Joshua 1:8 commands us “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Biblical meditation is drastically different from New Age meditation. In biblical meditation, we are to fill up, ponder, consider, and think upon God’s Word, His works, His life, the Cross, and the Gospel. In short, we should continually think upon Christ and His Word.

In this episode, Nathan discusses the concept of biblical meditation, why its so important to our spiritual lives, and gives four ideas to get you started.

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Why you should “chew” God’s Word

Biblical meditation is about placing your mind ON something—an active engagement with God’s Word—it is to continually dwell upon, study, ponder, and bring to mind. The picture is of a cow chewing its cud. When a cow eats, it chews, swallows, regurgitates, continues to chew … and repeats the process several times. 

As Christians, God’s Word should be the meditation of our hearts and minds day and night (continually). Like a cow, we should “chew” upon truth, swallow it, and then bring it back to mind to ponder and “chew” some more. Like Joshua 1:8 commands, we should meditate upon God’s Word day and night; in other words, it should never leave our minds—we should continually fill up our minds and ponder God’s truth.

Throughout Scripture, we are told to meditate:

  • on God’s Law (Joshua 1:8)
  • on His works (Psalm 77:12)
  • on His wonderful works (Psalm 119:27)
  • on His precepts (Psalm 119:15)
  • on His statutes (Psalm 119:48)
  • on His Word / His Promises (Psalm 119:148)
  • on the glorious splendor of His majesty (Psalm 145:5)
  • on His name (Malachi 3:16)
  • and on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8)
  • also check out: Psalm 1; 19:14; 103:34; 143:5–6; Isaiah 26:3; and consider reading all of Psalm 119 (an exhortation on the beauty and blessing of God’s Word).

The Blessing of Chewing

Psalm 1 has become a favorite of mine. It is short, pithy, and extols the benefits of meditating on God’s Word. Here is what the psalmist wrote:

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1).

Without going too deep, notice there is a blessing for those who meditate upon God’s Word day and night (instead of coming under the counsel and wisdom of the world). They are likened to a tree planted by streams of water.

What a blessing!

Regardless of what happens around the tree, no matter the drought, difficulty, or distress of the culture which surrounds it, the tree never has to fear for it has unlimited access to the liquid life-source. It can remain immovable and unshakable in any circumstance, because it is planted by rivers of water. So too, the person who is planted in God’s Word and (biblically) meditates upon it day and night. What an important reminder for the days in which we live.

How to Start Chewing … err … Meditating

Here are a couple of simple steps to get you started chewing:

  1. Read a passage from the Bible (preferrably multiple times).
  2. Reflect upon the passage (in short, find out what it says—ask it questions like a journalist: who, what, when, where, why, how).
  3. Remember—here’s the key: you must hold the passage in your mind to ponder it throughout the day. Either memorize the passage (we’ll talk more about this in the next episode) or write it on a piece of paper and carry it with you so you can pull it out, look at it, and continue to reflect and ponder it. 
  4. Respond—if the Word doesn’t take root and transform our lives, what good is it? We need to respond to the truth, applying and obeying the Word through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

Why don’t you try it with Psalm 1. Spend the day (and/or week) and mediate upon it (continually bring to mind the passage, consider what it means, and how it practically changes your life).

Join the Conversation

Question: How have you experienced the joy and blessing of meditating on God’s Word?

Leave a response or ask a question and we will try to address it in a future episode.

The difficulty with podcasts is that they are one-sided—so each week I ask one question for you to participate in the conversation. Head over to the deeperChristian Facebook page to leave a comment and join in the conversation.

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About NRJohnson

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is the host of the Deeper Christian Podcast and has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.

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Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. The Deeper Christian Podcast helps equip Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.

Whether you want to learn how to study God’s Word, grow in your faith, cultivate a powerful and effective prayer life, share the Gospel boldly, deepen your intimacy with Jesus, live victoriously, or transform the world through the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit, the Deeper Christian Podcast with NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) will encourage and equip you to grow spiritually and live a Christ-centered life.

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