Giving the world a "new" approach to life
God promised that Joshua would have “good success” if he would meditate on the law day and night. This means that he would be successful in the five major areas of life:
The digestion process of sheep provides a clear analogy on how to meditate. There are four chambers in the stomach of sheep. Just as their food passes through these four chambers, so God's Word passes through four stages within us.
1. Read Whole Passages. (Study the Contexts.)
2. Select a Command. (Picture each Word.)
3. Find Examples in the Old Testament.
4. Find Application in the New Testament.
There are three primary divisions of the Bible.
All three parts were represented on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah represented the law; Jesus represented the Gospels; and, Peter, James, and John represented the Epistles.
Peter wanted to give equal status to Moses, Elijah, and Jesus; but, God declared of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son... hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5).
A seminary professor gave the assignment to his students of finding the practical insights in The Great Commission, (Matthew 28:19-20).
The next day the students returned with 7 or 8 insights. The professor said, “You have not yet begun to see the wisdom in these verses!” The professor then reassigned the project. The following day, some students had gotten up to 35 insights, but the professor said, "You are still not seeing the depth of wisdom in these verses."
Finally a few of the students had arrived at 60 insights, and the professor said, "You are just beginning to understand the verses." He then shared rich insights that they had not yet seen. These further insights were some of the 500 that the professor had gleaned over his years of study.
Fear of failure is a major stress for many people. However, there is no reason for this fear because God has given us a guarantee of total success if we learn and practice the skills of Biblical meditation.
Meditation is engrafting the living wisdom of God’s Word into our intellects, emotions, and wills, and then making it the belief system of our hearts. Our whole bodies, souls, spirits, and hearts must be controlled by the Scripture before we can experience the success of meditation. Thus, James writes to believers “Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21) and David testified, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
The Hebrew word for meditation is "hagah" which means to speak in a low or quiet voice: to repeat the Scriptures audibly to ourselves or to others is important because there is power in the spoken word, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” (Proverbs 18:21).
Meditation begins by memorizing a passage of Scripture so that it is foremost in our minds and hearts. We should begin with the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ, because His commands are the central message of all Scripture.
The second phase is taking the command we memorized and picturing each word or phrase. We then ask, “How can I apply this to my life today?” For example, Jesus said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). To "follow" means that we leave our place and go after the one we are following. We are only to follow Christ. When we do, He will make us successful fishermen.
The third phase of meditation is finding an Old Testament example of the command. We discover such an example in God’s call to Abraham. God told Abraham to leave his father’s house and follow Him to a land of promise. One night, God showed Abraham the stars. He told him He would multiply his seed as the stars, and that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (See Genesis 22:17-18.)
The fourth phase is finding a New Testament application of the command. One application is Paul’s letter to the Galatian Church. He points out that all believers are the actual seed of Abraham, because they are in Christ, and Christ came through Abraham. Therefore, you also are an heir of the promise to bless all nations of the earth with the Gospel of Christ. (See Galations 3:29.)
God gave four key times during the day and at night in which we should meditate on His Word: “. . . Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
Perhaps the most important one of these four times is when we lie down to go to sleep. God actually designed the day so that the last thing on our minds as we go to bed will be on our subconscious mind all night and will set our mental attitude for the next day. Many people have also found that meditating before going to sleep solves the problem of insomnia and increases the quality of sleep during the night.
After Jesus arose from the dead, He met two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They had heard His teachings, but they did not fully understand them. Christ went back to the beginning of Scripture and explained how all Scripture revealed His message and mission, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself"
Later, they recalled this exciting event and said, “. . . Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32) A similar response can be experienced when we follow these steps to meditation.
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