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Meditation - The Key To Listening

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2021 12:00 am

Meditation - The Key To Listening

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 29, 2021 12:00 am

We receive encouragement and strength when we listen to God.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, November 29th. Biblical meditation is the key to listening to God and understanding His guidance.

Today's podcast begins a series titled, Meditation, the Power of Silence. If I'm going to be a follower of Jesus Christ, then I have to know where to go. And in order to know where to go, I have to be able to listen to Him. And if I'm going to listen to Him, I have to learn how to listen to Him. And a part of learning to listen is meditation. Being able to meditate upon Him and upon His Word and focus upon Him in such a way that God is able to do something in my life that conforms me to His likeness. Now when we think about meditation today, the Easterners have sort of taken that word and put another connotation on it when in the Scriptures, meditating upon God was a lifestyle for God's servants and His saints.

Today in meditation, people think about yoga and all the rest. But God's people have probably gotten away from one of the most essential elements in the Christian life if you and I are going to be men and women of God. So I want us to look at a passage of Scripture because David, the one man that God said, here's a man after my own heart. If you look at his life, you think, a man after your own heart? Look at all the things he did that were wrong, that were evil. Here he is committing, not only telling lies and committing murder and adultery and all the rest, and God said, here's a man after my own heart.

A man who knew how to meditate upon God. So I want you to turn, if you will, to 2 Samuel. 2 Samuel is an event in the life of David. And if you'll notice in the seventh chapter where he is at this point, and then we'll read a little later on in the chapter. The Scripture says in 2 Samuel chapter 7, Now it came about when the king, that is David, lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all of his enemies. Therefore the wars were over, the battles had been fought, he had won, and now he's resting.

He's taking it a little easy. And so Nathan came to him and they had a discussion about several things. And then, if you'll notice, it says in verse 8, Now therefore, thus you shall say, God is speaking to Nathan now, you shall say to my servant David, thus says the Lord of hosts. And then he tells him what he wants him to tell David.

So to give us a little background, I want to read this. He said, I took you, I want you to tell him this now. Tell him, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you've gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. Now listen, when you and I think of great biblical characters, who's always in the crowd?

David. I will also appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more or formerly. Even from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and I will give you rest from all your enemies, the Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers when you die, I will raise up your descendants, your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of the kingdom forever, speaking of Solomon. I will be a father to him and will be, and he will be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men.

But my loving kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever, and your throne shall be established forever in accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David." So with that background in mind, here Nathan, who is a friend to David and who listens to God and gives him words of instruction and words of comfort and assurance, he's spoken to David these words. Then I want you to notice what this eighteenth verse says.

Then David the king went in and sat down before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house that thou hast brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in thine eyes, that is, the great things that you've done to me. He says, They were great to me, but they were insignificant in your eyes, that is, they didn't test your power or your wisdom. He says, O Lord God, for thou hast spoken also of the house of thy servant concerning the distant future.

And this is the custom of man, O Lord God. And again, what more can David say to thee? For thou knowest thy servant, O Lord God. For the sake of thy word and according to thine own heart, thou hast done all this greatness to let thy servant know, but this reason thou art great, O Lord God. But there is none like thee and there is no God beside thee according to all that we've heard with our ears.

And on he goes. You know what David's doing? David is meditating upon the Lord and of course you can see who is at the center of his attention.

What is it? He is meditating upon the Lord God. Now, David knew how to live in touch with God, not just get in touch with God. He knew how to live in touch with God.

He knew how to relate to him. God wasn't someone who was up yonder to David. God was someone in whose presence he walked and lived and talked and felt and wondered and discovered and investigated. He was continually seeking to know God. All through these Psalms, David, what is he doing? He's expressing who God is to him.

How did he get to that point to be able to say that? Because he had so focused his attention upon God. O Lord God, he says verse after verse. He'd so focused his attention upon God to discover who he was and what he was like that meditating upon him in the night watches upon his bed.

Thinking about him as he walked along in life, meditation was a vital part of his life. Here's the man about whom God said, this is a man after my own heart, not that a man who is perfect, not a man who always obeys, not a man who is always righteous and holy, but a man who's after my heart, a man who strives, a man who fails, a man who succeeds and fails and succeeds and fails, defeated in battle, victorious in battle, defeated in his personal life, victorious in his personal life. God says, here's a man after my own heart. What makes us men and women after the heart of God?

