Then, as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life. Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions. Proverbs 4:22 & 25
The old testament word meditate means “to ponder, imagine, meditate, mutter, roar, speak, study, take, utter”. Never underestimate the practice of memorizing scripture. They are the ones God reminds us of in unfamiliar times. Often the Holy Spirit uses them to bring us the revelation we need but never saw, until life threw us a curve, and we needed them. Character is embedded in our hearts through the Word of God that we meditate on today for tomorrow’s battles. God is pro-active. He knows what’s coming our way.
David reveals in Psalm 23 what he learned in the shepherd’s field that carried him through life.
He remembered and believed the promises in it. Here’s his psalm along with my take.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack, fail, fall). He makes me lay down in green pastures (plush with nutrients I need for what’s ahead). He leads me beside still waters (where I rest and reflect on life and His Word). He restores my soul (my mind, will and emotions need refreshing). He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (He takes me down paths that glorify His Name so I will also recognize and find them in my future).
Even when I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death (The devil is out to get me), I will fear no evil (it’s my choice as to how I respond to the one who is out to devour me) because He is with me. His rod and his staff they comfort me (I’m protected by His power and authority that are always on hand for me to use against the enemy). He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies (His provision, wisdom and strategy are mine whenever I face the devil or difficulties). He anoints my head with oil, my cup runs over (He has anointed me to rise above troubling times, thoughts and entanglements. In fact my God is always more than enough, I just need to come to His table!)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (What He has started in me, He will complete. I am complete in Him) and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever (my future is set from His point of view. Therefore, I will not conform my life to this world’s view, but I will live a transformed life inside and out, day in and day out forever).
Walking in the Word differentiates us from all other walks. In Psalm One, David says that blessed is the one who meditates in the Word of God day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 (KJV)
As a child I memorized scriptures. Today those same scriptures come back to me. I pray and confess God’s Word over my life, my decisions and challenges in unfamiliar times. If you haven’t made this a practice, choose from whatever translation works for you and start today.