On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night (63:6 NIV).
The fourth vital experience of the believer is meditation. Notice carefully the particular kind of meditation. It is not seeking an emptiness of the mind, the contemplation of peaceful scenes, or a visualization of success. David remembered and thought about God himself. Surely we ought to meditate on God’s word (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2; 37:31; 119:11, 15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148) and on God’s works (Psalm 77:12; 111:2; 119:27; 143:5; 145:5). But here the emphasis is meditation on God himself. It would be strange to want to read texts and emails from a person we love, to think about what he or she does, and yet neglect to think about the person who communicates and acts.
Part of our problem is our concept of God. The living God is not an advice columnist, a therapist, a doctor, a deliveryman, or a repairman. God is personal. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He wants us to approach personally, and not acting like we’re ordering something off a website on our cellphone. We ought to think on the awesome God as the One who loves us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:20).
How can we begin to meditate on God himself?
- Think of him as he is, a personal being, and not some supernatural force. God speaks, interacts, feels, and desires us to talk to him.
- Think of how God reveals himself as Father for us (Matthew 7:11; etc.) You may need to correct your thoughts about fatherhood to conform with the goodness of our Father in heaven.
- Think of the way God encourages us to draw near to him boldly (Hebrews 4:16; 10:22). When we meditate on God, it must always include faith in him.
- Set your desire on him. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night (Psalm 73:25 CSB).
- Refresh your heart with thoughts of God’s unfailing love for you. God’s love for his chosen people is like the sun shining in its strength. O that our hearts were like the full moon, reflecting his love! People “are afraid to have good thoughts of God. They think it a boldness to eye God as good, gracious, tender, loving: I speak of saints…”! (Owen, Works, Vol. 2, p. 35)
- Set apart time to meditate upon God. You can’t talk to someone unless you invest time to talk with them! That should be obvious, but we need to unclutter our hearts and lives of unnecessary activities and thoughts, to make room for God. If we can invest time in our families, friends, and other people, shouldn’t we make time to meditate on the living and true God a priority?
You see, the uncomfortable truth is do we desire God? Everything in our life, words, and actions, including the use of our time, comes from our hearts, the core of our beings. God wants our hearts.
Grace and peace, David