Developing a Heart for God
My friend, Jim, was a remarkably disciplined person. He exercised daily, kept his weight in check, rarely missed a Sunday at church, and strictly followed a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. So I was surprised when he told me that he felt stagnant in his spiritual growth. Jim had been a Christian for ten years, and recalled his early years in the faith as times of joyful progress in knowledge of Scripture and prayer. “I felt like I was learning something vital and important every time I heard a sermon or did my daily Bible reading,” he said. But now Jim felt like his spiritual practices were being done out of sheer discipline and duty rather than delight.
It was clear to Jim that life as a follower of Christ was based on faith and not feelings. He understood that spiritual growth often occurs through times of hardship, and that perseverance is a necessary part of spiritual maturity. Yet he longed to find more joy in his study of Scripture, and he especially wanted to develop a more fruitful prayer life.
“Do you ever meditate on Scripture?” I asked Jim.
“Meditate?” he replied. “I read something about meditation in a college philosophy course, but I thought that was something done in Eastern religions. It sounded weird to me.”
When I explained to Jim that meditation was actually a thoroughly biblical concept, and one that might help renew his love for Scripture and help guide him in his times of prayer, he was eager to learn more. What I shared with him is in the following pages. I share this with a prayer that it will deepen your joy in discovering God in the pages of Scripture.