How Do I Meditate on The Word Of God? Good Bible Tips

by Jack Wellman on March 22, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

How do we meditate on the Word of God?  The Bible instructs Christians to meditate on the Word but how are we supposed to meditate on the Word of God and what does it mean to meditate?

A Secular Definition of Meditation

When you look in the dictionary and see what the word meditate means, you can get dozens of differing definitions. I will try to give a general definition based upon what most people think meditation is and then what God means by His command to have us meditate on the Word of God.  Most dictionaries define meditation as:  Intentional contemplation on the author’s work with the express purpose of  reflecting upon it, contemplative thinking, the revolving of a subject in the mind or a self-directed practice of calming the mind and body.

Other definitions are a clearing of the mind, an emptying of thoughts, having a mind that is open.  The thing that I don’t like about this kind of meditation is that a clear, open mind is one that is subject to spiritual attack or evil influence from demons or wicked spirits.  The problem with an open mind is that it often needs to be closed down for repairs!   What is called Transcendental Meditation for example is a technique that is derived from Hindu traditions that promote deep relaxation through the use of a mantra. However a mantra’s different for differing belief systems like Buddhism, Hinduism, and New Age ideas and so its definition depends upon the group’s beliefs and is dependent upon the context of it.   Some of this is practiced even in the work place, at Yoga classes, and in many Eastern religions.  This is not what the Bible means by meditating on the Word of God.

Meditating on the Word

Our church elder said that meditating on the Word of God is a lost art in the church today. He is absolutely right.  We lose out on so much when we simply read over the Word and don’t meditate on it. Part of what the Psalmist says where we are to “hide your Word” in our heart is simply meditating on it.  Yes, memorizing Scripture may be part of this hiding the Word, but  There is so much power even in one verse…in one word…that we don’t tap that power when we read right past it.  The Scriptures often tell us to do this both day and night and so you can never meditate on it if you are not reading it…both day and night.

Benefits of Meditating on the Word

Here are a few verses that tell us that we should meditate on the Word of God, why we should meditate on it and what the benefits are:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8

If we meditate on God’s Law, and I don’t mean the Mosaic Law, then we will “be careful to do all that is written in it.” You can’t obey what you do not know.  And God promises to “make your way prosperous” and you’ll have “good success” if you meditate on it.  Meditating and memorizing Scripture is like “hiding His Word” in your heart.  When you are tempted, you can more easily resist sinning because you already know the precepts, statues, and Laws of God.

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97

We will love the law of God only if we meditate on its meaning.  It is not so much “don’t do this” but “do this and suffer” and “don’t do this and prosper.” God doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves or others and that is why we must love His law and meditate on it.   God loves His own law so much that the biggest chapter in the Bible is dedicated to the law in Psalm 119; it must be of high importance to God.  If it is that important to God (and it is) then it must be for us as well.

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” Psalm 104:34

God is well pleased when we meditate on His divine Word.  The Psalmist wrote that rejoicing in the Lord is tied to meditating on His Word.  Imagine you get a letter from your loved one.  You have been separated from him or her for a long time.  You love re-reading it…reflecting on the words, and so you will rejoice in this letter and your loved one and you will meditate on certain lines, would you not?  The same applies to God’s Word.  It is the greatest love letter ever written!

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15

I love this verse.  Here the writer is fixing his eyes on God’s ways.  He is meditating on the precepts of God for they are always true, faithful, and good.  To “fix” your eyes is to meditate on specific things and these things (like precepts) are in the written Word of God.  Try fixing your eyes on one verse today.  You’ll be amazed at how the Holy Spirit will enlighten your mind to it.

My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. Psalm 49:3

"... when we meditate on specific verses, we can internalize them and reflect on the depth of the Scriptures."

“… when we meditate on specific verses, we can internalize them and reflect on the depth of the Scriptures.”

Here is a cause and effect verse.  Our mouth can speak wisdom only because the meditation of our hearts on His Word gives us understanding.  This is not a subjective, human wisdom but the wisdom of God Himself because when our hearts mediate on His truth (which is objective), what we say will be wise because it is the wisdom of God.  By the way, the seat of the intellect in the Jewish idiom is the “heart” and so when you read the word heart, you can understand that it is talking about the mind.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Although Paul didn’t use the word “meditate”, the intent is the same thing when he said to “think about these things.”  When we think on “these things” we are pondering them, we are reflecting on them, and we are contemplating (meditating) on them.

