Tip #2 – Chew your Cud

One of the ways we can increase our awareness of God’s voice is by meditating on His Word. We read in Joshua 1:8, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

What is biblical meditation? The Hebrew word hagah used in this verse literally means to speak to oneself, as if muttering. It can also be translated to ponder, muse, imagine, or meditate. One pastor I know used the image of a cow “chewing her cud” (grass=God’s Word; cow=you) to describe the practice of biblical meditation.

Note: Biblical meditation is different from transcendental meditation, yoga, and other practices steeped in Eastern religion or New Age mysticism that God commands us to avoid. Biblical meditation is not the clearing of the mind for uniting with cosmic forces, but rather focusing intently upon and savouring the richness and truth of God’s Word. As we do this, we tune our spiritual ears to hear God through his Word.

Steps to help you meditate:

  • Ask God to speak to you through His Word
  • If you are new to the practice of biblical meditation, start with the book of Psalms
  • Slowly read a verse or short passage aloud
  • Read the verse, again, several times emphasizing different words each time with your voice.
  • As you read, listen for a word or phrase that stands out to you more than the others
  • Pause and ponder the meaning and richness of that word or phrase
  • Continue this practice throughout the passage
  • Ask God what he wants to show you or speak to you through these words or phrases
  • Thank God for what he reveals and speaks to you