Posts Tagged meditation

Prayerful Meditation

Jeremiah 29: 12 – 14

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes.’

Yesterday we talked about delighting yourself in the Lord and meditating on His Word day and night. This morning I was thinking about that. I said that the words from Joshua 1:8 should be proclaimed routinely and loudly. As I meditated on this very thing this morning, I thought, if there is one piece of advice I would give it is to soak in the Word, but then I questioned myself as to why. Here is the answer I found for myself.

If someone were to ask me what the most important thing about Christianity is, I would say a close and personal relationship with the three persons of the trinity. However, that begs the question, how does one develop that intimate relationship. We are all different with different strengths. Some people connect with the Father more intimately through prayer, some through meditation. There are those who reach their most connected point in rituals while others reach God through the Bible. These are all good and proper ways to connect with God and we should all participate in all forms of communion with God.

The Lord teaches us by His own words how to connect with Him through this verse. After my meditation this morning I was a bit surprised to open my Bible and find this passage staring at me. Jeremiah 29: 11 is famous. It is God’s declaration that He has good plans for you and your future. It is of interest, though, that the next words out of His mouth are about seeking Him. He even promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. Notice, however, that we must seek Him with our hearts, and not only that but with all of our heart. He wants to connect you to His good plans for you but you must connect with Him first.

So, what does this have to do with yesterday’s verse and the Word? If someone asked what one thing I would advise them to do to develop their relationship with God would be, I would advise them according to Joshua 1: 8, read your Bible and meditate therein. There is a reason God gave that Word of wisdom to Joshua. In the Word we find God. I believe in prayer, don’t think I don’t, but the Word is our anchor and our beacon. For persons who will develop into prayer warriors, they get their foundation first from the Word. It is where we find God as we develop into the people we will be. It is, therefore, where I would start everyone. For the visionaries, the Word becomes their anchor. We want those people doing what they are gifted to do but they must be tethered in God’s reality. Those who are easily bound to routine will find all kinds of experiences in the Word, the explainable yet unassailable.

We cannot leave the wisdom of God aside. As you grow in the things of God, learn to pray, learn to meditate, develop your visionary capacity, engage with your angels but forget not the Word. Do not set aside the one piece of advice Yahweh gave Joshua when he had to take over leadership of the nation of Israel, meditate in the Word day and night. Then add today’s verse to that, seek the Lord with all your heart and you will find Him. Pray to Him and He will listen. It is His promise to you. Pray and meditate over the Word. Allow God to reveal His hidden mysteries. Call upon Him, seek Him and receive of His great and wonderful bounty.

His Ways

Psalm 145: 17

The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.

I like this Psalm, as many of you do, and I have several passages highlighted. As I read it today, I kept coming back to this verse. I imagine that for most of us there is no revelation in this verse. We expect God to be righteous and at a minimum we want to believe He is kind in all His deeds. Still, I find value in reviewing this verse for two reasons. First, it is good to be reminded of His goodness. Second, when we ponder this verse, it grows in our understanding.

God is good, all His ways are righteous. That means God isn’t out there performing badness. Isn’t that good news? He bring righteousness to everything. That means that everything we invite Him into enjoys that same quality of righteousness. When He comes to our event, He brings with Him everything that is good. The only way He knows how to be is right; doing right, being righteous. All His interactions with each of us are filled with righteousness. God will always do right by you.

Mediation on this verse leads us to examine each word. The word “all” captures my attention. I am especially taken by God’s kindness in “all” His deed. What does that mean if you rephrase it? Every single act of God is kind. Now if you are a person who believes in the Bible, that can have a major impact on your theology. If everything God does, every act, is an act of kindness, then He never does an unkind thing to anyone. That necessarily means that He did not blow out my knee even though some people told me He did. It means He never gave anyone cancer. He never, ever, in all the millennia, did an unkind thing. Everything He has ever done has been kind.

Soak that in. He didn’t allow you to get fired from your job so that you would learn to seek Him. He didn’t break you so He could make you. His way of making you, actually, is to love you into the version of you that He sees when He looks at you. He loves you and only wants the best for you because His kindness extends to the way He thinks of you and the plans He has for you. Every thought He has towards you is kind.

