There’s more to scriptural meditation than we realize.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
This post is more for me than for you, but if you are moved to join me, great! While I gave up on New Year’s resolutions many years ago, I have promised My Lord that I will spend more time meditating on His word in 2017. As I have been brushing up on the purpose and the technique of meditation, I keep coming across the synonym “ruminate” and the analogy of what ruminant animals do with their food.
Cows, for example, have stomachs with four compartments, the first being called the rumen. After it has quickly gobbled up a healthy amount of grass early in the morning, it heads to a shady spot (as the sun gets hot) where it lies down, regurgitates the food from the rumen, and begins chewing it methodically. One observer noticed that every regurgitation was followed by exactly 55 seconds of chewing before the next regurgitation. The process continued over and over like clockwork. Apparently, she knew just how to get the maximum nourishment without wasting a single chew.
Just as the cow keeps chewing until the mission is accomplished, we have the privilege of “chewing” on a passage of Scripture until we have extracted all the spiritual nourishment it contains. As we meditate on God’s Word in this way, the life of Jesus who is The Word (see John 1:1) flows out of Him, through the Written Word, and becomes a part of our spiritual bloodstream.
AS I SEE IT
This principle is best seen in the Phillips paraphrase of John 15:5:
“It is the man who shares My life and whose life I share who proves fruitful.”
This stresses the important idea and truth that we are to share the actual life of Christ, not just learn from it. This is where our faith comes alive and starts to mine the depths of the Bible’s treasures. We often point out that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. I am learning that there is more to that than we realize, and what happens as we meditate on God’s Word takes the “relationship” to a much deeper level than most of us have experienced.
Paul undoubtedly lived life at this level, enabling him to do what he did, write what he wrote, and to desire nothing more than to know Christ and Him crucified. Think about what is available to us. We can actually share in Christ’s life. We know Christ lives in us via the Holy Spirit, but this gets to what the heart of koinonia is—having intimate fellowship with our Lord Jesus to the point of sharing His life.
How do we get to this level of intimacy? Only through complete surrender, recognizing Him as the absolute authority of our lives. We talk a lot about surrender, but most of us fall short of “complete.” Perhaps it comes down to this: How much do I want Christ to share His life with me?
This brings us back to where we started—meditation. Are we willing to utilize the tool we have been given in order to deepen our relationship with our Lord? How will I change my “quiet time” to ensure that I’m not just going through the motions? How will I make 2017 a great year regardless of what life throws at me?
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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Since cows are an essential part of today’s post, I’d like to present my case for cows being possibly the world’s friendliest animal. The Christmas story as portrayed in ‘Away in a Manger’ reveals why this is true. One of the verses says that the cattle were lowing. Imagine a bunch of cows milling around saying ‘low’ to each other. That’s one friendly animal. I rest my case.
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