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The Rewards Of Meditation - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2021 12:00 am

The Rewards Of Meditation - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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December 2, 2021 12:00 am

Busyness is no match for a close relationship with your heavenly Father.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, December 2nd. There are many blessings that come from taking the time to study Scripture. Stay with us and learn some of the rich rewards of meditating on God's Word. One of the most inspiring parts of the Bible to me personally are the prayers, and I want you to turn to two of them. I want you to turn to Nehemiah, first of all, and I want us to look at this prayer for just a moment. I just want to just mention one thing about this particular prayer. You recall that Nehemiah is concerned about the news he's heard from Jerusalem and his city has been destroyed and walls are torn down. The gates are burned, and he begins this prayer, and I just want you to notice, if you will, in verse 4, and I won't read the whole prayer.

I just want you to notice something here. He says, Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments. Let thine air now be attentive and thine eyes open to hear the prayer of thy servant, which I am praying before thee now day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel, thy servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel, which we have sinned against thee, I and my father's house have sinned.

We've acted very corruptly against thee and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which thou commandest, thy servant Moses. And then he continues this prayer, and it's an awesome prayer, praying in confession to the sins of his people and, of course, praying that God would do something about that situation. Then if you'll turn over to Daniel chapter nine, another wonderful prayer of one of God's servants. In this ninth chapter, he is praying about wisdom and knowledge to understand what God has prophesied through the prophet Jeremiah. And if you'll notice in the ninth chapter, beginning in verse one, he says, In the first year of Darius the son of Hasurus, of median descent, who was made king of the kingdom of the Chaldeans, in the first year of the reign, I Daniel observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolation of Jerusalem, namely seventy years. And so he's figuring now, that's getting close.

So listen to what he says. So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments.

We've sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances. And then he goes on to pray. And then he's seeking the Lord's direction and guidance. And if you'll come down to the last verse nineteen rather, listen to how he cries out to God. O Lord, hear.

O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and take action. For thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name. Well, these men couldn't pray like that if they had not been men who knew how to meditate upon God. So that all of their praying were not these long impressive prayers that they prayed.

Impressive to us, they weren't trying to be impressive. But these were men who meditated upon God. What I would like to do in this message is simply say, Here are the rewards that come to anybody and everybody who makes meditation and times of prayer alone with Him in silence, secluded, being still and thinking about Him and absorbing Him.

Here are the things that you can expect to happen in your life, so I want you to jot them down. The first reward of meditation is a godly perspective. You just see things differently when you sit before the Lord, listen to Him and read His Word. And since you and I have this book we call the Bible, I always want to include that when I talk about meditation because we are so far more blessed than these men were because they had a few scrolls, like Daniel had the prophecy of Jeremiah.

He had a little bit. You and I have the whole Old Testament, the whole New Testament. To meditate upon the Word of God is to listen to Him, to absorb these things. And what happens? We get a whole different perspective.

For example, if we're worried, somehow the worries seem to disappear. In our weakness, God somehow makes us strong because we begin to see things from God's perspective. When you and I begin to look at things the way God sees them, everything seems to change. And that's what reading the prayers of these men, that's what reading the Scriptures and how God worked in the lives of His saints. And I would say to you, if you want to start somewhere and you don't know where to begin and you want to grow in your Christian life, you just start with a life of men like Abraham and Moses and Joseph and David and Daniel. You just choose those and you just read how God worked in their lives. I tell you, if you will do that and make notes in the Scriptures of what God is saying to you, you'll begin to learn how God worked in their life. And what you're going to learn is that these were all men of prayer. For example, if you'll recall in the first chapter of Ephesians, look at that for a moment.

You remember in this first chapter of Ephesians what Paul said concerning these Ephesian Christians? He said concerning his prayer for them, he said in verse sixteen, he said, I do not cease giving thanks for you while making mention of you in my prayers. Now listen to what he prayed. He says, this is what I pray, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the workings of the strength of His might. So when he prayed, he prayed specific things. And one of the things he prayed for is that their eyes would be enlightened. One thing that all of us need is God's perspective on anything. You think about this. Is there anything you and I don't need God's viewpoint on?

Not anything that I know of. We are all dependent upon Him to do the right thing. Then we must have the right perspective.

Where are you going to get that? In the Word of God. Just sort of reading through it hurriedly?

No. But meditating upon it, which means that I read it and then I think about it and then I try to see how I can apply it to my heart and I may read it again and pray over it and pray it back to God, especially if it's something that I'm dealing with. And I talk to Him about it and then I listen and I read and I talk to Him about it again and I listen and I read and I'm quiet.

