Do you ever find yourself hurrying through Scripture? Skimming to get it done, but not letting it soak in? Then wondering why you’re left feeling uninspired?
The Bible tells us that we’ll be blessed if we meditate on God’s word. Meditation, in the Biblical tradition, is not spooky, or a way of “emptying” our minds. Rather, it means to fill our minds with truth. The Bible repeatedly tells us to “consider” God’s provision, his love for us, and his ways. To meditate on Scripture means we take our time, reflect and consider, let it soak in. We do not hurry or skim, but slow down and absorb.
Our Deeply Loved Lent study continues today. If you’re new, just jump right in. If you’d read one entry per day (minus Sundays) you’ll find yourself today at Day 11. (If you’re not, that’s fine. Go at the pace that fits what God is doing in your life.)
If you’re just joining us, you might want to grab a copy of my book Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus so you can read with us each day.
Here’s an excerpt from today’s chapter:
When I am feeling distant from Jesus, wondering if he truly cares, if he notices my dilemmas, the antidote is not sheer willful determination to have more faith. This only leads me to despairing guilt.
Instead, I turn to the truth of God’s promises. I fill my mind with the truth of all he’s promised me, and soon, that truth begins to create feelings of love in my heart. Redirected thoughts evoke loving feelings.
Did you get that? Our thoughts can change our feelings. We so often believe the opposite, and feel a loss of control–we cannot help our feelings. While it is true that we have feelings, and understanding and naming them is necessary and helpful work, we don’t have to let those feelings control our thoughts and our behavior. We can notice our feelings, feel them, but then decide to redirect our thoughts.
How can we do that? By engaging in today’s Presence Practice, which is simply to read through a chapter of the book of John (a theological biography of Jesus), and make note of the promises God makes within that single chapter.
The Bible says that if we meditate on God’s word, we’ll flourish, like a tree planted alongside a stream. Noting the promises and reminding ourselves that they are true, and they are for us–that’s what it means to meditate on Scripture. To consider God’s truth and let is soak into our souls. To draw it into ourselves, like a tree draws in water through its roots.
Today, read John 14. Read slowly, reflectively. Expect God to speak to you through his word. What promises do you find in this chapter? Which one stands out to you? Which one soothes your soul, or shatters your doubt, or affirms your faith? Share it with us in the comments section below.