By Henry Blackaby
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."
In recent months, I have tried to say to God's people, when you come across very crucial words in the Scripture, don't turn to Webster's dictionary for your definition. The dictionary simply gives you the most prevailing use of that term in our society. When you find a word in the Scriptures, you need to let the Scriptures tell you what that means. That is true about meditation.
The first psalm says,
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers.But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
--Psalm 1:1-3 NIV
Scripture is wonderful, if you meditate on it. Our problem is we read without meditation. Your life will never be anchored like a tree without meditation. Some say, "I've read through the Bible at least once every year."Well, that's wonderful, but your life will not be anchored by a river of living water until you stop and meditate on God's Word.
It's the one who meditates on God's Word day and night who becomes like a tree planted by the rivers of water. So, you really need to know what meditating is. Now, in our generation, we talk about transcendental editation. On television we can see the stereotypical meditator, eyes closed, mumbling the same phrase over and over. That's not biblical meditation at all.
Let me tell you my own definition of meditation. Meditation is that moment when God confronts you with the truth about Himself. It is that moment when you go into the presence of God and let God discuss it with you until you know exactly how to respond to Him, however long it takes.
The Psalms hold a wealth of truth to meditate upon, for instance, Psalm 23. When you read, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing," hopefully, you can realize that to meditate on this wonderful psalm does not mean to bring your thinking into play. It means to let God bring His understanding to you, His relationship to you. You cannot, by thinking, understand the ways of God.
By relationship, God enters your mind and your heart, and suddenly, there is an expansion from the Scripture of what it means for the Lord to be your shepherd. As you move through the psalm, you will stop at the word, "Lord." All of a sudden, if you have a great deal of Scripture that has washed over your mind and heart, those Scriptures will come back to remind you about what it means for God to be your Lord.
Whether the pain is heavy, the mind is bewildered, or the heart has been pierced, right now, He is your Lord. You could stop and say, "I've heard the testimony of many others who told me about how the Lord has been real to them. But, right now, Lord, you are telling me that everything You have ever been to anyone else, You are to me, now."
As you move through those thoughts, let the Lord confirm them. Let the Lord enlarge that discovery with wonderful Scriptures. As you meditate on those phrases from Psalm 1, you may suddenly sense that you are in one of the biggest storms that has ever worked itself against you, your marriage, and your family. Those verses alone may be the comfort brought to you by the Holy Spirit, whose assignment it is to teach you all things, to guide you into all truth, and to bring back to your remembrance things God has said to you.
Then your mind comes to the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Peter was a fisherman, and if there were anybody who would know the magnitude of a storm, it would be a fisherman. I grew up in a fishing village and am very, very much aware of the storms that have taken many of my friends' fathers in the middle of the night.
It was Peter the fisherman who said, "Master! Do you not know that we perish?" And what did the Lord say? "Why is your heart so full of fear?" Jesus stood and stilled the entire storm with one word. As you meditate, the Spirit of the Lord will say, "See that? See that storm? You think you have a storm! Where is your Lord?"
The Scripture says if the Lord is in your little boat, then you are as safe as He is safe. That storm won't take you and leave the Master in the back of the boat. If the Master's in your little boat, in your family, in your workplace,you are as safe as He is. Then, you can sense the Master Himself saying,"Why did you let your heart grow so concerned? Let me speak a word to your situation." And, He speaks a word, and everything calms. You find yourself on the other side of the storm. I have been there. I have watched Him do it.
That is meditation. That is letting God bring you to a passage of Scripture and then Him letting you sort of sit with Him to discuss that truth about Himself and bring it home to you and your situation.