Charles Stanley - The Power of Godly Meditation
How often do you pick up your Bible, you read a passage of Scripture, you lay it down and very shortly you've forgotten everything you read? Amen? Isn't that true? That's true a few of you. Let's be honest right up front. That's true, isn't it? Yes, it is. So, you read it and you've fulfilled your promise to maybe pray or to read the Bible all the way through in a given year. Or whatever it might be, whatever your goal is. And so, you have the assurance that God's going to bless you because you read His Word, which He will. But what about the application of what you read? When you read the Bible, do you apply the truth?
You say, "Well, sometimes I don't understand it". I understand that. But most of the time you understand at least of something of what He said to you. And if you ask Him, "Lord, speak to my heart", then He's going to lead you to a passage that He has something to say. Does that mean that you'll understand everything that you read? No, probably nobody can say, I understand every single thing I read.
And so, the whole issue of meditation of the Word of God is far more involved than most people think. Most people think that meditation means I read it quietly and then I go on my way. That's not what meditation is. Meditation is one of the most important things; that is, biblical meditation. Now there's an Eastern meditation that believes all kind of stuff. But we're talking about meditation upon God's Word, which I'll explain. When you read it, would you say that you meditate upon it, that is, you think about it?
You ask questions like, "Lord, how am I to apply this to my heart? Lord, what are you saying to me? Lord, is this a word of encouragement? Is this a warning? Am I to be careful? Am I to be sensitive to somebody around me? Am I to give something that I haven't thought about giving? Or, what are You saying to me"? In other words, meditation isn't just reading a passage and moving on. Meditation is thinking, asking, giving, praying, whatever God may be saying to you. And so, it involves far more than just reading it. It involves prayerful application. Lord, what are You saying to me personally?
I can't imagine anybody coming to church and hearing a whole sermon for thirty or forty minutes and saying, "God didn't say a thing to me", unless you didn't come in with an open heart. So, let's just think right now. Wherever you sit and whoever you are and wherever you are, why don't we just agree right now we're going to listen to God. We're going to believe that God's going to speak to us in this message. We're going to listen to Him and we're going to do our best to apply it to our heart, because I'm sure God has something to say to all of us.
So, the Scripture says in the hundred and fourth Psalm, "Let my meditation be pleasing to You, oh God. Let my meditation be pleasing to You". So that's what I want to talk about, the power of meditation in the life of the believer. So, I want you to turn to the hundred and nineteenth Psalm. Now I know what you're going to be thinking for a moment, so I'll get to this in a minute. You say, "Well, that was written thousands of years ago". Well, who had it written? Almighty God. Did He not know what was going on today? Yes, He did. So that none of us can say, "Well, you know, God doesn't speak today. He spoke long time ago, but not today". Yes, He does. Because He's given us His Word, He's preserved His Word so that every generation from the time He spoke it can hear it from someone. Or read it today or listen in some fashion.
So, this hundred and nineteenth Psalm, listen to what David is saying, beginning in verse ninety-seven. "O how I love Your law. It is my meditation all the day", which is David's way of saying, "I think about it all the day". "Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies", that's a promise. His commandments make us wiser than our enemies, "for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers", because you're listening to God, "for your testimonies are my meditation", that is, meditation I'm thinking about what God is saying to me, "I understand more than the aged".
In other words, age has nothing to do with understanding necessarily, "because I have observed Your precepts", that is, because I'm observing and attempting to do what You ask me to do, Lord, in this passage, I understand what You're saying. "I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your Word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste. Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth. From Your precepts I get understanding, therefore, I hate every false way". And look at this hundred and fifth verse, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". Let's say that one together. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path".
Now, if I really and truly believe that, I'm going to be in this Word. I'm going to be reading the Word of God and believing it and applying it to my heart. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". So, ask this question. If the Word of God is not a lamp to your feet, a light to your path, what is? I can tell you what is: The other stuff that people read. The other things they watch on television. The other things they hear people say. But he says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". All of us are following something in some fashion, to some degree to what we see and what we hear.
This is what makes our economy go. What you see, what you watch on television. If you listen and you watch, and you listen and you watch and next thing you know you've bought it because they have programmed your thinking into thinking you must have this product. You'll be more beautiful, you'll be richer, you'll be on and on they go with promises. And so, what happens? You go out and buy some. Isn't that true? That's true.