My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.” Psalm 119:148

Many of the strongest Christians have the most worn out Bibles and you have probably heard that a Christian whose Bible is coming apart has it most together.  This verse speaks of meditating on the Word before “the watches of the night” or late at night, perhaps before bedtime.  They are meditating on God’s promises and that helps to keep a believer’s hope strong.  His promises are all revealed in Scripture and what better thing to meditate on than those promises which are sure, true, and can not be broken.

Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.” Psalm 119:24

The writer here ties together our ability to not be discouraged or fearful even while our enemies are plotting against us.  How many times have we laid awake at night, unable to sleep or “turn it off“, worrying about our problems (even if they are people)?  We can sleep in peace by meditating on the Word before we go to bed.  I have known fewer solutions to my sleeplessness than to open the Bible and read His Word for I realize that even that bad things will work out for my best (Romans 8:28).  That is another of God’s promises.

Conclusion

We have read from Scripture that there is so much good that can come from meditating on the Word of God.  The shortest verse in the Bible is Jesus wept (John 11:35).  I tried to meditate on this shortest of verses and found it to be one of the most powerful verses in the entire Bible.  I thought of why Jesus wept, what He was weeping for, who He was weeping over, and how He showed such depth of emotion in His love.  By asking who, what, why, where, when, and how over a single verse, the Holy Spirit can speak to us through the written Word because the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Word (2 Peter 1:21).  I thought of His humanity, the suffering that He saw, the lost sheep of Israel who would have nothing to do with Him, the depravity of mankind, the compassion that He had.  What must Jesus have been thinking (meditating) on when He wept?

It must grieve the heart of God to know that many will be called but few will be chosen.  Many have heard of Jesus but few will trust in Him.  The path to destruction is broad but the way of life is narrow and winding and few are they that find it.  That makes me want to weep too.  For all those who refuse to believe, those who will not come to saving faith, I meditate on their eternal, future fate.  That makes me want to share the gospel all the more.  I want to be about my Father’s business in rescuing the perishing.  The Bible is full of God’s desire that no one will perish (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4, Ezekiel 18:23).  Meditate on what breaks God’s heart and your heart will be broken too.  Meditate on the Word of God and you will hide it in your heart (memorize it).  Then you will have the Word in you to be able to resist when temptation comes.  You can meditate on God’s desire to save those who are headed for the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 21).

This week, choose one verse to meditate on.  I choose John 11:35 (“Jesus wept“).  I wanted to align my heart with Jesus’ heart.  Take one line from the Word of God and memorize it, think about it, ponder it, reflect upon it, and then God will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (Joshua 1:8).  That is a promise from God.  There is nothing more certain in all the universe than a promise of God.  Just meditate on that for a while.

Take a look at these other tips for Bible study

5 Creative Ways to Study the Bible

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack March 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Well, Pastor Jack, this article certainly inspired me! I went on the web to learn more about Jesus after some thought and went to a site called gotquestions.org. It’s a site where there are more than 300,000 answers!! Maybe this site will soon get to 300,000 as well! :D Anyways, I was looking on a page about a question about Jesus. And suddenly, the screen GLOWED white! I then thought, “OH NO” and turned the computer off immediately. What do you suppose this could mean? Thanks, Jack :)

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Rene' March 23, 2013 at 2:17 am

Thank You Jesus and thank you, Pastor Wellman, for this eloquently written article…I’ve been led to read the entire Psalm 119 every day for weeks…I prayed and asked God to reveal Himself to me; praise The Lord, I got it now after reading your prose…

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Jack Wellman March 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Thank you Rene’. I believe that since God inspired Psalm 119 and it is the longest in the Bible, the very length of it shows the importance to God of His Law. Not that we are saved by it but to meditate on it helps us to be more obedient to it. I appreciate your encouraging remarks my friend so much.

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Jack Wellman March 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Thanks Jack. I don’t believe there is any significance to a screen glowing white. I believe it was just a glitch. Jesus does not manifest Himself in a website or in a monitor. Does your computer have a “Clean Disk” and “Defragement” tool in it?

Yes, I have heard about the gotquestions.org. I didn’t know it has so many answers. One thing about that website is that sometimes their answers to questions about the Bible, God, and Jesus are not completely accurate for the Bible, the Word of God, is knowledge that must be associated with the work and the Person of the Holy Spirit. Does that make sense friend?

