Psalm 119 is possibly my favorite chapter in all of the Bible. The Psalm is full of beautiful allegory and language that washes over my heart with a new love for God and His Word every time. Recently, I began reading a commentary on Psalm 119 by Charles Bridges (highly recommend) and was struck by what Bridges had to say about verse 15 which says "I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways." Here is what Bridges said:
"Our rejoicing in the testimonies of God will naturally flow in a habitual meditation in them. The thoughts follow the affections... But this meditation not only includes the stated times of thought, but the train of holy thoughts, that pass through the mind during the busy hours of the day. This maintains an habitual flow of spiritual desires, and excites the flame of love within, till at length the Psalmist's resolution becomes the inwrought habit of our minds."
What is Bridges talking about? He is talking about Godward thinking in everyday life. Notice that he says a habitual meditation on the Scripture is not something that should happen at set times in the day (though that is helpful and certainly recommended), but that even in the "busy hours of the day" holy thoughts, as Bridges calls them, should pass through the mind.
This is convicting.
The reason being that in the busiest hours of the day, I often fail to have Godward thinking. In fact, sometimes my thinking in the busiest hours of the day can have a sinful bent to it. Rather its anxiety, a bad attitude because I have so much to do, or just plain worry because I'm not sure how I'm going to complete all I have to do, my thinking cannot be described as Godward. So how are you and I to have Godward thinking in the everyday life? Three things...
1. Memorize the Bible
We need to do this. We cannot have our minds renewed without it. We cannot be a strong tree planted by streams of flowing water (Psalm 1) without this. So let's do it. Find an app (Fighter Verse, Memverse, etc.), write a passage down on a note card, memorize a whole book like Philippians, Colossians, or 1 John, but whatever you do, memorize the Bible. For when we do, the Spirit brings to memory His Word in our minds when we need it most.
2. Pray the Bible
Every time you read the Bible you should be praying the Bible. I have referenced it before, but Donald Whitney's book Praying the Bible is so helpful in this regard. When we pray the Bible, the Spirit applies it to our lives and minds. We remember it easier. How much Scripture goes in and out of the mind without ever reaching the heart through prayer?
3. Study the Bible
Godward thinking is produced on the ground of diligent, thoughtful study. Study the Bible. Buy a Bible reference book or commentary to help guide you into the depths of the Bible. I personally love the Geneva Bible Commentary series by Banner of Truth.
Memorize, pray, and study the Bible. Let's trust God and see Him flood our minds with great thoughts of Him by committing ourselves to these things.
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.