We often think of meditation as something done in yoga studios, with crossed legs, and choruses of “Om,” but that’s not the biblical definition of the word. In the Bible, instead of clearing our heads of everything, we are told to meditate on the Word of God.
I will meditate on Your precepts
and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.
And Joshua 1:8:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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. (ESV)
And 1 Timothy 4:15:
Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. (NKJV)
There are several words our English Bibles translate into the word meditate. Most of them mean to ponder, to speak, to attend carefully. In order to meditate, the Bible requires us to think. We are to think about the truths found in God’s Word (Joshua 1:8), in His character (Psalm 77:11-12), and on things that are lovely, admirable, praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). We are to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).
If you are like me, you’re now saying, “But, how? How do I meditate?”
I once heard someone call meditating marinating. I think it started as a misspeak, but worked as a metaphor. When we meditate on Scripture, we dwell in it, we soak in it, we marinate in it. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few that work for me.
- Write out Scripture, prayers, and attributes of God. When we write, there’s a physical connection to the words as we literally put pen to paper. It’s difficult to think of other things while writing and we remember what we write better than what we simply read.
- Post lovely, true, praiseworthy things in places you’ll see. Surround yourself with God’s Word, God’s character, and God’s truth. Write verses on your bathroom mirror with dry erase markers, put up sticky notes—in your kitchen, in your car, in your laundry room.
- Listen to God’s Word. Many Bible apps will read Scripture aloud to you. You can also find the Bible and devotionals on CDs to listen to wherever. One of my favorite ways to listen to the Bible is through song. Many Christian artists have recorded Scripture as songs and listening to those songs and to hymns new and old are a great way to meditate on God’s truth.
- Read and memorize Bible verses. Read the same passage over and over. Study it. Get a good commentary or find one online to study the context and the language and the background of the verses. Memorize verses so that you will be able to meditate on them no matter where you are or what you are doing.
We are called to meditate on God’s truth, to spend time thinking about Him, to learn to consider Him in every situation. Surround yourself with Scriptures, with God’s character, and with all that is noble, lovely, excellent in order to effectively take every thought captive to obey Christ.
Elizabeth Hyndman is a Content and Production Editor for LifeWay Women short term studies. Read more from Elizabeth at edhyndman.com.