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Jean-Marc March 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

This was a great article, your right pastor the shortest verses can also be the most powerful, I hope you study and meditate your chosen verse well i will to and i’ll tell you which one I’ll be studying and meditating when I find one your very blessed Pastor and may God continue to bless you

Jean-marc

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Jack Wellman March 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thank you Jean-Marc for your encouraging comment. I have tried to use mediation to memorize important key verses, among my favorites are 1 John 1:9, John 10:28-29, John 6:37, 2 Cor 5:21 for these are very helpful in sharing the gospel with the lost. Does that make sense? Thank you so much Jean-Marc.

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Jack March 24, 2013 at 3:22 am

Nyokay, I’ll keep that in mind :D I shall take this with a pinch of salt. Btw, one little correction, the screen GRADUALLY turned white, not suddenly. But I’m not bothered about that now. I shall now go to watch some biblical videos on Youtube :)

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genesis March 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm

i never really meditated on the word of god, i just studied, but all of a sudden i had the urge to worship and im listening to jesus culture and crying, i wonder what that means

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Jack Wellman March 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Meditating on His Word does make me want to worship too…and the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.” is probably what is breaking your heart too. Oh that others would know the Father and come to Jesus for eternal life. That is like what breaks the heart of God breaks yours…and that’s a good thing brother.

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Nelson April 5, 2013 at 4:03 am

I always had a problem with meditation, i believe this is the solution. Thank you very much pastor jack.

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Jack Wellman April 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

Thank you Nelson. I still have a problem with meditating on the Word of God because of the many demands of the world and the business and noise of life. I appreciate your kind words sir.

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gry May 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm

we as christian people of god .we must meditation on god words day and night.it should be a daily thing read god word ,study god word the bible is god word.let the words of god lead you in all things the bible is the true. meditation on the word of god everyday .

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sunday s eyo July 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

i have learned a lot from your explanation because all this while i have read bible without pondering it.thank u very much.

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Jack Wellman July 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Thank you for your kind words. Even though I wrote this, I need to take it to heart for I do not, clearly, meditate enough on the Word of God.

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prophet Emmanuel August 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

U word really touch my heart God bless u sir

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Jack Wellman August 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Thank you Emmanuel for your encouraging remarks.

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Tmt August 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

This was really encouraging message and also it help me to understand what was meant by medidating in the word of God.Your word touched me

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Jack Wellman August 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Thank you so much for your very kind words. I need to do better in this area as I neglect it too often. Please accept my thanks for your words of encouragement my friend.

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Sharon February 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I’ve heard that to meditate also means to speak the word. I think that’s what it means in Hebrew. So speaking out or uttering The Word would also be meditating on it.

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Jack Wellman February 10, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Hello Sharon. Brilliant observation and its spot on. Good insight. I agree. Thanks for adding so much to this article. I loved your comment.

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Ifeanyi Orji March 27, 2014 at 10:48 am

Thanks Jack for this wonderful and timely article. I promise to exercise on the scriptures you quoted in this article with a view to having fulfilling walk with the Lord.
I Particularly like the distinction you gave between true meditation on scriptures and what occult organizations put forward as meditation. May God bless you richly sir and increase your anointing and make your walk with Him more rewarding.

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Jack Wellman March 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

Thank you so much Ifeanyi for your kind words. It is something that I must discipline my self at also. Thank you for the encouraging words my friend.

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Deborah September 10, 2014 at 4:00 am

Hi could you help me please ? Have I got to read the bible to meditate on the word ? I have the New Testament and psalms book which I find easier to read it gives guidance in life’s problems and I can go straight to the relevant scriptures pick one of them and study it,is this meditating on the word ? I am new to all of this I have always believed in god even though I am from a family of none believers I have always read spiritual books and learned a lot about angels I always listen to various pastors on you tube about gods word so over the last few weeks I have been reading the word but I don’t know if I’m doing it properly ? I read about people feeling the presence of god and experiencing him in there lives but I don’t so am I going wrong somewhere I have asked god this question but I can’t hear his answer hope you can shed some light on this . Thank you x

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2014 at 8:14 am

Thank you so much Deborah for your question. Yes, you must be in the Word and I think should be reading it daily. Take one verse each day that really stands out to you and write it down on a piece of paper, a sticky note or a 3 by 5 card and meditate on that one verse. That way you can not only meditate on it, you might even memorize it. Start with 2 Cor 5:21 since that is a great verse summarizing the gospel. You read about people feeling the presence of God but feeling is not trustworthy. It is not what we feel more than what we know God says. You are not going wrong….I think those people who rely on feelings are putting too much trust in their feelings and not in the truth of what God’s Word, the Bible, says. I suggest you but a good study Bible like the Reformation Study Bible (English Standard Version) or the MacArthur Study Bible (English Standard Version). This should help a lot.

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