A Call for More Meditation…
Thoughts to encourage our love for Jesus
10 All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, 11 in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life. 12 I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. 13 Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. 14 So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above. Philippians 3:10-14 (TEV)
Clearly we must begin to produce better Christians. We must insist on New Testament sainthood for our converts, nothing less; and we must lead them into a state of heart purity, fiery love, separation from the world and poured-out devotion to the Person of Christ. Only in this way can the low level of spirituality be raised again to where it should be in the light of the Scriptures and of eternal values.
Many books, even good ones, have the same effect on the student. So he is like the man who dwells everywhere and therefore dwells nowhere. Just as in human society we don’t enjoy the fellowship of every friend every day, but only of a few chosen ones, so we ought to do in our studies.”
There are a lot of books out there, very good books. There are some bad ones as well.
But as one who has more than my fair share of them, if I read through them quickly, I often don’t get to use the information processed in my life. I just gain the knowledge, store it somewhere in the catacombs of my mind, and move on to the next text.
It takes time, and effort to use what we read, to let it sink deeply into our hearts and souls.
Looking at Luther’s words and Tozer’s, I wonder if there is a connection between the man who reads too many books and not growing any deeper in our faith. That we move from this book to that, like a bee collecting and disbursing
pollen from one flower to the next. We look for this answer, then that, and then the next. And beyond our libraries, we now have podcasts, and blogs, and tweets, and we take in so much, we take in nothing.
As I looked at my new textbooks, as I consider what I am reading for devotional time (including Luther and Tozer), as I look at a small stack of books I have been given to read, I am changing my mind about how to approach them.
Usually, I try to consider priorities, which things do I have to read, which will give me options, and then try to speed read through the highest priorities. What if instead going for quantity of quality, I chose one or two
books to savor, to truly get into and digest. Then helping my people do the same…. With the scriptures and with whatever else we are reading. To really think through and meditate on the scripture passage… to ask the hard questions about what it presents to us, and to take the time to rejoice…
Perhaps it is time to savor what we take in more… to press on to reach what God is telling us…that we may answer God’s call through Jesus.
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 54: Table Talk, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 54 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 179.