“If you want to have staying power, if you want to endure to the end of the path of costly obedience, then turn off the distractions and meditate on the word of God.” -John Piper
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster in hopes that somehow more discipline would be downloaded into my brain. Maybe my brain has a lot of holes in it because it seems that very soon after finishing each chapter, I’m back where I started and frustrated with myself for not having the stamina to embrace these new “habits” as part of my life.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19
At least I’m not alone in my struggle.
But my heart still cries for something deep, something truly meaningful. More than just a few words in a devotional. More than whatever how-to-pray book tells me what to do.
My heart cries for Jesus.
So, I choose to silence my phone, turn off all my notifications and tell my husband that for this time, it’s just me and Jesus.
John Piper’s quote earlier referred to meditation. There is a whole chapter written on this in Foster’s book. But what does this really look like in my world?
Reading the Scriptures, that’s great. Studying and memorizing – sure, no problem. But what about hearing the word (Luke 8:15) or meditating on the word (Psalm 1:2-3)? That’s where things get a little foggy.
So, I will offer my own suggestion of five steps. These are by no means written in stone, but what I personally do.
- Memorize: By memorizing scripture, I saturate my inner person with the Word. Then, those words can dwell within me and I can recall them at any point, even if I don’t have my Bible with me.
- Visualize: I ask the Holy Spirit for a picture of the message in the text. Sometimes I sketch a picture given to me, sometimes I write about it. The form isn’t important. Making the scripture come alive is.
- Personalize: I put myself in the picture. In so doing, I become the stable tree, the sheep in the Shepherd’s arms, or the soldier full of armor.
- Harmonize: I speak the word. I sing it. I pray it. I confess it. I am allowing the words to flow through me to bring my heart into congruency with the outer world. Harmonizing is an act of faith in which I express who and what I am in Christ.
- Triggerize: I identify objects that remind me of a biblical truth. When I see that object, I allow it to be a “trigger” to focus on a biblical principle.
My prayer is that biblical meditation will enrich your life as it does mine. Scripture is beautiful.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
What do you do to “hide God’s word” in your heart?