You go out and buy it because somebody said to you, "This is what'll happen to you. You'll be better looking. You'll feel better. You'll look like a million dollars. You'll prosper in your job. You'll get ahead of". In other words, on and on and on they go with promises from man that most of the time are not true. Now, when you come to the Word of God, which is all true. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. The direction I'm going in is going to be according to God's Word.
So, ask yourself the question, "Do I walk and do I talk and do I live according to the Word of the Living God? Am I more attune to my advertisement and propaganda on television than I am the Word of God"? They say you've got to have this and you've got to have that and you're more beautiful, you'll be a much more successful. Do you believe that, or you believe the Word of God? We're all believing something, right? We're all listening to somebody.
And we're all responding to something or somebody. And I'm simply saying to you, the Word of God is the most important book in the world. And the guidance from the Word of God is the most important guidance because, listen, you'll choose wise friends, you will not get into debt, and on we could go of the promises that God makes and the response you'll experience in your life, when the Word of God becomes your guidebook. Meditation is the process by which you and I learn to listen to God, apply these principles to our life and watch Him work. You can't read the Word of God, apply the principles of the Word of God to your life without them having an effect.
You say, "Well, how do you know that"? I'll tell you why, because the day you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the Holy Spirit came into your life to seal you as a child of God and to empower you, enable you, to teach you to believe the Word of God and therefore, direct your life. So, we have God's divine direction to every one of us. And somebody says, "Well, but that's not everybody". Well, who does He leave out? Only people who refuse to listen to Him. The Word of God is applied to your heart and my heart by the same Holy Spirit, but, the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to your life and my life according to the need of the moment. Not according to somebody else, according to the need at the moment.
So, the needs of the moment change all the time. God gives direction in every circumstance of life to those who are listening and believing what He says. Teach me Thy way, oh Lord, my God, that I may walk in it. So, meditation is your thinking about the Word. It's the application of the Word of God in your life to give you direction. And so, when people say, "I don't believe the Bible", here's what that's like. It's like being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, no compass, no map, nothing, in a sailboat or the, the oars that you had, you threw those away, and you finally tossed the sail away and there you are.
Where would you be, where would you go, what direction would you have for your life? You wouldn't have it. You'd float around till finally you sank or something happened to you. Many people are living without a guidebook. Many people are living without, without the guide. And many people are living their life out according to what the world says. That's why they miss the best part of life. So, I want you to listen carefully. What we just read is the promise: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". Now, what do we mean by meditation according to the Word of God? It's important enough that you write them down.
You may say, "Well, I'm not even a Christian". Write them down anyway because you may get saved by the time this message is over. And if not, some point you may. So, what we're talking about here, we're talking about what meditation is. First, it's focusing my heart on God and shutting out everything else. That's meditation. Not reading the, watch this carefully. Now don't get upset and don't get mad. Don't get angry. It isn't reading the Bible with a television set on. Unless you're reading what I'm preaching while you're watching. That's the difference. But it's not I'm going to do my devotions while I'm watching my favorite program. No. Meditation is shutting out everything else.
Think about this. You're talking to omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, Almighty God who loves you unconditionally. Why would you want to be listening to, watching to anything else when you are talking to Holy Almighty God who has over, who has power over all of your life? So, it's shutting out everything else. Secondly, it's more listening than talking. Meditation is more listening than talking. Lord, what are You saying? And in any given time, you may go through lot of emotions when you're talking to God as He brings things to your mind. Thirdly, it's the most important activity in the life of a follower of Jesus.
Now you may have been a Christian a short period of time and nobody's ever said that to you, but I want you to listen carefully. Meditation, reading, and we're going to talk about what that's involved, reading the Word of God, meditating upon the Word of God is the most important activity in your life because that's where you get clear direction about what to do, who to talk to, who to listen to, what to buy, what not to buy. Meditation, you're focused in on the One God, Jehovah God, who has the answer to every question you have. And secondly, who is there willing to give you direction and guidance in your life if you're willing to listen.
Now think about that. You don't have to make mistakes. I'm not saying you never will but, in other words, you shouldn't have to make any spiritual mistakes. And on your job, is God listening to you know, your vocation? Absolutely He is. When you trusted Him as your Savior, He became involved in every single area of your life. So, if you want the best, then you make meditation a priority in your life which says the most important thing I can do is listen to God, either through reading His Word or if God sends somebody to me who is giving me wisdom for my life, and that can be true at times, most important thing in your life.
