The Key to Success is Meditation
“Meditate on (God’s Word) day and night, so you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
10 second summary: Meditating on God’s word is the antidote for worry, and the key to success. Choose a bible verse or passage to meditate on today. It can be something that stands out to you as you read His word, or something you wrote down in your quiet times over the past few days. Then follow the steps below to meditate on that verse by Picturing, Pronouncing, Paraphrasing, Personalizing, Praying and Probing it.
Meditation as the key to success
Did you know that success is tied to meditating on God’s word? It’s true! Take a look at the scripture verse above, Joshua 1:8. Psalm 1:2-3 also says “(Those) who are always meditating on His Laws…are like trees along a river bank bearing fruit…they never wither and whatever they do prospers.”
Wow! I admit I’ve been a Christian for a long time but it’s only recently that I’m learning what it really means to meditate on God’s word, and the blessings it truly brings into our lives. Meditation is not necessarily sitting somewhere quietly, trying to go over and over a verse in your head, though that can be a beneficial way to focus on God’s word too. As The Christian Life and Service Seminars, Class 201 materials say,
“Meditation is focused thinking about a bible verse in order to discover how I can apply its truth to my own life.”
And did you know that meditation is the exact opposite of worry? In fact, I consider it my “worry antidote.” Next time you’re feeling stressed and worried, bust out some scriptures that apply to the situation and dwell on those instead. I know that cleans up my attitude and perceptions and helps calm my fears and refocus my trust in the Lord.
OK, so two incredible reasons so far to meditate on God’s word: it brings success, and it defeats worry. For me that’s more than enough to encourage me to meditate, but wait…there’s more!
3 reasons to meditate on God’s Word
These reasons to meditate on scriptures are from, you guessed it, The Christian Life and Service Seminars, Class 201. So grateful for their wisdom! The three tips and six ways below are exact quotes, courtesy of their lessons.
- It is the key to becoming like Christ.
“…Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23 (GN)
“…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
“As we…contemplate the Lord’s glory, we are being transformed into His likeness…” 1 Corinthians 3:18
- It is the key to answered prayer.
“If you live your life in Me, and my words live in your hearts, you can ask for whatever you like, and it will come true for you.” John 15:7 (Ph)
- It is the key to successful living.
“…Meditate on (the Word) day and night, so you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
How to meditate
OK, more good reasons to meditate on God’s word, so let’s dive into HOW to meditate. Here are 6 very practical ways to jump in—simple, easy, and effective. And I’ll add a 7th tip of my own…start by writing down the verse or scripture passage you’ve chosen for your meditation, on a piece of paper, using a pen or pencil (no typing!). Again, the tips following are quoted exactly from The Christian Life and Service Seminars, Class 201:
Six Ways to Meditate on a Verse
- Picture It! Visualize the scene in your mind.
- Pronounce It! Say the verse aloud, each time emphasizing a different word.
- Paraphrase It! Rewrite the verse in your own words.
- Personalize It! Replace the pronouns or people in the verse with your own name.
- Pray It! Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God.
- Probe It! Ask the following nine questions: (S.P.A.C.E. P.E.T.S.) Is there any…
Sin to confess?
Promise to claim?
Attitude to change?
Command to keep?
Example to follow?
Prayer to pray?
Error to avoid?
Truth to believe?
Something to thank God for?
I don’t know about you, but until recently I’d never heard these specific tips to meditate on God’s word. In fact, I had a misunderstanding that meditation was more like memorizing scripture and saying it over and over, which is actually something different, with its own set of benefits (memorization, not meditation). But these simple yet powerful tips for meditating on God’s word are truly impactful and not difficult at all!
Meditation in action
Here’s an example of the scripture passage I chose to meditate on today and how that process went for me. I followed the six steps above, and wrote down the verses first using pen and paper. I chose the following scriptures that I read this morning during my devotion: (Quick note…this passage is longer than I would normally pick for meditation—it’s OK to start with just one verse! In my case, something really applied to me from each verse below, which is why it’s a bit long.)
Proverbs 3:5-8 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
After writing this down, I read the verse out loud, picturing what different parts of the verse could look like. Straight paths, a healthy body, barns and wine vats… Then I read the verses out loud a few times, emphasizing different words. Some portions stood out to me when I did this which I hadn’t really focused on before.
Next I paraphrased it, which really got me thinking. There’s nothing like having to repeat something in your own words to help you grasp and internalize it. Hence…the power of meditation! I wrote this paraphrase of the passage:
“Trust God with everything I am, don’t trust just in the things I see and know. Follow and do everything He says in every area of life, and He will help me walk down every road and know what to do in every situation. Don’t be a know-it-all but honor and put God first and try to do only what’s right. Then God will bless me with a physically healthy body and give me the strength I need. Put God first in my finances and in all that I’m blessed with. Then I will have more than I need of life’s necessities and more than I need of extra fun stuff, too. (Wine is not a necessity, though some may argue otherwise!) Trust in the Lord and follow Him, and all areas of my life will be blessed.”
On to steps 4, 5, and 6. I re-read the verses using my name and words like “my.” So it started out, “Selene, these verses say to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways submit to him…”
Next I re-read the verses and turned them into a prayer. “Dear Lord, please help me trust you fully and not focus on the situations and things I see and know that sometimes worry me. Please be with me to walk down every road, make them straight and help me see the right direction and ways to go…”
And finally, I probed the verse using SPACEPETS.
- S = sin to confess. “Lord, please forgive me for the times I haven’t trusted in You, and I’ve focused on my worry and the realities of what I can see in front of me instead. Forgive me for the times I’ve trusted in my own wisdom over yours and for the times I haven’t honored you first with my wealth or possessions…”
- P = promise to claim. “Thank you for promising in Your word that when I trust in You fully and live to serve You that You will make my paths straight, helping me to see where to go and how to get there. Thank you for the promise of good health and financial blessings as I focus on your wisdom, follow your ways, and honor you first with all that I have. I believe and trust in these promises, and You are always faithful to do what You say You will do. Help me to do my part.”
- And so on…
I left my meditation session with a deeper understanding of this scripture passage, a strong desire to remember it and its many incredible points, and to incorporate it into my life. The more I studied it, the more insight I gained, and the simple structure above truly brought the verses out of the bible and into the reality of my life. Can’t wait to try this again tomorrow!
Now it’s your turn
Be encouraged, pick a scripture to focus on, and follow the steps above to meditate on God’s word. (Friendly reminder, yesterday’s article included many great scripture verses, you can always grab one of your faves there or even start with one of those quoted in this article above.) Enjoy less worry and great success as you meditate on His word today.
Please share your thoughts and results with me, too! Do you have any other tips or best practices to share that help you meditate on God’s word? Success stories? Email me or post something for everyone in the comments below. Thanks for helping us learn and grow together.