“Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
For those of you still tuning in, after a long summer off, we’re back on the sermon reflection train. And providentially we have a great topic to chew on: meditation.
After hearing for years and years about how needful a devotional life is, one begins begins to ask a few basic questions. Who am I devoting myself to? And is this person really that important that I must bring myself to this bizarre and nebulous state in the morning or evening? And what on earth are “devotions” anyway?
To be honest I’ve always struggled with the term. It feels like this scary science project coming down the pipe that I have to get ready for. But from Ted this week, in Psalm 1, I’m learning something quite different. My traditional concept of devotions might be more rightly thought of as meditation. Devotions in my life have been very man centered. But meditation is God centered. Think about the way many of our daily conversations with each other are framed. We come into them with preexisting topics and framers, such as “the gators,” or “what’s for dinner mom?” Perhaps our devotions have drifted in the same direction…what is my perspective and need as I approach God. But in meditation, I invite God to frame my conversation with Him. I come before him gazing upon who he is, not swimming in my own present circumstances and needs. I rest in the ocean of his grace, favor, and goodness as his son. I relax in the cool breeze and bright light of his sovereignty, power, and majesty, as if I were in the mountains of NC simply sitting and enjoying the scene. I survey the wonder of creation, and the works of God in it. I cast myself onto his saving power, and wait for his Spirit to rush over me.
The fruit of this daily practice is sweet and delicious. Later in Psalm 1 we find that we’ll become like a tree planted by streams of what, which yields fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither. John Piper put it something like this: “The excellency of man hangs on what he worships.” And so in meditation our very essence is changed. We grow on the inside. We are no longer empty yet grasping for someone to rent space in our heart, God actually comes in and nourishes our soul. We slowly develop the ballast that will guide and carry us through the dark times in which we might otherwise “wither.” And this is indeed deep and lasting fruit.
Will you consider afresh in this new school year the Lord’s invitation to meditate on Him?