“It was when I walked alone with God that I learned the lessons He would teach. I set aside a time and a place to meet Him, and I have never been disappointed.” Oswald J. Smith wrote those words when he described what he called his “morning watch.” Oh, how I want to know my Lord better! I want to feel as close to Him as possible. I want to be guided by Him, molded by Him, and secure in my relationship with Him. I don’t want to be guilty of just going through the motions or coasting through Christianity. I don’t want to have a faith that’s inherited or tied to associations. I don’t want to have to wonder if my religion is genuine, personal, in my soul through and through. How can I have the peace that comes from knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be in my faith, and in my relationship with God?
“This Book of Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” Joshua 1:8.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1a,2).
“I will meditate on Your precepts and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word” (Psalm 119:15,16).
“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
If I want to be sure I’m doing all God wants me to, I must meditate in His Word. If I want to rejoice in my relationship with Him, and have His approval, I will meditate on His Word. Combining these verses with the definitions of “meditate” from Merriam-Webster.com, here’s how I can have a confident, meaningful faith (Romans 10:17):
- Engage in contemplation or reflection of the Word day and night
- Engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness of the Word
- Focus my thoughts on the Word so I don’t forget what it says
- Plan or project in my mind what I find in the Word
So I need a “morning watch” with God. I think it must be separate from time spent preparing to teach Bible classes, or writing articles or lessons. It needs to be deliberate, one-on-one time with the Father for the sole purpose of letting His Word instruct and strengthen me for the day. Meditation. To be sure of my faith, I can “receive the Word with all readiness, and search the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). A practical way to meditate on God’s Word is to grab a clean spiral notebook and pen, and use the S.O.A.P. method.
S- “Scripture”- Jot down your Scripture text, and read it through a few times.
O- “Observations”- Write down all observations you can make about the text. Don’t try to figure out what it means yet. Just observe what it says, word by word.
A- “Application”- Write down what you learned, and how your life will be different because of it. Is there an action to take? A change to make? Did you learn something different from what you’ve always been taught?
P- “Prayer”- Pray about what you read and your understanding of it. Ask God to help you absorb, remember, and put into practice His will.
“Into the will of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go,
Praying for grace to follow, seeking His way to know;
Bowing in full surrender, low at His blessed feet,
Bidding Him take, break me and make,
Till I am molded, complete.”
(Oswald J. Smith, 1890-1986)
Prayer for Today: May time in Your Word be a precious, daily priority in my life.