What is the most critical step of meditation on Scripture?
As you meditate on a passage of Scripture, ideas about how you can apply its truth will come to your mind. Write them down! Writing out your ideas forces your mind to define them more clearly and provides you with documentation that you can review and reevaluate subsequently.
Asking Good Questions Leads to Making Good Applications of Scripture
At first you may not be able to think of any applications of the passage. That’s why it is important to ask questions about each statement in the passage. Learning to ask the right questions is a skill that must be developed by anyone who wants to engraft Scripture.
A good question is precise. It deals with specific issues. It calls for action that can be clearly defined and implemented.
Be Alert to Satan’s Attempts to Discourage and Dissuade You
Realize that at each step of engrafting Scripture, Satan will try to bring obstacles and discouragements. The final step—application—is his last opportunity to prevent you from making this Scripture live in your heart. During Jesus’ temptation, when Satan came to Christ with wrong ideas, Jesus responded by accurately quoting and applying Scripture. You can do the same in the face of Satan’s temptations.
Test the Resulting Fruit
God will give you opportunities to obey what He has shown you in His Word. Spiritual fruit comes as you ask God for the grace to apply His truth in these situations. Accordingly, you will produce “fruit,” then “bear more fruit,” then “bear much fruit.” (See John 15:1–8.)
The ultimate test of engrafting God’s Word is whether your fruit meets the following criteria: Does it reproduce the character of Christ in your life? Does it last? Ask yourself, “As I applied the truths I learned, did I violate any of Christ’s character qualities or fail to demonstrate the qualities I should have demonstrated?” Then ask yourself, “Am I seeing lasting fruit from my meditation on this passage?”
Share Your Application With Others
We are commanded to “exhort one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13) in order to avoid the deceitfulness of sin. Exhort others by sharing the overflow of your Scripture meditation. As you tell them what God is doing in your life, you deepen your own grasp of the passage and often see new applications of it.
As you meditate on Scripture, God will bless you in significant ways. As you share these blessings with others, they should be motivated to meditate on Scripture day and night.
Let God Transform You as You Meditate on Scripture
“Remember as you become involved in the process that meditation isn’t supposed to yield remarkable insights and dramatic changes every day. In many respects, its most important consequences happen so slowly that we don’t see them at all for a while. You do the reflecting, and let God’s Spirit do the inner reworking in your heart. That is His specialty. Take time to be holy.” (Doug McIntosh, God Up Close: How to Meditate on His Word, Moody Press, Chicago, Ill., 1998, 44–45.)