Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert
God wants our meditation to be acceptable. We’re fighting the enemy who doesn’t want us to meditate like God wants.
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord…
Meditation is intense thinking on an idea or theme. Whatever you always meditate on, you will not only understand but will grow more into its likeness. You’ll be more selfish, worldly, and unholy if you constantly think on selfish, worldly, and unholy things. You’ll become more pure, holy, and unselfish if you think on the things that are pure, holy, and unselfish. When we’re serving God, the enemy brings lots of negative thoughts. To get rid of negative thoughts, we have to replace them with positive thoughts and think on things God wants us to. God doesn’t want us conformed to this world that is full of negative, discouraging, depressing thoughts. It’s vitally important to be saved and sanctified so our mind is transformed, renewed, and our meditation is pleasing to God. We have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
David remembered the works of the Lord, his wonders of old, how God helped the Israelites, helped Noah, and helped Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He remembered how God always came through for them. God wants us to remember how he dealt with us before we got saved, how we got saved, how he brought us through many trials, and all he’s done. The Lord brought to the teacher’s mind how her kidneys stopped working on in 1966. Toxins built up in her body and there was no dialysis at that time. The only thing to do for kidney failure patients was to keep them comfortable. She told the Lord that he couldn’t let her die because she needed to be mother to her 1 and 3-year-old children. She started to murmur and complain but God put a song in her mind, God’s Way Is Best.
“God’s way is best, I will not murmur, although the end I may not see. Where he leads I’ll meekly follow, God’s way is best, is best for me. God’s way is best, heart cease thy struggling to see and know and understand. Forsake thy fears and doubts but trusting, submit thyself unto his hands.”
When those words kept going through her mind, she asked God to forgive her for murmuring and complaining. She submitted to whatever God wanted. She knew his way was the best and it was all in God’s hands. She asked her husband to take her to church on a cot because she didn’t have strength to sit up. The pastor with others anointed and prayed for her to be healed. She knew God heard and answered prayer even though there wasn’t any physical change at the time. The next morning nothing had changed so she reminded God that she knew he answered prayer and whatever he wanted was okay with her. At 11 o’clock her kidneys started working and they’ve worked ever since. God in his love and compassion reached down and healed her. She had to get where she was totally submitted to God and willing for whatever he wanted. We hinder God if our meditation isn’t totally submitted to him. Our meditation will be murmuring, complaining, or telling God how things should be. God’s way is always best. The song says “Although the end I may not see, where err he leads I’ll meekly follow. God’s way is best.” David said to remember what God has done. It’s important to hide the word in our heart, to read the word, seek God, really desire what God wants, and to meditate.
Psalm 77:11-12 I will remember the works of the Lord…thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work…
Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 119:15-16 I will meditate in thy precepts…I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Psalm 119:92-93 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
Unless we’re willing to obey and follow what he wants us to do when God shows us our need, then we’re going to perish. God wants us to delight in the word and keep it in our heart. Can you say, I love the law and it’s my meditation?
Psalm 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
Instead of worrying in the night watches, David was meditating in the word. God wants us to take things to him and meditate in the word when many troubles try to flood our mind. That way we have victory over all the enemy brings.
Psalm 119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
David said his spirit was overwhelmed and his heart was desolate. He was faint-hearted, wrapped in gloom, numb discouraged, crushed and buried under his load, when the enemy came in like a flood. The scripture says when the enemy comes like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord raises up a standard. David said when he had those feelings, he would remember the days of old and meditate on God’s works. When the enemy comes to discourage us, we have to get our mind back on the word, remember the good God has done, and remember his promises in the word.
Psalm 143:4-5 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
God wants us to prosper regardless of the situation – whether we’re in isolation or not. We can prosper by how we meditate because that determines what’s in our heart. God says to meditate day and night on what is written so our way will be prosperous and have good success. God doesn’t want us to decrease or get less spiritual but to increase during this time, draw closer to God, be strengthened, and draw closer to the body of Christ. Meditating on the word will help us change anything in our life that isn’t pleasing to God. We all brought into salvation our quirks, ways we were raised with, ways we learned on our own. God wants to perfect and help us to get rid of things that aren’t pleasing to him. Meditating on scriptures will show areas we need to change so we increase in that area – if we need more patience, more long-suffering, more love and kindness to others. Ask God to help us to prosper during this time.
Joshua 1:7-8 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou…do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
God wants us to have perfect peace and rest in our mind in this troubled world where few have peace. We have to make sure our mind is stayed on the Lord by meditating right, then we’ll have thanksgiving and rejoicing in our heart.
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
Because the scriptures encourage us, God wants us to encourage others and be thankful, to admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and singing with grace in our heart. He wants us to be a joyful people, especially now.
Colossians 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…teaching and admonishing…in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts…whatsoever ye do…do all in the name of the Lord…giving thanks…
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and others meditated. Joseph was thinking of putting Mary away. He wanted to do what was right, and didn’t want to make a public example of her. As he meditated the angel came and said to take Mary as his wife.
Matthew 1:20-23 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared…saying, Joseph… fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son…call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins…which was spoken…by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son… (see Isaiah 7:14)
Simeon was 1 of the 72 who produced the Septugint Bible 132 years before Christ’s birth. The prophet said a virgin would conceive and Simeon would see him when the Christ was born. Simeon had been waiting about 150 years since the angel told him, so he was probably about 200 years old. The Holy Ghost showed Simeon that this was the Christ child. He took Jesus in his arms and said now let thy servant depart in peace because I’ve seen the Christ. He foretold what was going to happen to Jesus. He said when the sword went through Jesus, it would go through Mary too. She was at the foot of the cross when they pierced the side of Jesus. The scripture says Anna came into the temple and gave thanks to the Lord. She said Jesus was for the redemption of Israel. She recognized he was the Christ child. It was important to have two witnesses because the Bible says by two or three witnesses let every word be established. Simeon and Anna witnessed that Jesus was Christ when he was brought him to the temple.
Luke 2:25-35…Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost…revealed unto him…that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came…into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus…Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation… And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary…Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Jesus was not made like the angels. He was made like us and had to learn obedience by things he suffered. He had to learn to read and do many things, just like we have to learn things. If he was made differently, he wouldn’t be able to understand our faults, failures, and little idiosyncrasies. He knows exactly what we’re going through because of all he went through. When Jesus had temptations (Luke 4:1-12), he used scripture to refute what the devil said. We need to do the same thing. That’s why we need to hide the scriptures in our hearts – so we can have victory over the enemy.
Hebrews 2:16-18 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels…it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
It was Jesus’ custom to go to the temple on the Sabbath, to pray, and to read. He rose early in the morning before daylight and in the evening to go pray alone all night on the mountainside. He went into the wilderness to pray alone. We have to get alone by ourselves to really seek God and commune with him. We need to be in a quiet place by ourselves to meditate on the things of God, to have an experience where we love God and want to commune with him.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth…as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day…to read.