I'll tell you what it is. Look, if you will, in verse 60, chapter 63, verse 1. O God, thou art my God. I shall seek thee earnestly. My soul thirsts for thee.

My flesh yearns for thee. You know what makes men about whom God can say and women about whom God can say, a man after my own heart, a woman after my own heart, those who have a deep yearning, hungering, thirsting, insatiable, never fulfilling, and yet ever fulfilling desire for God, that governs their schedule, that governs their thought life, that governs what they do and how they expend their time and their energies in life. And the priority around which everything else revolves is their personal relationship to God. You don't just automatically know how to meditate upon God. And I want to say this again. I'd say it a hundred times if it would make a difference. You and I will never be able to live godly in Christ Jesus until we learn to listen to Him, and learning to listen to Him means I must learn to meditate upon Him.

So I want to ask you a couple of questions. When's the last time by yourself you spent 30 minutes, no body, no telephone, no television, no magazine, no nothing, just you and God and His Word? You see, we read these Psalms and say, what an insight David had into God.

You know why? Because this man knew how to listen to this, live in touch with Him, not get in touch with Him, live in touch with Him moment by moment, day by day. When the Bible says in this eighteenth verse, then David the king went in and sat before the Lord. I want to tell you, he didn't go in and sit in some king's chair very pious before God as the king.

Here's what that meant. It means that David sat before the Lord in reverence before Almighty God. Here's the man who is meditating upon God, and he was sitting in that position talking to the Father, listening to Him, meditating upon God.

Now there are four things I want to say about how he did it because I simply want you to walk away with one thing in mind. First of all, you and I will never be what God wants us to be until we learn this simple principle. You can't be.

Forget it, it's not going to happen. I don't care how well you may do anything else in life until you and I make this a priority in our life and until we learn to meditate upon Him. And listen to this. Learn to be satisfied meditating upon Him. Listen, the Bible says delight yourself in the Lord and He'll give you the desires of your heart. Well, how in the world are you going to delight yourself in the Lord? It takes time to delight yourself in the Lord. We're talking about feasting, hungering, thirsting, meditating, absorbing, giving of ourselves, thinking about, talking to, listening to Almighty God. So, there are four things.

I want you to jot down these simple four things and I don't think you'll forget them. Here's what David did when he meditated upon God. The first thing he would do is that he reviewed the past. Listen to what he says in this passage. Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house that you have brought me this far? Here he is now sitting before the Lord and asking the Lord, Lord, who am I? Who am I, Lord, that you have brought me this far? And what in the world was he talking about?

Here's what he was thinking about. Because you see, Nathan just got through telling him, he said, now you tell him, you tell him, remember, I took you from the sheep, from the pasture. Now, one of the best ways to keep yourself humble before God is to remember where you came from. Now, I don't mean you have to go back through your whole life every time you get on your face before God and kneel before Him, but I'll tell you one thing. There is something about reverencing God to the point that you humble yourself before Him and bow your knees before Him at least once every day. That will profit you and you say, well, how will that profit me?

I don't even know that I can tell you that. I just know that in the day in which you and I live, the irreverence for God and an irreverence about God and a casual lackadaisical attitude about God and holy things will defeat you ultimately if you're not careful. There's something about acknowledging God is holy and He requires and demands, but most of all, He desires that I honor Him as God. I'm not talking about your prayer time, getting up in the morning reading the Bible and your Bible study, I'm talking about just being quiet and meditating upon Him. There's something about just letting God review the day.

There'll be good things. There'll be things that you would like to have changed, things that you'll need to confess the Lord about. Lord, I shouldn't have said that. I should have done this. Thank You that I didn't feel that jab that was sent my way. Thank You, dear God, for being my Lord all day long.

Here's what that does. Reviewing the past reminds me of the loving, tender care of God in my heart all day long. You say, you know, I don't know much to think about.

That's what I'm trying to correct right now. Because if you start doing this, you're going to begin to think more and more about Him. And what's going to happen is, Psalm 63, this hungering, thirsting, yearning for Him is going to increase.

