I woke up yesterday with a lot on my mind. A ton of things that needed my attention, things weighing on my heart, and I really wasn’t sure where to begin. I had fixed my coffee and was standing in the middle of my kitchen, contemplating what to do first. I breathed a prayer and said “Lord, what do I do first?!” At that moment, my eyes fell on my Bible lying on the kitchen table. It was almost as if God shined a spotlight on it. I sort of laughed, and said “Ok…I hear you.” Although I would be leading a Bible study in a few hours in my home and I did need to look over my notes, I sensed that I just needed to open it up and let God speak.
I did and He did.
After flipping through several passages, I landed where I almost always do…Psalms. My eyes fell on the verses 9-10 of Psalm 119, “I have sought you with my whole heart. Do not let me wander from your commands.” I felt that voiced the desire of my heart. I continued reading and then came to verses 15, 16
“I will meditate on your precepts
I will think on your ways
I will delight in your statutes
I will not forget your word.”
Those words just jumped off the page at me! Two reasons. One, I am the world’s worst at rehearsing my woes over and over and over in my mind. What I should have done or said, what can I do or say, how can I fix this, what if….., etc.” I talk to the Lord constantly about them (not a bad thing, but I have a feeling even HE sometimes wishes I’d give it a rest!). I know better. I know not to dwell on those things, not to worry, but I still do.
So when I read those words, it was as if God was reminding me GET YOUR MIND ON THE RIGHT THINGS !!
The second reason was that the Bible study I’ve been leading has been about God’s Story. We have been doing a chronological study of the Word of God and the one thread we have seen throughout the Bible has been the thread of Bible literacy and how important it is to the survival of a nation and of a life on a personal level. These verses speak directly to that!
So I have challenged those in my Bible study to memorize these 2 verses for next week.
The first line says “I will meditate on your precepts.”
What does it mean to “meditate”? Webster defines meditate: “to focus one’s thoughts on, to ponder, to chew over, to study, to question, to ‘kick around’, to wrestle with.”
What are precepts? “A command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action”.
So, if we are to “mediate on your precepts”, we will ponder, chew on, wrestle with and question a command or principle put forth in the Word of God. That will require more than a mere glance at this principle or verse. It will require that we take it with us, either by memory or in written form. We will think on it again and again throughout our day. We will contemplate what it means for us specifically. We will ask the Lord to open the eyes of our understanding to His meaning for us and for our lives. Once we begin to do that, we will begin to “own” that verse. It will no longer just be words on a page. It will be personal to us, to our situation, and that is when, I believe, that God will begin to change us and maybe even our circumstances.
“I will think about your ways.” God’s ways are not our ways. He is our role model. When we begin to think about and read about His ways, we will learn to follow after Him. We will begin to see how He wants us to live. That, too, will change our lives. We are to be image bearers to the world, witnesses to the world of the life that resides within us as believers. If we never give any thought to God’s ways, we will never be like Him.
“I will delight in your statutes.” A statute is defined as “an ordinance or a law.” God gave a number of laws and ordinances for us to live by. Do we “delight” in them? We should. They are for our good and for our protection. It is important for us to know what they are so that we can live within their boundaries. We can feel secure and cared for when we know the laws that God has instituted for our good and when we obey them. God never enacted any rule or law to harm us. Just like we, as parents, make rules for the good of our children, so God has made rules for the good of us, His children. It just shows He loves us and wants what is best for us. For that reason, we CAN delight in His laws.
“I will not forget your Word.” If we are meditating on His Word, thinking on His ways, and delighting ourselves in His laws, we will NOT forget His Word. It will become a part of us. If we allow God’s Word to fill our minds rather than our problems, agendas, and concerns, we will find those things somehow becoming “strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”.
I challenge you to memorize those verses with us this week and free your mind from “stinkin’ thinkin'”!