Friday, August 26, 2016

Optimize Your Day: Meditation

So far, we've discussed the first four steps of optimizing our day:  oil pulling, prayer, thanksgiving, and illumination.  Today's action, meditation, picks up where yesterday's left off.  We spoke in yesterday's post about reading a passage from the Word of God or your favorite devotional (which should be based on the Word of God). Today we're going to take the reading a step further and meditate on it.

Meditation is the act of thinking or pondering.  It goes beyond just reading the words and allows the message of those words to penetrate the mind and heart.  One of the most familiar illustrations of meditation is that of a cow chewing its cud.  To meditate on a portion of Scripture essentially means to chew on it and chew on it and chew on it until you get all the "goody" out of it.

Here are a few questions you can ask to help you meditate on your reading:

(1) What did I just read?  (Summarize)
(2) What is this passage saying in general? (What is the interpretation?)
(3) What is this passage saying to me?  (What is the application?)
(4) How can this passage give me strength or encouragement in my daily walk with the Lord?
(5) Is there anything else I can glean from this Scripture?
(6) Are there any other related verses that come to my mind?
(7) What does this passage tell me about God?

Don't feel that you need to answer every question or that you're limited to those seven questions.  The point is to allow the Scripture to become more than words.  The Bible is alive, and it can work powerfully in our lives if we let it.  Ponder the verses.  Take them to heart.  Allow God to speak to you through them.  You may be amazed at what you see!

I haven't counted them, but I think it's safe to say there are probably hundreds of verses about meditation in the Bible, but I want to share with you one of my favorites.  Psalm 143:5 says, I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.  That's just so poetic, and as the creative type, I love the word "muse."  As a verb, it means "meditate, ponder, contemplate, chew on," but as a noun, it means "inspiration."  How appropriate!  When we spend time meditating on the Word of God, it inspires us to live out our days for His glory.  It inspires us to focus on Him, who He is, and what He's done.  That inspiration can linger with us throughout the day because we took a few moments to hide the Word of God in our hearts.

It's exciting, isn't it?  But before you get too carried away, let me remind you that we're not done yet.  There's more to come, and just as it has been with each step, the next one builds off of this one which is why it's important to do these in order.  Oh, and by the way, you should still be doing your oil pulling at this point.  Remember, you should be doing it all the way up to the final step.  Fortunately, you can chew on the Scriptures while still swishing your oil.

Until tomorrow. . .

My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. - Psalm 104:34

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