I may come back to it today, tomorrow, the next day, whatever. But what am I looking for? I'm looking for God's viewpoint. You can't name anything for which God does not have a viewpoint in this book.

He has it. If I want God's viewpoint, I must be willing to sit still before Him and listen and ask and wait and be willing to hear what God is willing to say. And that's why you find these men listening, praying, and the prayers that they prayed were prayers as a result of how God had worked in their life. And that's why most of them begin with something about God, not about themselves. Where do we get our perspective? We get it on our face before God. Now I don't mean by that you always have to be lying flat out, but I'm saying in times of meditation, one of the first rewards of meditation is we begin to get His perspective. And I believe in this day and time we need God's viewpoint about everything. Now tell me where you're going to get it if you stay off your knees.

I don't know. You've got lots of other viewpoints out there, but you won't get it anywhere like you'll get it there. Second thing, when you and I begin to spend time alone in seclusion with Him, the pressures of life begin to dissipate. To me personally, this is one of the greatest rewards of meditation. That when oftentimes I feel the pressure, the enormous pressure of whether it is schedule or whether it is talking to people who have needs and all the things that I have to face, one of the greatest rewards of meditation is what happens to the pressure.

And sometimes, and I can think about oftentimes, just lying before the Lord and reading some passage and thinking about it and asking God what He wants to say to my heart in that, being quiet, and as I said to you sometime, just go to sleep, wake up, whatever happens, the pressure seems to dissipate because that's what God does. Here's what He does. It's like when you and I come to Him, He takes it. It's almost like He lifts the burden, which is really what He does. He lifts the burden. It's like He just sort of absorbs all of these things that are cluttering our mind out and so then we can think clearly and honestly and openly and freely and what happens. The pressure's gone. Now, you will never learn that until you try it. Instead of cutting on the radio, turning on the television, just get on your face before God and just say, Lord, I want to try this out.

I want to see if you can really take the pressure away. Well, He loves proving Himself. So if you just open the Word and if you don't know where to start, I just say start eleventh chapter, twelfth chapter, Genesis with Abraham. Or start in Samuel with David.

Or start in Daniel. Start with one of these biblical characters and let God walk you through some experiences in His life. God will do something amazing in your life. The third thing that I think is a real reward, and that is one that you and I could expect, and that is peace. I do not know how to tell you what will take away the frustration and the anxieties of life like being quiet and still before the Lord God. Does He not say, My peace I give unto you?

Not as the world giveth giveth unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. It's no accident that in Philippians chapter four, this passage that you and I know by heart, listen to what he says when he talks about this peace that passes all understanding. Notice how he begins that passage. He says, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything what? Prayer, supplication, thanksgiving.

What is he saying? He says, As you and I come before the Lord, praying to Him, being quiet, listening, sharing our heart. What happens? He says, The peace that surpasses all human understanding will do what? It'll guard us. He says, It becomes like a garrison around us. And what happens is that God takes away the anxiety, the frustrations and the fears and the worries. And what does He do? He replaces that with this overwhelming sense of peace. Now, there's no way to describe that. And there is nothing else in the world that will provide that kind of peace.

And this is how inexpensive it is. You just get along with God. Get in His Word and just tell Him, Lord, you know what's bothering me. You know what's frustrating me. You know what I'm anxious about. You know what I'm worried about. And just say, God, I want You to take it.

I just want You to take it. And as you begin to meditate upon some passage of Scripture, this is the miracle of the Word of God. It's like God absorbs through His Word what troubles your heart, the anxieties, the worries. And I can tell you how many times I have fallen on my face before God and said, Lord, I can't handle this. I don't know what to do about it.

I'm just going to have to trust You. And not too long ago I woke up about four o'clock in the morning and I couldn't sleep and it was Sunday morning and that was bad. Four o'clock on Sunday morning, can't sleep.

I laid there about an hour, I guess, trying to figure everything out and make it all work out and it wasn't work. And so I thought, Lord, this is foolish. I got down by the bed, five o'clock on Sunday morning. I get up at six o'clock and I just got my Bible, opened it up to a passage and I just said, Now, Lord, You're going to have to handle this because I can't handle this. I can't handle this.

I'm just giving all of this to You and You've got to handle it. I got back in the bed. I went fast asleep. And if the alarm hadn't awakened me at six o'clock, I'd have been asleep about eight o'clock. I had the most perfect peace.

