There is so much vying for our attention in today’s fast-paced world. There are screens everywhere, including in our pockets, that encourage us to access as much information as we can, as quickly as we can (whether we really need it or not!) Our lives are full of distractions, noise, and short attention spans.
Sometimes we allow this noisy, distracting world to creep into our Bible reading habits. We glance at the daily Bible verse on our Instagram feed and call that our Scripture reading for the day. Or we open our Bibles and glance at a few verses, not really allowing what they say to sink in, and move on to the next thing.
When this happens, the Word stops doing what it’s meant to do in our lives. The Bible should cause us to dig deep into who God is and why He should matter to us. But if we don’t take time to really let it sink in, the Word becomes dead and irrelevant in our lives.
Biblical Meditation is one way to train ourselves to stop and let God speak to our hearts through His Word. It’s a discipline that makes us slow down and ponder on Scripture. Here’s one way to do it.
Ask God to focus your thoughts, help you concentrate, and speak to you through His Word.
Any passage of Scripture will do, but try to understand the context before you start reading. If you’re reading Luke 14, glance back to see what happened in Luke 13 and what happens next in Luke 15. We will apply Scripture better to our lives if we interpret it in context.
Ask God to highlight a specific verse or two from the passage you’ve just read.
4. Break it down
Break the verse into bite-sized sections and write down what each section means to you. For example 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” You might break it down like this:
“Let all that you do” – all means EVERYTHING I do
“be done in” – whatever I do, I have a CHOICE in HOW I do it
“love” – Jesus wants me to have LOVE as my primary motivation rather than resentment, bitterness, jealousy, hate, etc.
5. Reflect and apply
Ask yourself how you can apply what you’ve read to your life. To help you process, you could consider journaling the following questions: What did I read? What did I understand? What will I do about it?
It’s so important to apply God’s Word to our lives rather than just read it and put it back on the shelf.
6. Do it again!
Try reading and meditating on the same passage three or four days in a row. Think of a cow chewing its
cud – it will spend hours chewing the same lump of food in order to digest it properly! In the same way, “chewing” on the Word over a period of time can help us properly “digest” it, allowing it to sink deep into our hearts and then our actions!
Psalm 1 compares a man who meditates on God’s Word to a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit and never withers. If we want the Bible to ground us and help us grow we need to slow down, shut off the distractions, and be willing to ponder on what it really means. This will cause our roots to go down deep and our branches to stretch out wide!
Looking for an easy way to apply and remember these steps?
Lori is originally from Canada and has been with YWAM for over 15 years along with her husband, Jeremy, and sons, Monty and Reuben. Lori is one of the teachers on our Discipleship Training School. She is passionate about helping others know and understand the Bible in a way that allows them to apply it to their lives. A fun fact about Lori is that she lived on a YWAM Medical Ship for 2 years!