How Meditation in the Word Changed Me
I have been sharing the importance of meditation the last couple of days. Today, I want to give an example of how meditation in the Word of God changed my life.
The Word cancelled fear in my life! Due to circumstances when I was young I developed a fear of rejection. I developed a self-consciousness that feared people’s responses to my words and actions. I would walk into a room and immediately size up who was there and how people viewed me. My thinking had a default setting that assumed others did not like me and wanted nothing to do with me.
When I entered ministry as a young man, this rejection syndrome worsened. I would preach and then have a terrible next day while thinking of all the reasons no one received what I was saying. The focus was all on me and not on the blessing the Lord wanted me to be to others. The Father began to show me the self-centered thinking that was producing these emotions and feeling of rejection. He gave me this scripture on day: But as a matter of fact, it matters very little to me what you, or any man thinks of me – I don’t even value my opinion of myself (! Corinthians 4:3 – J.B. Phillips). I began to see that my thoughts and emotions were fear based instead of Word based. I had developed a habit of allowing my mind to set me up to be dominated by the fear of others rejecting me! This was a deep seated ingrained behavior in my life. I knew that there was no way that I could survive in ministry with this kind of thinking ruling me. I cried out to the Father and He showed me this scripture in 1 Corinthians and then led me to 1 John 4:18 in the Amplified: There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
I began to meditate daily on these two scriptures. I let them revolve over and over in my thought life. I said them slowly to myself. I spoke out loud when alone. I did this several times a day. This type of meditation dropped the Word down deep into my personal belief system, my underlying thought patterns, or as Ephesians 4:23 calls it, the spirit of my mind. I also developed a siege mentality with respect to my wrong thinking and emotions. Your mind will try to convince you that what it is thinking and what your emotions are feeling is reality. And often they are not. So I deprived my mind and emotions of power over me by following the principle of a siege. Enemy armies in Bible days would often siege a city in order to conquer it. Cities in that day had very high walls erected all the way around them to keep out predatory animals and enemy forces. Sentries were stationed on top of the walls providing a lookout for detecting the enemy. This made a city basically impenetrable.
An enemy army would simply surround the perimeter of the walled city far enough away as to be immune to arrows shot by the troops on the wall. And they simply cut the supply lines of food and goods to the city. It may take as much as two years for the city to run out of food and supplies, but eventually the enemy would defeat the city. The only factor was time and the siege.
Using this principle along with meditation on the Word cured me of this fear of rejection. My mind and emotions would tell me people did not like me, and I would simply call the person or see them personally and engage them in conversation. I was really conversing with them to see if my mind and emotion were telling me the truth, and I found that the majority of time they were not!
So the siege began! I refused to give in to my thoughts and feelings of rejection! Every day I would siege my thoughts and emotions, refusing to allow the thoughts to remain in my mind, and refusing to believe what my emotions told me. I meditated on the Word and then purposely called people just to talk to them to prove that my perceptions of rejection were wrong!
The siege worked. Now the Word has replaced the fear of others! Meditation on the Word along with actions that demonstrate belief in the Word will change your wrong belief system and produce a change in your behavior. The Word did it for me! And the Word will work for you too!