in the relevance of its message to every one of life’s situations.
Why not take a cue from the psalmist and ask ourselves a question whose answer is obvious? After all, the question and answer technique of teaching was employed by Jesus quite often because of its effectiveness. The question is:
“How may I, as old as I am yet as young in heart as I aspire to be, clean up my act and enjoy my life fully?”
In the context of this psalm – a psalm that praises God for His Word and prays to God for help in living His Word - there is an obvious answer to this question of purity - and that is, “Keep pure by keeping God’s Word”!
The Hebrew word translated “keep” is a powerful word! Three meanings may be attached to it - and the psalmist does not miss a one of them:
(1) Guard your heart by the Word of God (v. 9) . . . (2) Seek the Lord with all your heart (v. 10) . . . (3) Store the Word in your heart (v. 11) . . .
Let the “young in heart” engage in a “whole-hearted search” for the truth found in God’s Word, and store it for use when needed to “keep the heart holy” - sort of like, “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it fade away; catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day.”
Treasure bits of truth as if they were ounces of prevention and use them as needed. After all, as mama said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Remember what Jesus said? “For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” Bur it’s one thing to amass a treasure chest of sayings and statutes from God’s Word, it’s another thing to apply them to situations and circumstances due to a lack of understanding on our part.
So: It behooves us as children of God to be humbly submissive to our Lord’s instructions that are received by us in direct proportion to our attentiveness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit whom God sent to guide us into all truth.
Every day when Jesus was teaching at the temple, those who wished him harm sought to find ways to undermine his teaching even if it meant they would have to kill him. “Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people were so attentive (hung on, clung) to His words! “
Folks, when you are beset by your adversaries whether they be persons or problems, there is no better way to stave them off or to render them ineffective than steadfast reliance on God’s Word as interpreted by the Holy Spirit of God!
Confronted by Satan in the wilderness, and tempted by the Evil One to go against God’s Will, to succumb to the psychic thrill, gratification, the self-serving pleasures associated with getting caught up in the world’s evil schemes, Jesus responded, “Go away Satan. It is written: ‘Do not tempt the Lord thy God’.”
Led by the Spirit in the wilderness, Jesus understood the powerful effect of God’s Word. So must we!