Now, I want to tell you something. Did you know I've had the most perfect peace ever since? The most overwhelming sense of peace that I cannot describe except to say it is nothing less than the work of God. And it doesn't make any difference what's going on in your life. If you get on your face or your knees before Him and open the Word and just tell Him, Lord, I can't handle this.

He loves to hear that because He wants to handle everything in our life. And what happens? He can replace the most vicious turmoil with the sweetest peace. You know what peace is?

That Greek word, irene, means to bind together in oneness. And you know what happens? When you and I are worried and fretted about things, it's like our soul is fragmented. It's pulled apart. And what peace does, the peace of God is that glue that puts everything back and it's like the puzzle that we can't put back together.

He puts every piece back in its proper place. That's what quietness, stillness, aloneness with God will do. Well, there's another reward to me that's really precious and that is that it results in a positive attitude. And what happens is if you get real negative about something and you're wondering, well, you know, God, this isn't going to work and that's not going to work and what's going to happen here and what's going to happen there? I guarantee you, if you get on your face before the Lord and get in His Word, your attitude will change. And what happens is we begin to view everything from His perspective. Everything gets sifted through our grid system of Christ being our life.

And what happens? Our whole attitude changes. If you spend time in meditation upon Him, you're going to move from a negative attitude to a positive attitude. First of all, about yourself, about other people, and about what God can do in your life. Listen, one of the most fascinating things to me is to watch somebody who's about fifty below zero in their own spiritual walk begin to get in the Word, begin to read, begin to meditate upon God, and watch what happens to their attitude. It is the most important thing you and I do in a single day.

You cannot name anything more important than getting in this book and reading it and being still and quiet before God alone. Now, if I were to tell you as a businessman, if I were to say to you, you want to succeed in your business? Well, you'd say, well, yes indeed I do, no doubt about it.

Well, you know what happens? People spend hundreds and thousands of dollars going to business conferences and seminars learning how to succeed in their business. I want to save you a whole lot of money, a whole lot of money.

Here's the greatest seminar you'll ever find on how to be successful in business. Open your Bible. Turn it to Psalm one. How blessed, how happy is the man or woman who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, listening to the world's ways, nor stands in the paths of sinners doing what they do, nor sit in the seat of the scoffers, the critics, the negatives, but his delight is in what? The law of the Lord.

Now look at this. His delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law, the Word of God, He does what? Meditates.

Well, when? And as a result, He will be like a tree firmly planted by what? Streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season.

Its leaf does not wither, whether they have recession or whatever happens. And in whatever He does, He what? Now, do you believe that? How many of you want to be a success? You know what?

Some of you can't even raise your hand. Why can't you say, yes, I want to be a success? Do you think that's prior to egotism?

No, it's not. Listen to what He said to Joshua. He said, Joshua, I want you to succeed. In fact, I don't know of a single servant in the Bible that God said, now I want you to fail. He said, I want you to succeed.

Listen to what He told him. He said, now, here's how you can succeed. Verse seven, Joshua one, only be strong and very courageous, be careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you, do not turn from it to the right or to the left so that you may have what?

Success wherever you go. Verse eight, this book of the law, for us it would be the whole Bible, shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall do what? Meditate on it, when? Day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you will make your way what? And then you'll have what?

Success. Now, listen, that's how simple it is. He says, if we will meditate upon His Word day and night. There's no such thing as any man or woman meditating upon the Word of God day or night and failing in what God called them to do. Because if you could, then God would have contradicted Himself. And it's interesting that in this first Psalm that David said the man who meditates upon the Word of God, and God said to Joshua, Joshua, you want to be a success?

Learn to meditate, learn to feast upon, get in the law of Moses, remember what he said, keep reminding yourself, focus upon it. He says, don't turn to the left, don't turn to the right. He says, don't depart from it.

And he says, I'll make your way prosperous and I'll make you a good success. Because what you do is you begin to get God's perspective. And you begin to learn the ways that God operated in the lives of these Old Testament saints. And what happens? Here's what happens.

Then you and I begin to make decisions based on what? Godly principles, God's ways, trusting Him, relying upon Him, seeing all these impossible situations that God called His servants to face. And they meditated upon the Lord. They waited upon Him. They trusted Him.

What happens? And God made Him a success. And you can go through and find the times when God's servants either got in too big a hurry or not listening to God doing their own thing and they failed every time. Now, you'd think after a few thousand years, you and I'd catch on, wouldn't we?

You'd think we would. He says, you want to be a success? Then the seminar is the Word of the Living God. Thank you for listening to The Rewards of Meditation. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-15 12:44:09 / 2023-07-15 12:52:50 / 9

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