Last week, I finished reading God’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation. Essentially, what the author David Saxton has done is collect and organize what many Puritan pastors and theologians believed and taught in regard to meditating on the Scriptures.
Near the end of the book, in the chapter entitled “The Enemies of Meditation,” he writes:
Christians live behind enemy lines. They are a people both at peace and at war. Believers fight the good fight of the faith, knowing that their soul’s health will suffer a constant barrage of enemy fire. [Speaking of the devil, he then goes on] Because he is a crafty opponent, Satan seeks to attack God’s people at their most vital spiritual defenses. Those habits that are most useful to the soul will likely face the greatest enemy assaults. Like a worm that destroys the root of a beautiful plant, so Satan devises strategies that will shake the foundation of the believer’s walk with God.
He then points out how our enemy utilizes our common excuses for not spending time daily meditating on the Word of God, including these three:
- “It’s too hard.” – This is a fight against the laziness of the flesh. The Puritans counseled believers with slothful attitudes to seriously consider their need to obey God whether they felt like it or not.
- “I’m a practical kind of person, not a thinker.” – One reason practically-minded people say this is they misunderstand the goal of Scripture mediation, which is to apply it practically to one’s life.
- “I’m too busy with my responsibilities.” – Each living person has the same amount of time in the week—168 hours. Remove the hours for sleeping, eating, and working, and one is left with around 60 hours. The truth is the modern American has substantially more free time than most cultures whether past or present. Yes, life is busy, but people accomplish what is most important to them. [he then counsels us] To overcome the busyness that results in failure to meditate, one must be honest about what is most important to him. Why does a person find time to watch a two-hour movie and yet not find time to read God’s Word and meditate upon it? It is because he simply does not see the value in it and is unwilling to spare the time for it. Thus, the way to overcome excuses is to admit that the Lord does not retain first place in one’s life.
Ouch! These words hurt because they are true. They wound in order to heal.
Do you daily meditate on the Word of God? If not, why not? What are your excuses? Perhaps it’s time for you to be honest with yourself and with God. Unfortunately, David Saxton is correct: If you don’t make time to daily be in the Word of God, then the Lord does not have first place in your life. He can’t say it any nicer than that.
Listen to the sermon, Meditate on the Word.