And I can tell you with all of my heart, if you will end your day talking with Him, you're going to wake up feeling good. You see, reviewing the past, what does it do? But it elevates Almighty God's place in my life.

And I'll tell you one other thing it does. It absolutely, it, listen, it extols and exalts Him as God of our life. Because all of a sudden the most important thing in your life is just, oh, Lord God. So first of all, reviewing the past. The second thing, if you'll notice in this passage, he says, look in verse twenty-two, For this reason thou art great, O Lord God, for there is none like thee, and there is no God beside thee, according to all that we've heard with our ears.

What happens? We begin to reflect not on just the things that God does, but we reflect on God Himself. And I think here are three words that you can jot down that will be frequently a part of your meditation as you think about God. First of all, His greatness. How great He is. I'm not talking about just the word omnipotence and big major things that God does, though He does many of those. But you may be going through some situations, circumstances in your life, for God to move in a simple way is an act of a great God that He loves you that much, the greatness of God.

A second aspect of it is the grace of God. He's so good. He's so kind. He's so loving. He's so gracious. He's so sensitive. He's so concerned. You see, what happens is when you and I begin to meditate, we not only review the past, but as I review the events of the past, I reflect on Him, what God's doing.

And this is what David is doing. As he recalls and reviews his past, and as he reflects upon God, what happens? The greatness, the graciousness, and third, the goodness of God.

Just, what happens? It just begins to mount in our thinking. When we look over a day or a week or a month or a year, what happens? The greatness of God, the graciousness, the grace of God, the goodness of God.

What's happening? All the time we are thinking about these things, we are learning the ways of God. Because you see, we learn the ways of God not only about what He does in our life, but by watching what He does in other people's lives.

We learn the ways of God. And so what David is saying here in this twenty-first, second verse, for this reason, thou art great, O Lord God, for there is none like thee. There's no God beside thee according to all that we've heard with our ears. And then the third word I want you to jot down is remember His promises. When you and I are meditating upon Him and reviewing the past, whether it's the day or the week or month or whatever it might be, and every once in a while we need to go far beyond the day and see what's happened in the week and see what's happened in the months and the years. And just keep going back and recalling how good and gracious and kind and loving and great God has been to your life. And you see, the overflow of meditation is that we're discovering who He is.

We're discovering what He's like. And so the promises are vital. And that's why I would not say don't open the Word of God when you kneel to pray because personally, except in the bed when I've cut out the lights, I've always got it open. The promises of God are vital to our knowledge and understanding and vital to learning to meditate upon Him. Because those promises are expressions of what? Expressions of love. Expressions of caring and kindness and goodness taught us. And then jot down one last word.

And that is request. Because in meditation, meditation isn't just recalling and reflecting. It isn't just thinking about God, though that is a part of it. It isn't just reminding ourselves of all the things that have happened as David did here. But look at this twenty-ninth verse.

Now therefore, may it please thee to bless the house of thy servant that, listen to this, that it may continue forever before thee, O thou, O Lord God, has spoken, and with thy blessing may the house of thy servant be blessed forever. You know what happens when you meditate upon the Lord? Your faith rises, your faith enlarges, and you find yourself when you do come to petitioning Him or to making requests that you don't have any hesitation about making big requests.

You know why? Because you've been recalling what He's been doing in the past. And you have been reflecting on His greatness and His goodness and His grace toward you. And as you've thought about those things and as you have reflected on all the things He's done in the past, then when it comes to making a request, what happens?

You see what He's done in the past, remembering the promises He's given you, and what happens? You can make big requests of God. Now, meditation isn't a time just to make a whole bunch of requests. Remember, meditation is a time that you and I are reflecting upon Him. That is, the key central figure in meditation is not I. My needs, my requests, my hurts, my wants, my wishes, my desires, the central figure in meditation is God.

And everything revolves around Him. I'm reflecting on the past in the light of who He has been in my life. I am reflecting upon Him because of who He is within me. And I am recalling these promises of God and remembering these promises because these are the things that He said to me. And I make my petition overwhelmed and absolutely full of the rich faith of God that is what?

That is an overflow of just looking to Him and thinking about Him. Thank you for listening to Meditation, The Key to Listening. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 13:45:07 / 2023-07-16 13:53:27 / 8

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