A GUIDE FOR MEDITATION ON HIS WORD: BIBLICALLY FORMED
by Andrew Feil
Since we will be talking about what it means to be Biblically Formed this week I thought this reflection from J.I. Packer in Knowing God would be helpful. Following this selection are some helps along your journey of letting the grand story of the Bible form your life...
“How are we to turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding, but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into a matter of meditationbefore God, leading to prayer and praise to God.
We have some ideas, perhaps, what prayer is, but what is meditation? Well may we ask; for meditation is a lost art today, and Christ’s people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying oneself, the various things one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.
Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let His truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace. (p. 1)
Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory, and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us- ‘comfort’ us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word- as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ... God help us, then, to put our knowledge about God to this use, that we may all in truth ‘know the Lord.’ ” (p. 2b)
REAP: Some helps for the journey from the bible and the saints of old.
(R) Read in small amounts assuming the role of the story’s characters whenever possible. “Murmur” (move your mouth!) the words as you do. Reread several times, pausing in silence when you begin hearing or sensing God’s presence.
(E) Emphasize each word of a selected/important sentence, seeking to feel the meaning behind what is being said and what those involved in the passage would have felt.
(A) Ask questions and let Jesus speak to and question you through the passage about Himself, your life, the world, and the community, particularly in those verses that most invite, disturb, or puzzle you.
(P) Pray spontaneously in short phrases and 1st-person language as you respond to the Lord/passage. Make the scripture personalized by changing tenses to first person in the present. “I....”