Then I want you to turn to two passages of Scripture. Let's turn first of all to Matthew fourteen. And I'm sure you know these by heart, but I just want to emphasize them. Matthew fourteen, and you'll recall that Jesus has just fed the five thousand. And they've just about worn Him out talking to Him and imagine what He did. So, listen to this: "There were about five thousand men and women, besides children". And so, what happens? When He finished feeding everybody, "Immediately".
Now there's a reason for immediately. He was worn out physically speaking. "Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him", He didn't get in there with them, "go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away". He's says, "I've got to have some time by Myself". "After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself", to get away from it all, "to pray, and when it was evening, He was there alone". Jesus got tired. He had to be refreshed. Imagine if there were five thousand people plus children and so forth. Imagine what was going on in His mind and heart.
So He needed time to be refreshed. So do you. So do I. Jesus, who was the Son of God, who had all power, had that human part of Him that when He was tired and worn, to get away and not just to get away and take a break, but to go up in the mountain and do what? Went up in the mountain and prayed, separated Himself from them to pray, "And when it was evening, He was there alone". If meditation was important to Jesus, it's very important to us. It's where we get refreshed. It's where we get a good new sense of direction. God is always speaking to His children whether we are listening or not. But He's willing to give you direction in every area of your life.
And so, if you want to turn one more passage, just so you'll be familiar with them (Mark 1:35) and listen to what He says. "In the early morning, while it was still dark", cause He knew better than to wait till eight o'clock, "in the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, went away to a secluded place, and He was praying there". Think about this. Jesus, the Son of God, felt it necessary to spend time away from everybody and be alone with God. And so, the most important thing you and I can do for our life is spend time meditating.
You say, "Well, how long"? That's between you and God. But giving God at least some portion of your day to be alone with Him (shut everything else out), and just ask God to speak to your heart. You say, "Well, I don't know that God will speak to my heart". Why don't you think so? Maybe you have guilt in your life, sin in your life, and you think, "Well, God wouldn't speak to me". You may be the one He's really working on. So, you can't say God won't do this and He won't do that. You set aside, or you say, God, I just need You in my life. God is there to give direction for your life whether it's for confession of sin, repentance or just simply saying, "Lord, what do I do about this opportunity I have"?
Here are three choices. "Lord, I don't know which, what am I to do"? He's there to help you. So, that's what meditation's all about. It's the most important thing in your life. Think about this. Who else can direct you in such a way to live your life that you live it out the best? You live it out the fullest. You live out the happiest. You live it out for the most profitable. Who can direct you other than God? Nobody knows your life like God knows it. He knows why He created you. And He knows what purpose He has for you and your life. And what the Word of God demonstrates in this passage or all these passages and throughout the Scripture, He is willing and ready to give direction to those who are willing to listen.
And so, once you trusted Christ as your Savior, that opens the door. Until you trust Christ as your Savior, you have no promise that God will speak to you except to convict you of your sins. When you trust Him as your personal Savior, God begins to speak to your heart immediately. And so, we have the privilege of meditating upon the Word, receiving direction and divine guidance about any question, any situation, any circumstance we face. We have the promise of His assistance - ask and it shall be given you. If I need to know what to do here, He will direct me, whatever it might be.
So, when we learn to meditate, what will happen? It's a way of life that we live in relationship to God whereby meditation, waiting upon Him and having those times in our life we shut out everything and listen to Him. So what can you expect to happen? Jot them all down. First of all, it'll quieten your spirit. You're troubled. You come home late. The traffic was horrible. Everybody around you was sort of you know saying things and doing things that you didn't like or you didn't feel comfortable on your job. Quieten your spirit. That is, meditation will calm you down.
When you get before God and say, "Lord, You know what a day I've had", and so forth. Or maybe you had some bad news, whatever it might be, God will quieten your spirit. He's promised that. Secondly, He will enlighten your mind to think the way He thinks about what concerns you. When you begin to think the way God thinks about what concerns you, there is an immediate sense of, or degree of peace, because your heavenly Father has said to you and shown you, made it known to you, "I understand and I know what to do. And I'll direct you, and I'll give you guidance. So, don't worry, you trust Me. Don't worry, just trust Me".
The third thing that'll happen is it'll increase your energy. You say, "What's that got to do with all"? Everything. And there have been many times when I look back over the years that I'd wake up on Sunday morning and just get on my knees and say, God, You're going to have to help me, Lord. I'm not going to be able to preach, You have to help me. But I didn't have an associate pastor, and so it was me or nobody. And they're expecting it and I just, I could hardly get out of the bed. At some point between there at that moment and the right time, God get me up, get me dressed, get me ready. Looking over the message, get me excited and preach like nothing ever happened. I can tell you, God knows how to give us the kind of energy we need because He knows what the need is.
