Devotional

Meditating day and night doesn’t happen overnight

Keep pressing on. You’re doing well. God will continue to grow you. God is faithful to continue working in your life.

Sometimes we all need a helpful encouragement, like the ones above. Especially on days like today, when I’m struck by a feeling of hopelessness while looking at the godly men and women around me, who have attained to some “expert level” of godliness and maturity, seemingly just out of my own reach.

“I’ll never be like that,” I tell myself. The voices of doubt are especially loud after moments of stumbling, days of laziness with the spiritual disciplines, or during trials when I doubt God’s lovingkindness. I’ve been a Christian for many years and yet, moments of doubt remain.

On your law I meditate day and night

Today, I’m not sure if I’ll ever confidently say “on your law, I meditate day and night” with the psalmist. (Psalm 1:2) I’m not sure if I’ve faithfully meditated for half an hour, let alone a full 24 hours. This verse is often far from encouraging — it is condemning!

“You shall meditate on [this Book of the Law]day and night”  (Joshua 1:8)

“… and on his law he meditates day and night.”  (Psalm 1:2)

But I can confidently say that God is faithful. He began a good work in me will faithfully author it until the end (Phil. 1:6). That promise of bringing His work to completion in me includes developing the spiritual disciplines of reading and savoring His Word as well as being transformed by it into the same image (of Christ) from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18). This transformation is so certain that Paul puts our glorification in past tense:

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Rom. 8:29-30)

A journey to collect the fruit of sanctification

If we are in Christ, then we are all at the same point along that golden, unbreakable chain in Romans 8. We are justified. We are waiting for glorification. We are eagerly waiting for the day of adoption as sons and daughters, the moment when we are freed from this body of death, in which sin resides (Rom. 8:23; 7:24).

After justification, we are set from sin in order to become slaves of God: obedient to His commands. Why? The fruit of this justification is sanctification. Its end is life, eternal life with the Eternal One.

Day by day, we are being sanctified by the Spirit until That Day.

Take heart, for God is faithful

Take heart, brethren. At the moment you may be feeling disheartened by your lack of spiritual growth. But have you taken time to reflect on God’s faithfulness? Here’s an example from my own life.

  • 1 Peter chapter 1
  • 2 Corinthians chapter 4
  • Romans chapter 8

The list of Biblical references above warms my soul. So much so, I don’t have to turn the pages in my Bible to picture the words on the page. I know these passages in my soul. I can meditate on them without a Bible in my hands. I know where they are in my Bible, even down to the placement of the sentence on the page.

– I don’t see Jesus but I love him, with inexpressible joy (1 Peter 1)
– God let light a shine out of the darkness in my heart (2 Cor. 4)
– God works everything in my life for my good and for His glory (Rom. 8:28)

Those truths were not in the meditations of my heart a few years ago. God is faithful. I may not be able to meditate day and night, but He is faithful to grow me in meditations day by day. I will keep pressing on until I have taken the full counsel of God and instructed my own heart in its wisdom (Acts 20:27 ; Phil. 3:13-14).

Take stock of the meditations of your heart today. Thank God and praise God for the ways He has been faithful to cause an increase in loving meditations and opening the eyes of your heart to see His glories and excellencies!

That didn’t happen overnight.