By Ryan Wheeler
Sunday morning we looked at Romans 12:1-2 to learn how to take our worship beyond the songs. The last point we discussed was renewing our minds.
This action step is so important and I want to offer some practical advice to achieve it.
Renewing our minds means to reprogram them so that we cease thinking like a citizen of the world and begin thinking like a citizen of Heaven. This is a prolonged process that requires diligence and perseverance. Remember, that it occurs through a cooperation of our effort AND the power of God.
One of the best ways to renew your mind is by MEDITATING ON SCRIPTURE.
There are plenty of passages in the Bible that instruct us to meditate on God's Word. If you want to read some of them, click on these references:
What does it mean to meditate on God's Word? One helpful way to think about it is to think about a sheep digesting food through the process of rumination. This process may seem gross to you, but its a good picture of how to meditate. The sheep chews up its food (grass) and swallows it, only to bring the partially digested food back up into its mouth to chew on it and swallow it again. This process is repeated until the food is ready to be absorbed into the sheep's body.
Ruminate is a synonym for meditate. When we meditate on scripture we think it over,
"chew" on it (mentally) and let it sink in. Then we bring it back to mind and think it over, "chew" on it and let it sink in again. We repeat this process until the passage becomes a part of who we are.
This is done with small portions of the Bible and requires time throughout your day. The process cannot be rushed nor can the promised benefits. GIVE IT TIME! Commit to a new daily habit of scripture meditation and choose to open the door of God's power in your mind through your intentional effort!
For a very helpful article containing tips on scriptural mediation, follow this link:
Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; 2 and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.
Nice job everybody! You have made it past the half-way point of our fast! You are doing a great job! Don't give up now!
There is a difference between reading the Bible and incorporating the Bible into your life. The Bible can be read just like any other book... words, sentences, information. We can read a chapter and move on with our day with little more thought than we give to the newspaper headlines.
I want to encourage you today to incorporate the Word into your routine. To meditate on it (Psalm 119:15) A simple way to start is to grab on to a verse or passage and take it with you all day long whether by memorizing it or writing it on a notecard. Then, as often as you can... during breaks, in the car, at lunch or even during those moments when you feel stressed or discouraged or angry... go back to that scripture. Recite it to yourself out loud. Think through the words very specifically. Ask God to plant those truths into your life and to speak to you through it. Then, at your next opportunity, do it all over again!
Great spiritual change and transformation that lasts comes through the little things that we choose to do every day (Romans 12:2). Start a new habit of meditating on scripture today!
I hope everyone is finding time for more prayer and more Bible reading during this 28-day fast! Watch the video below to find out a simple way to unleash the power of God's Word in your life!
Hebrews 4:12 NASB
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
One week down! You are all doing so great! Do NOT grow weary in doing good. Think of how amazing our Encounter Service will be on February 26th after 28 days of persevering together in fasting and prayer!
This week we are going to focus on incorporating the Word of God into your fast. Check out the video below for a starting place!
Today I'm focused on continual prayer. I believe this is a habit that every Christian should earnestly desire. Continual prayer is surely a huge key to a life of spiritual power and effectiveness as a Christian walks closely with God!
Check out the video below to find out how a penny can help develop this discipline in your life!
When drawing close to God through fasting and prayer, sometimes it is helpful to change our scenery. While this is not always possible, opportunities to go to a new or special place to pray can motivate your heart.
Here are some ideas:
-take a walk outside (weather permitting)
-create a special space for prayer in your home (a prayer closet)
-drive to a park or scenic location and pray in your car
-go to a place of worship (like the LWA sanctuary)
I want to focus this morning on the last idea- going to a place of worship. Office hours at LWA are 9am-4pm, M-F. You are more than welcome to come pray in the sanctuary during the day. Those of you that work could consider fasting from lunch occasionally and spending your lunch break praying in the sanctuary instead of eating.
A change of scenery can break your normal routine and prep your heart for a fresh encounter with God through prayer! Try it out!
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I can hardly think of a more powerful prayer while we are fasting together than this:
"God, please increase my faith!"
That is a prayer God will gladly answer! That is a prayer that will change your life!
I encourage you to make it your continuous prayer today and throughout our fast!
Milton Hubbard has served as Pastor of Living Word Assembly since 1977
Ryan Wheeler serves as Associate Pastor at Living Word Assembly.