What does meditation look like for God’s hungry people with full lives?
I have been reading my Bible for years but still find myself pondering this question. Each of us will meditate differently depending on the season we’re in; sometimes, we will enjoy lingering, lengthy meditation by ourselves, while other times we will need to get creative with feeding ourselves on Christ’s word. Whether we are feasting with our church—a fantastic God-given means of built-in meditation alongside other hungry believers—or “snacking on” Scripture alongside our children, the point is that we feed our souls. I have personally benefited from Donald Whitney’s principle [of spending 25 to 50 percent of our Bible intake in meditation]. It has nourished my soul with more than a snack and helps me remember what I have read.
Whatever season you’re in and however you are getting creative with Scripture intake, the following is one framework for meditation you might use. It follows the acronym TASTE: think about it, ask questions, seek Jesus, take away truth, and enjoy God.
- Think about It
As you prayerfully read a portion of Scripture, whether a few chapters or a few verses, choose a key verse to focus your meditation on, something that stands out to you. You might choose to write a verse in a journal or journaling Bible, as writing helps us think more clearly. Repetition also promotes clear thinking, so you may want to reread the surrounding verses a few times. You are priming your mind and heart for what’s to come.
- Ask Questions
Once you have your verse identified and/or written down, get curious about it. Who was it originally written to, and why? What does it tell you about God, yourself, the church, the world, or the spiritual realm? What don’t you understand about it? What connections can you make within the verse and with other parts of the Bible? What do certain words mean, and why did the author choose those words? After trying to answer your own questions, if you have the time you might consult a study Bible or commentary for added help.
- Seek Jesus
In all our meditating, we want to remember that it is possible to search the Scriptures and miss the main character. And we don’t want to miss Jesus! We want to discover him in all of God’s word, calling upon the Spirit to help us see and love the Son. For he is the point of the whole Bible and all our meditation.
- Take Away Truth
This is what we might call application, or bringing the word home.1 We want God’s word to make a difference in our hearts (James 1:25), so we ask him to change us. You might take away a specific application from the Spirit; or you might rest in knowing that he is conforming you into God’s image by the word, whether you have a specific takeaway or not.2 The point, remember, is seeing and enjoying Jesus, and growing in our hunger for him.
We want to discover him in all of God’s word, calling upon the Spirit to help us see and love the Son.
- Enjoy God
In everything, our ultimate goal is to hunger for God and be satisfied in him. This is what we were made for. Since our hearts are naturally dull to the most delightful reality in the universe, the aim of meditation is to awaken our hearts to truest delight, to fullest satisfaction—to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6)—so we would be discontent with anything less than him and hunger for him more. May our meditation on the Word, through the word, lead to love, praise, and increasing delight. May it lead us to enjoy God.
Whether we are snacking or feasting on Scripture, we want our souls to be satisfied in the Lord. We want to seek God in fresh, creative ways that keep us hungering for him and for his words. Rejecting boredom and apathy in favor of delight and desire, we want to meditate on who God is and what he has done and make our souls happy in him.
The point is that we not just eat but feed ourselves on the best food there is—the living words of the living God—so that our souls will be satisfied in him.