Meditation is more than just reading your Bible, but it is to ask questions and ponder the verses with slowed down consideration. Why do people so often not meditate? They don’t have enough time. Rather we should prioritize and make time to meditate upon the Word and not let other things become more important than intimacy with the Lord.
Excerpt from the full sermon, “The Essential Need for Bible Meditation“.
Meditating, beloved, although it's done upon Scripture is more than Bible reading. Meditation is more than Bible reading. You may be saying to me, well, Jesse, I read the Bible every single day, and if I'm honest, I must confess I'm not growing in intimacy or conformity to Christ like I would like. What's wrong with that? Listen, we need to read the Bible daily.
I'll borrow Jerry Bridges' words. Jerry Bridges said that reading gives you a breadth of Scripture. You need to have a breadth of Scripture. You should be systematically reading through the Word of God. But you also need the depth of Scripture. And that depth of Scripture comes through meditation. So this is more than Bible reading. We are fed through the reading of the Word of God, but meditation: pondering, musing, weighing, asking questions, talking with ourselves about it, carefully examining it is also needed in our spiritual growth. You can see here how we're back to again the problem I mentioned earlier. Slowed down, careful consideration.
What's the problem we have then? When I do pastoral visits with the church, and sit down with people individually and begin to talk with them about how they're doing, one of the questions that I will talk with them about is how they're doing in Bible reading and meditation. Do you know what inevitably I think in almost every single pastoral meeting I have, what the issue is that people have with Bible reading and meditation? They don't have enough what? Time. I'm just too busy. I don't have enough time. I see the importance of these things. I know they are essential in my growth in intimacy and conformity, but quite honestly, pastor, I just don't have the time. And I would guess, again, I believe that many, if not most, of you are reading through the Word, but I'm trying to convince you that reading is not enough. We have made some time to read, but many don't have enough time to meditate. To weigh our hearts in light of truth and cultivate intimacy with the Lord in the Word. As lovingly as I can say this to you, if that's the state and the reality of your life, I'm going to tell you what I've just told myself recently. And that is this: Stop. Stop what? Stop everything. Everything. Because if intimacy with Jesus Christ and conformity to Him, which brings glory to His name, is our great desire, which I believe that it is, and this is a means of grace God has given for that to be a reality in your life, and you turn around and say, I can't do it. I don't have enough time. I'm too busy living life.
I would like to ask you this: What is life? Paul tells Timothy, regarding the wealthy of this age, that there's a true life. And that true life is Christ. If we're so busy living this life that we don't have time for the very means of grace that God has given for us to grow in intimacy and conformity to Christ, we have - not a time problem, a priority problem. What have we done? We have prioritized other things that we call life ahead of that which is true life. I won't speculate as to what those thing are in this room, because I'm sure they're as diverse as the number of people in here.
So I'll ask you this, what have you given your life to that is keeping you from intimacy with the Lord through meditation? What is it?