One of my favorite books is found in the Bible in the Old Testament. It’s the book of Nehemiah. It’s a story about a man that led a movement to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, a city that had been destroyed and in ruins for many years.
The reason I like this story so much is because it demonstrates how much can be done when a person works hard and involves God.
Here are three simple life lessons from the story of Nehemiah, I hope you will take the time to read his story:
Nehemiah’s story is amazing and well worth reading. Read it here – Nehemiah
Meditation has a different meaning to different people. For some it’s emptying your mind and focusing on yourself, for others it is focusing on a higher power or something they think is good. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and so what I meditate on is God’s Word or the Bible. For me this is one of the most powerful and helpful things I have ever done. There is now a lot of scientific proof that meditating on good things like Scripture actually renews and changes our brains. Brain science shows us the benefits of this focused thinking. The Bible talks about renewing your mind and taking your thoughts captive. God designed our brains to be able to be changed depending on what it takes in. The mind controls the brain and can make positive or negative changes.
To me meditation is considering and pondering a part of Scripture, a story in the Bible or a chapter or even sometimes a few words or one word. What I try to do is pick something to focus on and then read through it 10-15 times in different ways. I’ll read it silently several times, then out loud, then with a different emphasis on certain words and sometimes even adding my name. Then I think about or ponder what I read. I will then bring it back up a different times of the day for just a few moments.
The Bible talks about the power of meditation in Psalm 1:1-3 it says this: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.”
Did you catch that? Biblical meditation is so powerful that God promises that everything you do will prosper if you meditate on His Word day and night. That may sound a bit intimidating or too hard to do. For me meditating day and night does not mean 24/7 it means that in those times where I’m idle, waiting, resting, driving or by myself I need to meditate on God’s Word. Those are the times that I am most tempted or that my thoughts are most likely to be negative or sinful. So in those moments if I’m able to chew on a Biblical idea or a story from the Bible I can renew my mind and gain incredible strength, encouragement and hope.
Meditation is similar to a cow chewing the cud or rumination, which means to chew, swallow then regurgitate and chew again. A cow does this several times to get all the nutrition out of the food and to digest it in a healthy way. Biblical meditation is similar, in that we take it into our minds ponder it and then keep bringing it back up and chewing some more.
I have started on a 21 day journey leading up to Christmas Eve of meditating daily on a Scripture and reading through a document of Biblical Truth Statements. It will only be about 7-10 minutes a day, but I believe God will use that time to strengthen my mind and nourish my soul in a powerful life-changing way. The Scripture I have chosen is one I memorized 15 years ago. It’s 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In your hands are power and might; in Your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all.”
I want to encourage you to pick a Scripture or two and meditate on it over the next 21 days. Chew on it over and over again and pull out all the nourishment you can get. Then pick another Scripture and do it again for another 21 days and then do it one more time. If you can do that for 63 days in a row, it will be habit and you will be able to continue to meditate on God’s Word day and night for the rest of your life.