Have you noticed how close the word ‘disciple’ is to ‘discipline’? A disciple is a learner, a follower, a person who pursues the disciplines taught by his master. In every arena of life, you have masters and you have disciples. Our Master is Jesus Christ and from His life and His words we learn the disciplines of those who follow Him closely.
First on the list is surely Scripture or Bible intake. I want to be even more precise. The most important discipline of Christ’s disciples is what I call believing meditation on Scripture.
God reaches the heart through our understanding. But understanding and application only happens through believing meditation. It’s one thing to take the Bible into our brains. It’s altogether something else for it to change your heart and life. Unbelievers can do Bible intake at some level. I had the Lord’s Prayer memorized as an unbeliever. I had read Scripture some and been to church a lot. But at that point I wasn’t good soil, so the seed was either eaten by birds, prematurely sprouted and scorched by the sun or choked by briars.
Christian or believing meditation is active pondering, chewing, thinking, musing, considering, lingering and mulling over the Scriptures in our minds from an attitude of faith.
Our meditation is filling our minds, not emptying them. It’s active and rigorous, not passive. I believe the only way to get the Bible from your brain into your heart and soul and thus behavior is thru meditating on it as a believer in Christ as God’s Son and the Bible as God’s Word. If I don’t believe either of these, it isn’t believing meditation.
Regarding disciplines we must pursue related to believing meditation, there are four. Your brain can be fueled for this activity in only four ways: reading, hearing, studying or memorizing God’s Word. (What about singing God’s Word? I would say that fits into one if not all four ways).
Remember, each one is a means to an end – believing meditation. Reading, hearing, study and memorizing is not an end in itself. Unbelievers and Scripture twisters can do all four. The world is filled with religious people who are of their father the devil. Each can even be meaningless without meditation. Worse than meaningless, each can harden your heart and because of our depravity, actually turn a person away from God. The gospel itself is an aroma of death unto death for unbelievers.
Meditation is what matters the most, but we must fuel our brains before meditation is possible. So the fueling and the meditation become necessary disciplines of the Christian life.
We begin next time with reading God’s Word and seven tips to make your Bible reading most effective.