As we expound on the little words in a verse, they expand our understanding and our insight. Thinking our way through these kinds of verses illuminates the very nature of God. Then, as we begin to appreciate His inherent goodness, we grow in our trust in Him. Soon, the entire dynamic of one’s relationship with Him is altered for the good and forever.

Take your time with this little verse and let the Father’s kindness infiltrate your life.

3 Things

Psalm 34: 10


But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

I am impressed again at the beginning of this week that there is a great spiritual key revealed in these few simple words. You know, if you could really hear God’s voice clearly you would surely be successful in everything you do. You would most assuredly be led down the best paths. You would have insight and wisdom that would be enviable.

This sort of grace comes through your intimate, warm relationship with the Lord. That warm relationship comes from your seeking Him with all your heart and strength. If you will do three things you will find tremendous results in a very short time. Start today. Read your Bible. Pray to your Dad. And spend a few minutes before Him in silence. Those three things will launch you into a new level with the Lord of Hosts. Don’t worry about how much you read or how long you pray. Just start where you are. That is where He expects you to begin. He doesn’t expect you to read as much everyday as someone who is in full time ministry. Just read it. Start in Matthew and just read a bit each day. Then spend a few minutes just talking to your Dad. Don’t pray elaborate prayers; simply talk with Him as your friend and father. I wouldn’t even worry about praying for all of the things you think you need. Spend those precious moments just being with Him. Then sit in silence for a few minutes. That’s it; three things that will quickly change your life. Today is a great day to start or start over.

Whiteboard – Version 2.0

Psalm 51: 10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

In the March 1, 2016 Word of the Day I wrote about our hearts being like a whiteboard that we can erase and write upon as we wish. If there are bad messages there, we can erase them. Then we can write the truth upon our hearts. I have an updated version of that image which I would like to share with you today.

While in the mountains, I had some quiet meditations. Once, I looked in my heart and thought about the whiteboard I saw God approach it and pick up a marker. “Well, this is pretty curious,” I thought and just settled in to watch what was going to happen. Father began to write on my board (my heart). Can you guess what the first thing He wrote was and in what color? You guessed right! He is always about love first and of course, it was written in red. I sat there and watched Him write the things He says about me.

Later it dawned on me what a powerful revelation this truly is. We can allow the Father to write on the whiteboard of our hearts. He always writes truth and encouragement. If we allow Him to write on our hearts, we will always be strengthened. So, get into a quiet state of mind, close your eyes and picture yourself in a comfortable, overstuffed armchair. See Dad walk up to the whiteboard and pick up a marker. Later make sure that you record all that he wrote and remind yourself of those statements frequently. In this way, you can have the heart and the beliefs about yourself that God has, He can create in you the perfect heart.

Heart & Mouth

Psalm 19: 14                      Index Card 1

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

I am beginning a new series today. Many times I recommend that you take really meaningful verses and write them out on 3 X 5 index cards then put them in plain sight so that you can review them frequently. Well, it may please you to know that I take my own advice. Today’s verse is the first in a series of Ivey’s index cards. I hope you enjoy seeing which verses I have recorded in my scripture deck of cards.

This verse is first and foremost in my mind and, in my stack of cards, because my failures so often come out of my mouth. In truth, it is what is in our hearts which bubbles up and out of our mouths (Matthew 12: 34) and often in the most inconvenient of times. So, this verse reminds me to check the content of my heart and set a guard over my mouth (Psalm 141: 3).

Getting to Know You

John 14: 9

Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me?

Philip was one of Jesus’ hand-picked apostles. He was on the executive council, if you will, of Jesus’ ministry. He walked, talked and lived with Jesus everyday for three years. They ate together, traveled together and ministered together. One would think that anyone in that position would know Jesus pretty well. None the less, Jesus accused Philip of not knowing him at all. Jesus sounds pretty astonished that they spent so much time together and yet Philip still did not have a revelation of who Jesus was.

