A Resource…for When You Really Want to Soak in His Word

How much information can you absorb in one minute?

Every day we take in a crazy amount of info, don’t we?  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and CNN keep us updated on everything from news to celebrity gossip to the perfect way to throw a birthday party.   We scan over headlines, posts and pictures as quickly as our eyes can fly.  You can find out a lot of dish on a lot of topics in one minute.

That can even translate into our Bible reading.  Get it done, check it off, take in as many words as possible, as quickly as possible.

But what if we slowed down, took in less, and just sat in the words of scripture?  What if we meditated on God’s Word in a slow and intentional way?

Now, if I was the younger version of me, you would have lost me at that word “meditate”.  I’d have assumed this post was about to go all New-Age on me and I’d have moved on.  However, I’ve come to know in a much kinder and grace-filled way that the word meditate did not originate from a yoga class.  The word is originally found in scripture, and it is one of the best ways to absorb God’s word.

“Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.”  Psalm 1:1-2 NLT

So what’s the difference between reading Scripture and meditating on it?

Take a look at this article about The Gospel and the Discipline of Bible Intake by Donald S. Whitney

It seems a common experience for people to read the Bible and then, as soon as they close it, forget everything they’ve read.  I think the forgetfulness occurs mostly because people spend two or three seconds reading one verse, then two or three seconds with the next verse, and so on until they are finished. How much does anyone remember of thoughts they consider for just two seconds?

Most Christians read the Bible. Few meditate on it. As a result, so many sense little spiritual impact from the time they invest in Scripture intake. So the main reason more Christians don’t find their daily time in the Scriptures more profitable has little to do with the strength of their memory, the level of their education, or their IQ.  Rather, the problem is very simple: a lack of meditation on Scripture.

If you spend just sixty seconds meditating on a verse of Scripture, do you realize that may be ten to twenty times as long as you would normally consider that verse?”

So how do I meditate on scripture?

There are so many different ways to soak in scripture.  However, all of them involve going slower and staying in the Word for transformation verses information.  Meditation opens you up to not only gather information, but to really hear what the Word of God is saying.  By engaging this way, you experience the fullness of not only loving God with your mind (information), but also with your heart (emotion) and your soul (transformation).  I love this quote from Bonhoeffer,

The Word of Scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love…ponder this Word long in your heart until it has gone right into you and taken possession of you.

Not sure how to do this?  Here’s a few ideas…

  • repeat a verse or phrase with emphasis on a different word each time
  • write the verse or phrase out, rereading it several times
  • make the verse personal, “I delight in His Word, oh the joys I will have when I meditate on it day and night”.
  • look for applications of the text, ask “how does this apply to what I’m going through?”
  • pray through the text, for yourself or for someone else, “God thank you that my child will not sit with mockers, but will delight in your word, and as they grow and mature they will meditate on your word day and night.”

The practice of meditation is simply staying in a passage of scripture until it begins to sink into you.

One of my favorite ways to sit and soak in God’s Word is the first example given, repeating the verse with an emphasis on a different word each time.  For example, take our verse from last week, 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

First, read through the verse, then re-speak it, emphasizing a specific word over the others.  As you go through the whole verse, place emphasis on the next word until you’re done.  For instance,

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”

Did you notice a difference as you emphasized different words?  What word(s) stood out to you?  Ask the Lord why that word or phrase.  Ask if there is something He wants to speak to you regarding that.

I encourage you to go back through our Summer to Soak Series and spend time with each verse.  Take one minute.  And see how God’s Word might take hold of you.

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Ladies, we have ONE WEEK LEFT!  Next week will be our final session, and it’s where God has had me all summer.  

Where has God had you this summer?  I’d love to hear how God’s Word has impacted your life…your comments are a blessing and encouragement to others!

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2 Comments

  1. Rebecca on July 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    So encouraging and a great reminder to slow down. A problem I seem to always come back to in my life. Thanks Jules.

  2. Cathy Burbury on July 26, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Thank you for this study. I work with children and found myself wanting to blame them for their rudeness ,lack of motivation and respect ,and an attitude of,”Give me things and don’t make me responsible for taking care of them”. I started with understanding what Discernment means to God. And then my sister sent to me your lesson four on Ephesians 4:29. So my summer was made up of going back and “soaking” up each week’s scripture you referenced and really meditating on the Word. Thank you for moving me in a direction that I will be focused on during the first part of my school year. Your words of wisdom and scripture selection has been and will continue to be a blessing to me and my students this year. So glad to have been with you this summer.

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