A third aspect of Meditation is to apply scripture to our daily experience. I touched on this briefly when I encouraged you to engage with scripture. As we grow in our understanding of who God is and who we are and all that was done to bring us to peace with God through Christ, we realize salvation has implications for everyday life. Scripture has implications for day-to-day choices.
The Bible teaches that God not only freed us from the penalty of our sin through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, but that he also freed us from the power and bondage of our sin. As I study and meditate on God’s word, his Spirit works to reveal the places in my life where I am still bound by sin – where I still cling to heart-idols and live disobediently. His Spirit never condemns (there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Romans 8:1), but he does convict. He does shine the truth of scripture into the things that enter my day to reveal hidden sin.
Meditating on scripture provides opportunity to apply God’s word to the hidden parts of my day. Meditating on scripture helps me bring God’s word to laundry.
I can meditate on scripture and walk away with a plan for folding clothes, and I don’t mean I got distracted during my quiet time and ended up scheduling laundry. When I take time to really think about scripture and what it is saying about my heart, it will affect me when I fold laundry. It might look like finding thankfulness as I fold clothes because I am reminded of God’s provision – just like I read about this morning in Exodus. Or maybe I discover laundry folding is a great time to pray for my family – reminded of the scripture I heard in the sermon on Sunday about redeeming the time. Or maybe laundry turns out to be the perfect time to hide God’s word in my heart. Or to practice self-control (that pesky fruit of the Spirit no one likes to talk about… love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness are so much more appealing than self-control and patience, aren’t they?).
The point is, meditating on scripture should impact how we live our lives, but it won’t if we don’t take time to think through the difference between what God is calling us to do and what we are actually doing. We can’t put off the old self and put on the new one (Ephesians 4:22-24) if we don’t take time to renew our minds and compare our way of interacting with life to Christ’s righteousness.
How does what I am learning about God’s character and nature change my response when my child spills their milk? Or when God answers yes to a long-time prayer?
How does understanding my character and nature in light of scripture change my desire to submit to my husband? Or my attitude when traffic makes me late?
How does the grace God extends to me change my interactions with people who sin against me?
As I take scripture into my life and my life back to scripture, I begin to apply God’s word to the tiny spaces in my heart that would otherwise remain untouched by the counsel of God. Scripture reveals where I harbor idols and begs me to cast them down. Meditating on scripture by looking for the specific, little ways my heart rebels, is one of the ways God continues to release me from the bondage of sin.