Now, watch this, My God will meet all of your needs according to His riches in glory, and certainly His timing. What I want you to see is God's a personal God. He's not just something up in heaven somewhere, God is an intimate personal being who the moment you received Christ as your Savior, He entered your heart through the Holy Spirit. He promised it. And one of the things He promises is to give direction and peace and quietness and godliness in our heart when we're willing to listen to Him.
And so, there's going to be an energy. He knows when we're worn out. And He knows when we need divine energy. And one of the wonderful things about God is, He knows what you need and He's unlimited to give you exactly and everything you need, whatever you're going through in life. But meditation just means you and God have a relationship more intimate than a relationship between a husband and a wife. Because with God, everything is right. You'll always have the truth. You'll always know what to do when you're listening to Him and waiting upon Him and obeying Him. You'll always do the right thing. At least, you have the capacity to.
Now you can disobey Him, but He will give you wisdom to know exactly what's right. He will increase your energy. You'll be able to do things otherwise you couldn't do. I've preached at times when every cell of my body was crying out, no, no, no, no, no. God knows what you need. He knows when you need it, how much you need it, why you need it so that every day you should spend a little time talking to Him, listening to Him. Don't do all the talking. You can't listen if you're doing all the talking.
And I've heard a few people pray, that's as far as I'm going with that. I've heard a few people pray. God didn't have a chance to say a thing because soon as they finished praying, they're up and gone. I'm saying God loves you. Give Him time to express that love, whatever that love is needed in your life. Don't if you're waiting for somebody to cheer you up, sometimes you're not going to find anybody. God's always there. And listen, He knows exactly what you need. When you come to Him and say, "Lord, You know that I'm needy today. I don't exactly know everything I need but I'm just needy".
You don't have to define your need to God. He knows exactly what you need. He knows exactly how to fulfill that need. He's a wonderful God. And then, think about this also. Meditation purifies your heart. What do I mean by that? Simply this: The Holy Spirit within you will expose, expose sin in your heart. You think, "Well, God, nothing's working right". God knows why it's not. And here's what we do. Watch this. We call our friends. We call our friends whom we know will agree with us. Who will feel sorry for us. "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry you're not doing good".
And so, we love to be pitied. And we love to hear our friends tell us, "Well, you're a Christian and certainly God", on and on and on we go. No. God knows how to purify our heart. We need to come to Him saying, "Lord, here I am. I don't understand why this is going on in my life", or "Lord, I do understand and I'm needy. I need You to help me, Lord". And He will show you whatever there is going on in your life that should not be. He will always point you in the right direction. And the right direction is first of all to Him, to ask Him, "Lord, forgive me of my sin if that's an issue. Show me exactly what to do".
This is why He says, "If we confess our sins", listen to these words, "Faithful and just to forgive us of our sins", and to do what? Cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That's a promise we have. And when I think about how He purifies our heart, He promises unmistakably if we, confession means I agree with Him. "Lord, I, here's something in my life's not right". If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just. That means yes, He will. Every time? Every time. "But you don't know what I've done". I know this. When Jesus went to the cross that made it possible for God to say if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And so, purifies our heart. It also enlarges our view of God. When you're praying and you're meditating upon the Lord and you're listening to Him and you're reading the Word, what happens? You get this enlarged view of who God is. I don't mean size, I'm talking about capacity of a loving God who's able to forgive you.
And how many times have I heard people pray when we talk together and they say, "Well, you know what? I don't even deserve forgiveness". Surely you don't, nobody does. It's not a matter of deserving. It's a matter of God exposing our heart and helping us to see what's there and enlarging our view of God. In other words, when you get down to pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and you pray and pray and nothing happens. Then don't look around somewhere else. Look right here, because there's something going on in your heart that's not right.
Well, let me give you some assurance. It won't take you long to find out if you ask Him, "Lord, what is it in my life that's holding me back? What's in my life that's causing me not to have answered prayer? Lord, why am I so miserable? Why is nothing please me? God, why am I in such a mess"? He'll show you, if you're willing to listen. Because remember this, that every act of God to His children is an expression of the love of God. Even the chastisement is an act of love from God.
