Your Bible: A Living Treasure, Part 3
We saw that it must be assimilated — taken into your mind, understood, and provided as nourishment for your soul and spirit. How do you do that? First by praying, asking God to be your teacher, then by meditating.
Meditate Upon It
"I will meditate in Thy precepts...." (Psalm 119:15) "I prevented (got up before) the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in Thy Word." In other words, the Psalmist had a quiet time. "Mine eyes are awake through the night watches, that I might meditate in Thy Word." (verse 148)
It takes time to ponder the Word of God. If you have to rise an hour early or stay up an hour late, do whatever it takes so that you might meditate upon the Word of God.
Keep a pad and pencil handy. I always read the Bible with something to write with, because I'm expecting to receive something from God. If you're expecting to hear from God, you should be ready to write it down. Don't just say you'll "remember it." The weakest ink is better than the best memory. Pray over it, ponder it, then be ready for God to speak to you.
As you mediate, use your sanctified common sense. Don't jump into the middle of a chapter or a book with no rhyme or reason. Follow a plan. You might start by reading Psalm 119 that this study is based on and mark all the references to law, statues, precepts and other related words.
Remember, too, that the Bible contains different forms literature. Read poetry as poetry, prophecy as prophecy. See precept as precept, promise as promise, and proverb as proverb.
For example, a proverb is a general principle that when generally applied brings a general result. In the book of Proverbs there are ways to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. But you could do all those things and be hit by a truck! The proverbs are wonderful guidelines, laying down principles for living, but don’t try to turn the proverbs into promises. They are principles, not promises.
Ask, "Is this precept? Prophecy? Poetry? Prose? Promise?" God gave you a mind. He doesn't zap you with knowledge. He expects you to do your part by studying and meditating upon His word.
Ask these six questions as you study the Word of God, and God will show you what He wants you to learn.
1. Is there a promise to claim?
2. Is there a lesson to learn?
3. Is there a blessing to enjoy?
4. Is there a command to obey?
5. Is there a sin to avoid?
6. Is there a new thought to carry with me?
"Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.... I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy Word." (Psalm 119:11,16)
Hide the Word of God in your heart. Don't say, "I just can't memorize!" Memory comes with concentration, motivation, and use. Your mind is a marvel, and you can remember far more than you think you can. Fill your mind with the Word so what is inside will flow forth blessing and honor to God.
Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes! (verses 4-5)
It's not enough to recite the promises without obeying the commandments. If you want to learn more about the Word of God, obey what you already know. The more you obey, the more you will learn. If you will begin to keep the things that you do understand, the Word of God will become real to you.
"...so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works." "I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings...." "My tongue shall speak of Thy Word..." (verses 27, 46, 172).
Let the Word of God be constantly in your mouth. The more of the Word you give away, the more will be woven into the fabric of your soul and spirit.