Rest, listen, meditate, act. Former Procrastinators, that’s where I’m focusing as summer ends. We talked about rest last week. Now, listen and meditate which can overlap.
We have special listening opportunities when we meet with the Lord. Paying attention to His voice in the quiet, His Word before us, can be a challenge. We’re inclined to say, “Here’s what I have for today, Lord. Would you just endorse that, please?” We can ask instead, “Lord what do you have for me today?” Shhh. Listen.
A special day or half-day set apart for meeting with the Lord is an especially good way to listen to Him. It can help to leave the interruptions of home for those hours. Some like to find a corner in the library or go outdoors. Maybe a friend will give permission to go to her house while they’re gone. Fasting can attune us to His voice even more.
How do we listen?
We can read scripture the Spirit directs us to. We can ask questions or pour out our soul then hear His response.
We can listen to what God directs for the coming year. Do I chair the hospitality committee? Do I stay home to give attention to some attitudes, undone projects, longed for pursuits? Should our son play baseball or soccer? How can I help our daughter develop more confidence? What do I prioritize this year? He’ll answer.
To meditate is just to engage in focused thought on a scripture. Don’t skim. Don’t fill in the blanks of the Bible study as quickly as you can. Linger. Meditation is likened to a cow chewing her cud. She ruminates, swallows, and brings it up again to chew on some more, then swallow again. Cows don’t trot across the pasture while chewing. They’re still and those jaws move slowly.
Think about the scripture. What does each word mean? Try emphasizing a different word in repeated readings. What questions do you have? What insight or application do you see?
Sometimes while we meditate, we might have intruding thoughts that come from the enemy. We can say “I do not consent to that” and refuse to let such thoughts stay in our minds.
While meditating on scripture, I’m tempted to brood instead. To brood is “to think anxiously or gloomily about.” (Merriam Webster) While sitting quietly, our thoughts can run to our problems and our sadness over them. Meditation focuses on God’s Word, not my dismay. I can give Him my dismay, but I do not keep looking at it, feet mired in the mud of my despair. Meditation on scripture lifts me out of that.
An uplifting conversation with a dear friend is encouraging, provides perspective and guidance, assures us of her love. Listening to the Lord and meditating on His words fills us with even more!
What are you listening for from God?