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Wednesday Devotional: Meditating on God's Ways (new series)

Psalm 63: 6; Psalm 119: 15

My favorite psalm is Psalm 63, David's poetry about seeking God. There's a curious phrase in verse 6, reading "I meditate on you in the watches of the night." It's similar to Psalm 119: 15:

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

We can wonder about what it means to "meditate." Today, meditation has a different meaning than it meant to David. I've heard Christian meditation described in a couple of ways.

Thomas Watson, in his 17th century book Heaven Taken by Storm, described meditation as “an holy exercise of the mind, whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance, and do seriously ponder upon them, and apply them to our selves.”

Also, Richard Foster, in his Renovare Bible commentary, described meditation as "prayerful rumination upon God, His Word and his world." Rumination is further defined as "deep or considered thought about something." Basically, meditation is deep thinking mixed with prayer.

Over the next several Wednesdays, I invite you to meditate on God and His ways. Each Wednesday, I will propose a different thought upon which to think deeply, to consider, to ruminate.

For this week, my suggestion is to meditate on God's "opposite ways." Have you ever heard of Opposite Day? Children delight in this day, when you say the opposite of what you mean, or generally try to do things that are opposite the normal.

God's ways are opposite the normal of our world. I feel like we often try to shoehorn God into the world's ways, but God's ways and the world's ways are incompatible.

Consider the following opposite ways and their accompanying verses:

  • When we seem to be cursed, Jesus says we're actually blessed (Matthew 5: 1-12).

  • When we are weak, God is strong, as His power is perfected in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12: 9)

  • The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. (Matthew 20: 16)

  • The rich are in special danger, as they face difficulties in entering the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24, Luke 12: 13-21).

As you meditate on these verses and these opposite ways, here are some questions you can explore:

  • What other opposite ways can I think of?

  • Why does God stand opposite of the world? Why doesn't the world reflect these values?

  • What do these opposite ways mean to me, in my faith journey? What do I need to change to align with them?

  • Who needs to hear such Biblical messages today?

Even if you don't stop down this instant for deep thinking, please keep this devotional in mind. Circle back to it during your prayer time, during your down time, during your travel time, or even during "the watches of the night."

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