The spiritual discipline of meditation does for the heart of a Christian what nutrients and good soil do for the seed of a plant. Through meditation the seed of God’s word takes root and produces life-giving, abundant fruit. Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline wrote, “The purpose of meditation is to enable us to hear God more clearly. Meditation is listening, sensing, heeding the life and light of Christ. This comes right to the heart of our faith. The life that pleases God is not a set of religious duties; it is to hear His voice and obey His word. Meditation opens the door to this way of living.”
The Christian practice of meditation is, at its core, ruminating on the word of God. Meditation creates space for the Spirit to speak directly to our hearts and apply God’s word to our lives. When we ruminate on a passage of Scripture like Lamentations 3:22, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end,” we give God space to reveal all the ways in which his mercy and steadfast love are available to us. Meditation creates a pathway for Scripture to go past our minds and affect change within our hearts.
Another powerful aspect of Christian meditation is mulling over the character of God. Sometimes when I feel hopeless I will take a few passages of Scripture about the hope God provides and meditate on them. And in the process of meditating on God’s perfect character my thoughts, perspectives, and emotions come in line with the unchanging nature of my heavenly Father. Meditating on who God is powerfully affects the way we view the world. It’s for this reason Psalm 1:1-3 declares,
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Take time to meditate on Scripture today. Make space to listen to God and apply the seed of his word. Ruminate on his unchanging, perfect character. May your day be filled with abundant life as you bear the fruit of meditation.