Richard Foster, a man who has given himself to training in spiritual formation, says simply, “Christian meditation is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.” Hearing his voice need not be the same thing as reading the Bible.
- Chew the cud: Don’t be in a hurry. When we ruminate on the scripture for a week, a month, or even a year we give the Holy Spirit opportunity to suggest what He meant when he inspired the text. I know of one married couple who read all the verses of Proverbs 3 every night for a year. Each night they talked about what the words could mean--that’s chewing the cud!
- Look for Jesus’ words in his actions. For example, if you are intrigued by Jesus’ mysterious statement, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine,” why not read all four gospels looking for evidence of how Jesus walked out that very statement? I guarantee--you’ll be surprised.
- Set aside the Bible, and listen. Of course the Bible is a good thing, but the Bible itself suggests other avenues to hear God’s voice: the operation of nature, the moon and the stars, lives of other believers, even our own hearts can convey the voice of God to us. The very fact that we have the Bible as a safety net should give us confidence to open our ears to other avenues of His expression.
Do you need somewhere to start? Try this on for a week:
Your word, O LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
To all perfection I see a limit;
but your commands are boundless.
~ Psalm 118: 89-96