I’ve been drawn to meditate on God’s Word more fully. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Ps 19:14) A heart that meditates on the Lord and lifts up the person of the Lord Jesus, is the one that exhibits an inner grace and beauty, for such a one is willingly being transformed into the likeness of the Christ, for out of the mouth come thoughts that are conceived in the heart.
As I think on this, I’m reminded of what meditation on God’s Word is not. It’s not like the Eastern or New Age religions that tell us to empty our minds. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception and evil (Matt 12:43-45). It doesn’t focus on self (centering yourself, self actualization, breathing, physical feelings, emotions, relieving stress, gaining control, escapism, or manipulating circumstances to enter a meditative state to bring peace). The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride and an elevation of self.
To meditate on God’s Word is to be like a cow chewing it’s cud. As it lays in the field and as it stands or walks about it chews its cud. The cow savors the grass in its mouth before filling its stomach. Then it sits down in the meadow and quietly regurgitates it, re-working it in its mouth before swallowing it. That’s how we are to approach God’s Word, to think on it throughout the day, and prayerfully consider what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ. It reminds us God is Almighty, and when He is in control we can be at complete peace knowing that His purposes will prevail. Biblical meditation is the repeated speaking of the Word of God. It also involves imagining and using the mind to plan ways that we can implement the Word of God in our lives.
I’ve been known to “chew” on something someone says or does, and let the feelings that come from those thoughts consume me. The times I’ve allowed the enemy to focus my attention on myself, I wasn’t lifting my thoughts to the Lord. His thoughts are higher than mine (while focused on my little world) can ever be (Is 55:8-9). When my thoughts are focused on me, I am being prideful (1 John 2:16).
Today’s verse, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord”, is a prayer to the Lord to keep watch over both my tongue and my heart. First, my heart must be addressed because “out of the abundance of the heart my mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). I prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to show me anything prideful that my heart is clinging to, and ask the Lord to “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Ps 51:10) I can’t just say the words, I must be still before the Lord and wait for His response, even “chew” on the question all day, noticing when thoughts come to mind.
With my request to the Lord to clean my heart, I ask that “words of my mouth” be acceptable to Him. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Ps 141:3) Charles Spurgeon said: “That mouth had been used in prayer, it would be a pity it should ever be defiled with untruth, or pride, or wrath; yet so it will become unless carefully watched, for these intruders are ever lurking about the door. David feels that with all his own watchfulness he may be surprised into sin, and so he begs the Lord Himself to keep him.” That is my prayer, too!
As I get ready to go out for the day, I ask that the Lord keep my thoughts on Him and to nourish His godly instruction in me, while starving my old nature. “Keep my heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Prov 4:23) To guard my heart means to fill it with God’s truth so that I don’t forget it or ignore it. “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Ps 119:10-11)
With a clean heart that meditates on His Word throughout the day, I can guard my heart against deception, keep my tongue from being used by hell (James 3:6), and that is acceptable in the sight of the Lord! The last part of today’s Scripture tells me how I am to guard my heart and words: in my “Lord, my strength and my Redeemer“. He has paid a ransom for my new life in Christ, and He has placed a new spirit in me.
I wrote this post on Good Friday. It was a beautiful day, with a bit more than a gentle breeze. I watched as a squirrel and several birds held on to limbs that were dancing in the wind. I marveled about how easily they were able to stand firm on those branches, while the wind might have blown them off. The Lord designed them to withstand the winds of circumstance, and He has done the same for me. As I’m leaving in a little while to drive to the first day of my new job, I am going in His strength. I thank Him for equipping me for my new post, I praise Him for His truth and strength that guards my heart, mind and tongue, and I thank Him for the opportunity to work for Him in the work He created for me to do. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Col 3:23-24)
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