So, what happens is when you meditate upon His Word, it enlarges your view of God. You begin to see things about God that you didn't, before you, in other words, how could, how could God be interested in this? How many times have I heard people say, "Well", when I've said to them well, if you want direction, ask God. "Well, God's not interested". Yes, He is. You're spending money, God's interested. You're living in sin or sinning against, in other words, go, listen, from A to Z in the alphabet, God is interested.
So when you say, "Well, God couldn't be interested in me". Yes, He is. He created you. He created you. You have a soul. You're going to spend eternity somewhere no matter how long or how short life is. In other words, is God interested in you, personally? Yes! He knows the day you were born and you, before you were going to be born. He knows the day and the moment when the clock ticks your last second - you're gone. Does He already know that? Yes, He does. He's this awesome, wonderful Holy God who has our best interest at heart, and the best way to live your life is to live it and make meditation, your relationship with Him, a vital part of your life.
Listen, it determines everything. It determines everything. Either I'm going to live a life of obedience or not. I can explain it away. "Well, you know, I didn't have this". Listen, if somebody says, "Well, I just didn't have the privileges other people had". Forget it. I didn't have any privileges either.
My mom and I lived in one room for a while. Before I went to college, I had no money. I had seventy-five dollars and I told somebody I was going to college. How much money do you have? I have seventy-five dollars. Well, they said, "You can't go to college on seventy-five dollars". What they didn't know is a few months later, I'm standing on the street corner. A pastor that I hardly knew walks by and as a result of me meeting him, gets me a four-year scholarship University of Richmond.
Don't underestimate God. I didn't even know this pastor. I'd just started to that church a few months before that. Don't underestimate God. Don't think about, "Well, when I look back and I think God, I had nothing to do with it. I just told my friend what I needed. And my friend had to tell the pastor and the pastor had to tell somebody else. And finally, everything I needed, Lord, You provided". Was that an accident? No. Was it an answer to my prayer? Yes. Because I'd been praying and praying, "God, I know You've called me to preach, but how am I going, how am I going to school"?
Here's what I want you to see. God is not only perfectly and eternally interested in your life and every aspect of it, He can handle it. All He wants you to do is to be willing to spend time with Him listen, how can you know what to do without God? You may guess a few things, but you'll make wrong decisions in your life and. Think about people who have made wrong decisions and come to me crying and weeping and saying, "You tried to tell me, but I didn't listen".
Yeah, God tried to tell you and you didn't listen. This is the kind of awesome God, in other words, here's what happens. We get a whole different perspective of God when we start meditating upon His Word. Because here's what you'll discover. You can't bring up anything God doesn't already know. He knows everything. In other words, whatever you bring up to Him, He doesn't have to say, "I'll think about it. Mmmm". That's not God. God instantly has an answer because He had an answer before you asked Him. But He oftentimes will wait until we're wise enough to acknowledge we don't have the answer and we do need Him and need His direction.
Purifies your heart. Enlarges your view of God. Increases your love for God. Here's what happens. When you read the Word of God and you get it in your heart and you read such, I think for example, and this probably stirred up more love for God. I believed Him but I think this verse probably stirred up more love for God for me than any other one. When Joshua's asking for direction and here God had told him he was to take Moses's place, and he had a lot of questions, and here's what He said to him, "Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous? Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go".
He didn't tell him, He didn't say, "Well, look, we're going to knock down a Jericho wall". No, here's what He said: "Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go". That verse of Scripture, before I preached my first sermon. And naturally, I was a little bit uptight. In fact, I was probably very uptight. And it was in my home church and nobody believes you when you're a kid and, and you say God's called you to preach. But I had a chance to preach.
My mother came in the bedroom and she says, "I want you to read this verse". That verse of Scripture gave me the courage and the realization it didn't make any difference how well I did or didn't do, or what they thought of me or not. God said, "Be strong and of a good courage". He promised to help me through this. And I'm saying to you here's the key to meditation.
If you will meditate upon the Word of God, there will be times that arise in your life, or situations and circumstances that God will take you back to a passage that you read and you say, "Yes, Lord. Thank You, thank You, thank You". Because at that moment you shut out everything else, you remembered or listened and read again what God said to you and your faith skyrockets. Meditation is a concentration upon God. We believe what He says. We expect Him in any moment of our life whatever we need, He's going to be there to give direction for our life.
