I find the best description of reflection in Psalm 1:
How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
Instead you thrill to God‘s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
(Psalm 1:1-2 MSG)
Chewing means thinking deeply about. If you think of a dog chewing on a bone you get the right idea about how we should chew on God’s word. Meditation is simply spiritual chewing. Reflection is opening your heart to God to be touched, read, and filled with peace.
Too often we read the Bible for information. There’s nothing wrong about knowing about the Bible. But the main thing is to read the Bible to know God and to let God to know us. Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like looking at the present without unwrapping it. Thomas Watson states that the reason why so often we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation.
Jim Elliff puts it this way: “By meditating on Scripture you are transformed into the person God intends you to be. Meditation is a blend of your words to God and His Word to you; it is loving conversation between you and God through the pages of His Word. It is absorption of His words into your mind by prayerful contemplation and concentration.”
Thomas Brooks reminds us that “it is not hasty reading, but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”
I have challenged people to read the Bible in a year. I have truly enjoyed reading it but I have also come to know that the main thing is not to read it through but let the word read you. If reading the Bible becomes a performance we are on a wrong track. Praying and chewing on the word are necessary. Without them we are not reflecting and if we are not reflecting we are not applying the word into our lives and we are not letting the Holy Spirit move us, change us, and renew us. So this coming year I am hoping to continue to read and challenge others to read the Bible with fervent energy but emphasizing the reflective reading, the encounters with the Holy Spirit. Will you join me?
Thank you for inviting us into your presence.
Draw us more and more into your presence.
Teach us to chew on scripture day and night.
Enable us to grow in your grace and wisdom.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you reflect on God’s word?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you chew on Scripture day and night! Happy chewing!
This post is part of the One Word at a Time: Reflection blog carnival.
The photo courtesy of Daniel Hicks