Summary: Here are 17 principles that will help you improve your spiritual meditation.
How to Improve Your Spiritual Meditation: Joshua 1:8
“Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8
Introduction: All throughout God’s word, we are commanded to meditate on God’s word. Meditation involves studying a passage of scripture, memorizing it, praying about it, and exhorting oneself to fulfill it. Many Christians say they are meditating in the Word when they are simply reading it. As crucial as that is, it is not meditating. It is wonderful to just read through the different stories of God’s Word, but to meditate is more emotionally deep.
Spiritual success depends on the constant study and application of God’s Word. The Bible tells us in Duet. 6:6-9, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The Hebrew word translated "meditate" speaks of what a cow does after grazing all day. As she chews the cud over and over again, she extracts every nutrient. In other words, to meditate means to ponder a section of the Word day and night, extracting more from its inexhaustible supply each time (Jon Cursor). We are to memorize God’s word for the transformation of our minds. These verses are telling us to read it, teach it, speak it, and live it. We are to do this in the morning, night, through our day. The way to do this is have the Word stored in your heart. When you are presented with certain situations through your day, the Holy Spirit will pull these words out of your memory bank for you to help you assess the options.
Here are 17 principles that will help you improve your spiritual meditation.
1. Commit: Commit yourself to the goals of scripture. Choose and stick with certain key verses that will help guide, assure, convict, and provide insights into important decisions that you will need to make. The psalmist wrote, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” – Psalm 37:4-5
2. Trade: Trade your own perceptions, thoughts, doubts, and fears for the promises of scripture. Paul wrote the church in Rome, “For the mind set on flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on flesh is hostile towards God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” – Romans 8:6-8. Try not to approach your Bible reading with your own perceptions of what it might mean. Let the Spirit guide you in your understanding to what God will have you to take away from the Scripture. Many times throughout Jesus’ ministry, He would be speaking of the spiritual aspect, but the Pharisaic Jews could not elevate their thinking above the fleshly aspect of life. Let us ask God to elevate our thinking. The mind set on flesh is death!
3. Look: Look for ways that you can immediately apply the holiness, righteousness, love, power, and purposes of Christ in your life. Ask God if He would transform you to be more like Christ. Christians need to be sure to live as if they have the hope they claim. Do not just claim your hope, but live in it!
4. Evaluate: Evaluate your life according to the beatitudes given in the Sermon on the Mount, by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-12. These are specific characteristics given by Jesus Himself for Christians to put into practice and live out.
5. Share: Share the insights given by God from His word with others, both Christians and non-Christians. Paul wrote these words to Timothy, a young pastor at the time, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-2. Always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you. It is important that we share our insights with others and listen to theirs.