You say, "Well, but suppose I'm living in sin"? Well, here's what'll happen. You get down and you say, "Lord, I know I haven't been doing what I ought to do, but I need some direction". And God says, "Hmmm". God's not promised to answer our petitions about anything as long as I'm living in willful, known disobedience to God. You say, "Well, doesn't He know all about"? Yes, He does. Think about this. If God let us get by with living in sin, you know what we would do? We'd keep sinning. So, what does He do? He shuts heaven down until we're willing to submit to His will, until we're willing to listen to Him and do first of all what's necessary, be confessing of that, repenting of it, and saying, "God, okay, I'm just laying my life before You and I'm going to trust You".
He's a loving God. Willing to help us at any moment in our life. Then of course, it will increase our sensitivity to the authority and power of God. Meditation will increase our, in other words, we'll become more and more aware of what? Of His authority and power in our life. I wouldn't dare walk up here on a Sunday morning and open the Word of God and propose to preach a message unless I knew it was all of God and none of me. This is why pride is so devastating. Pride says I can do it. Pride is devastating in any area of life, pride is devastating. It's humility, it's the awareness that we need Him, and it's the awareness that being in need, my God shall supply all, not most of, all your needs according to His riches in glory, means according to what He possesses.
A person is foolish not to meditate upon God. It's the key to everything. Then, strengthens our faith. When you watch God answer your prayer, you watch when everything else is looking bad, everything else is stormy, it looks no other way. And I can think of times, many times in my life when I thought, "God, only You can handle this". Very critical times, God, only You can handle this but I'm trusting You. Listen, He's willing to come to your rescue in any situation if you're walking in His will. He's willing to. Why? Because it gives Him glory and honor.
You say, "God, only You can do this". You've glorified God in expecting and then anticipating and then watching God do His work in whatever situation you're faced with. And one other thing here. Strengthen your faith, naturally. And it'll increase your awareness of the presence of God. Now nothing does that any more than meditation. When you set aside time to read the Word of God and talk to Him, what does it do? It increases your awareness of His presence and the possibilities.
And you look at the Scriptures and how did God work in David's life? How did He work in Joshua's life? You go right through the Word of God. And then the last one I would say is it infuses us with joy. When you have spent time meditating upon the Word, reading the Word and listening to Him, watching Him work in your life, what happens? There's a joy that's there. Why is there such a joy? Because you have this awesome sense of awareness that whatever happens, God's in control. If I should ask you do you believe God is in control of your life, what would you say? Well, about ten of you would.
Now, I'm glad you didn't answer that because that means a lot of you are not sure. So, let me ask you this. You don't have to say anything. I won't get too personal. If God's not in control of your life, who is? Who is? Is your husband? Is your wife? Or your children? Or your parents? Or your boss? Or the doctor? In other words, we can go right down the line. If God's not in charge, then who is? So that's why I take the time to go through all these simple points. Because whatever else in life you face, you will face it depending upon the influence or your response to the time you gave God in meditation.
You say, "Well, I just don't have time for it". Then you know what? You reap the results. And the result is confusion, indebtedness, lack of love, sickness, in other words, go right down the line of all the things that happen to people and most of the time you say, "Well, when's the last time you talked to God? I don't talk to God".
So, I want to say this to you: The most important event in your life in any given moment, at any time since the moment you're saved, is your time you spend alone with God either reading His Word or just talking to Him. It's very important to be reading the Word of God. In other words, nothing is so important as shutting the world out. You and God get alone. In other words, it's like this. Physically, it's like you getting in this closet. They've already put a strip on the bottom of the door. There's no light. You're in pitch-black darkness, absolute pitch-black darkness.
When you learn to meditate upon God, it's like being in this room, total light. God opens the door and shows you things you won't see any other way. You know what the issue is? Do I value my relationship with God enough to spend time with Him than I'm spending doing something else or listen to something else or watching something else? God is so awesome. And the truth is there are lots of times I feel totally inadequate to tell you how awesome God is.
I can best do that by giving you one illustration after the other of how God works in our life. Listen, God's not prejudiced, and He does not play favorites. You say, "Well pastor, this, that, and the other". No, no, no, no, no. Being a pastor has nothing to do with this. What has to do with it is it's the truth of God's Word applicable and available to every single person. Godly meditation is a powerful, fruitful, exciting habit that we should develop because it changes everything. Amen?
Father, we love You and praise You, not because of what You do, just because of who You are. And I pray that You'll sink this message into the heart and life of every person who hears it today, now, tomorrow, and years to come. It is the truth. It is the most important area of our life, because it determines everything else. Make these truths crystal clear. We love You and we praise You. And I pray God make this message stick, cement it, glue it, fasten it, Father in every heart who hears it. In Jesus's name, amen.