The Word that Transforms
It fell fast and kept falling for hours, then days. Our city shut down for a week of winter white. Every morning after breakfast, when my loved ones went off by themselves, I sat in my favorite chair, my Bible open.
With the quiet beauty outside, I spent some quiet hours with God, meditating on His Word, feeling His presence, and seeing His snow-covered creation through the window. It was an otherworldly experience.
Let It Brew
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Meditating on the Word, wrote that any day he didn’t meditate on Scripture was a lost day.
The Bible, particularly the Psalms, is filled with references about scriptural meditation. While other forms of meditation tell us to empty our minds, scriptural meditation means to fill our minds with the Lord, His attributes, and His works. Because it focuses on God’s Word, it deepens our relationship with Him. He can use it to shape us into the likeness of Christ.
But why meditate? Isn’t reading the Word enough? Author Donald Whitney says that reading exposes us to scripture, but meditation helps us absorb it and leads to transformation. “Let the Bible brew in your brain.”
There are several methods of scriptural meditation. One way is to read a passage several times and ask: what does God’s Word say? What does it mean? What does it mean to me? What does God want me to do?
Through the years, I developed a method that works for me. I write down the verse or phrases that jump out at me, and then add whatever the Holy Spirit brings to mind—words, pictures, ways to apply it to my life. Then I write a prayer so I continue to stay focused.
You may want to soak in God’s Word but find it difficult. Maybe you say to yourself:
- “I don’t have time.” In Joshua 1, God told Joshua, the leader of the nation of Israel, to meditate on the law every day and night. Joshua had a nation of millions of people to lead, yet he wasn’t too busy to meditate on God’s Word. He took time to do it daily.
The Bible doesn’t mention a specific length of time we should meditate. The key is to come to the Lord and His Word with whatever time we have. Absorbing Scripture, even in small amounts, will transform us.
- “I’m afraid.” If you feel intimidated, remember that your heavenly Father loves you beyond measure. He wants to spend time with you, and He wants you to know Him better. Ask Him to help you. Treat His Word with respect by looking at verses in context. Come humbly, with a sense of expectation that He will meet you there. And He will.
Psalm 1:2-3 says that a man who meditates on God’s law day and night “is like a tree planted by streams of water.” Its roots go deep, which makes it strong and healthy. It weathers raging storms, summer heat, and winter snow.
I want to be like that tree: dependent on the Living Water, bearing fruit, giving shade to the weary. I want to know the Word of God, so when trials come, I can stand firmly rooted, my heart and hands lifted in praise to my Creator, Father, and Redeemer.
© LeAnne Benfield Martin. Used by permission.
LeAnne Benfield Martin is a frequent contributor to Walk Thru the Bible publications. You can read her blog about the beauty around us at www.glimsen.net