Of course, my reaction is if Philip walked daily with Jesus while Jesus was in the flesh, on the planet and didn’t really know him then what chance do I have? The truth is, many of us call ourselves Christians or followers of Christ and yet do not know him very well at all. It should be our goal, though, to become intimately familiar with him. We can do that, you know. Jesus is still very much alive and although he is not here in the flesh he still talks with his people every day.

In many ways we have even more of him now than the apostles did. He has now made our hearts, your heart, his temple. We can, and many do, have daily fellowship with him. Reading Jesus’ words to Philip makes me cringe. I sure don’t want Jesus to say those words to me or worst yet the words he spoke in Matthew 7: 21 – 22: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”.

So what is the point? The point is that we, like Philip, can hang out in all the right places, partake of all the right feasts and rituals and yet come to the end and find that we don’t know Jesus and he doesn’t know us. So how do you get to know Him? Well, John 1: 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So we start with the Word, but you knew I was going to say that didn’t you?  Next, jump over to Joshua 1, verse 8 and see the advice God gave Joshua: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” So, step 2 is to meditate on what you read from the Bible or ponder it, we might say. This really isn’t an intellectual exercise although it may sound like it. We aren’t analyzing, cogitating or thinking about what we have read. It is more like mulling it over, rolling it around inside of you for its deep meaning. Through this process, revelation arises.

And then we should have the word in our mouths. That’s what God said. We speak as he speaks. We keep His words in the forefront of our thoughts and in our heart. Lastly, pray but when I say pray I really mean spend time seeking Jesus. Talk to him as you would a dear friend. Take him with you everywhere you go. Spend the day talking with him and listening to his responses. The more you hear him, the more you will get to know him. Seek him, that is the real key. If you seek him, you will find him. I promise.

The greatest reward of Christianity is getting to know Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. They can become your closest friends if you like and it is nice to know they are always there with you. Don’t get caught out in the cold. Get to know Jesus.

Divine Revelation

Galatians 1: 12

For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul did not have the advantage of walking with Christ the way Peter and John did. That is one of the reasons he is so important to modern theology and thought. Like us, everything Paul learned, he had to learn by revelation from Christ. 

Don’t get me wrong though. I am not saying that we can’t and don’t learn from the teachings of other people. We can receive revelation through other people and we receive revelation through the scriptures. Paul was well steeped in scripture himself having been trained at the most preeminent school available. However, he also knew how to get alone with Jesus in the spirit and receive divine revelation from him. 

Paul tells us in today’s passage that what he taught he received directly from Jesus as a divine revelation. Paul’s training taught him how to meditate in the scriptures and how to connect with the divine source. If you look at Paul’s teachings you will see that he often quoted Old Testament Scripture. My take on this is that He would pray and meditate on the scriptures. He would quiet his soul as we can observe David doing through the Psalms. In this quiet, meditative state, Paul connected with Jesus in the spiritual realm. Jesus taught him about the Kingdom of God; where it is, how it operates, and how we function in it. Then Paul must have lined these teachings up with scripture to make sure that what he received by divine revelation was consistent with what God spoke throughout the generations. This is the reason that Paul tied his teachings back to the Old Testament. Those old teachings were anchors for the revelation he received through his direct connection with Christ.

Paul’s experience is an exact model for us today. We do not get to walk in the flesh with Jesus either. However, Jesus is just as alive and just as real today and to us as he was to Paul in his time. We also need to receive divine revelation because we cannot sit at the campfire and ask him questions. We have two hindrances though; time and knowledge of the scriptures.

After Paul had his Damascus road experience he went away to the desert of Arabia to be alone. His whole theology, all of his education and training had been turned upside down by his spiritual encounter. He needed answers so he went to the desert to meditate and to be alone with Christ. Jesus met him in the quiet of his solitude and Jesus revealed himself to Paul. 

I am suggesting that we all need Jesus speaking into our lives. It is through the quiet, contemplative time spent with Jesus that we discover the bread of life. While not ignoring scriptures, we all need to connect with Jesus in the way that Paul did. In that connection is revelation for our lives.

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