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7 Tips on How to Meditate or Muse on God’s Word

How to Meditate or Muse on the Word of God

Do you practice to meditate or muse on God’s Word?

If you’re like many of us, you don’t meditate or muse on much of anything. Your thoughts bounce back and forth from your text messages to various forms of social media, with little consideration for God’s Word.

Such a habit can be hazardous to your spiritual health. However, a proper practice of meditating or musing on God’s Word, can transform your Christian living. It’s an ancient practice, yet one that is very much needed by every believer today.

So in this post I’ll consider what it  means to meditate or muse on God’s word with an invitation to join me in this much needed practice.


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Meditate or muse–is there a difference?

Since a number of translations use the word “meditate” instead of “muse,” it is worthwhile to consider the difference.

The dictionary defines “meditate” as to “think about something deeply, to reflect on it or to ponder on it.”

The definition of “muse,” however, conveys something  further. To muse is to comment upon something, to ruminate upon it—like a cow chewing the cud.

The Recovery Version translates this Hebrew word as “muse” in order to adequately convey this fuller meaning of the word.  The following note in the Holy Bible, Recovery Version explains the meaning of this Hebrew word for muse,

“Rich in meaning, the Hebrew word for muse (often translated meditate in the KJV) implies to worship, to converse with oneself, and to speak aloud. To muse on the word is to taste and enjoy it through careful considering. Prayer, speaking to oneself, and praising the Lord may also be included in musing on the word. To muse on the word of God is to enjoy His word as His breath (2 Tim. 3:16) and thus to be infused with God, to breathe God in, and to receive spiritual nourishment.” [Psa. 119:15, note 1]

Patterns of Musing on God’s Word

The Pattern of Joshua, the leader of Israel

 In Joshua 1:8, God commanded Joshua, the leader of  Israel, saying,

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall muse upon it day and night so that you may be certain to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success.”

 For Joshua to be successful in leading God’s people to possess the good land, God charged him to be occupied with the Scripture by musing on it day and night. Such a practice would make his way prosperous.

Similarly, for us to abide in Christ as our good land, we also need to muse on the Scripture day and night (Col. 2:7; 3:16). Such a daily practice will make our spiritual pathway prosperous.

The Practice of the God-seeking Psalmists 

The ancient psalmists practiced musing on God’s word as expressed in Psalms 119:147-149,

“I anticipated the dawn and cried out; I hoped in Your words. My eyes anticipated the night watches, that I might muse upon Your wordHear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; O Jehovah, according to Your ordinances enliven me.”

Musing upon God’s word, in the context of Psalms 119:147-149, is sandwiched between our “crying out” and God’s “hearing our voice.”  So an open mouth with audible expressions is strongly associated with musing on God’s word and may distinguish it from meditation.

The Practice of George Müller of Bristol

Let us consider the example of  a man of faith and prayer named George Müller (1805-1898) from Bristol, England as referred to in his  booklet entitled, “Soul Nourishment First.” There Müller said,

“Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed; and thus, by means of the Word of God, while meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experiential communion with the Lord.”

What was Müller’s actual practice of “meditating?” He wasn’t just trying to think about, understand or memorize Bible verses. Rather, after asking the Lord’s blessing upon His word,  Müller would begin to muse on the Word, searching into every verse to get blessing out it—simply for the sake of obtaining spiritual food for his own soul. Then he said,

“The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my souls has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication, so that, …it turned almost immediately more or less to prayer…and then my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened…”

Although Müller used the word “meditate” in his personal testimony, his practice of matching God’s Word with confession, thanksgiving, prayer and intercession indicates that he was actually “musing” on the Word.

7 practical points on how to muse on God’s Word

The following are seven points that I am endeavoring to practice in order to enter into the practice of musing on God’s Word:

1.  Begin first thing in the morning. From George Müller’s testimony, the best time to start musing is when the world around you is the most quiet. For most of us that would be first thing in the morning. Müller said in that same booklet,

“I began therefore to meditate on the New Testament from the beginning, early in the morning.”

2. Silence electronic devices. It’s better not to look at your phone or computer before musing on God’s Word or your mind will be gone before you can reel it back in.

3. Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted. When weather permits, I often find that it helps me to go for a walk. I believe that Müller also practiced this.

4.  Pray short prayers to turn your heart to the Lord, open to Him, and ask His blessing on the opening of His word. This is so that the same Spirit that revealed the Scriptures would open them afresh to you.

5.  Read a few verses, then turn any part that impresses you into a word of prayer, praise, thanks, or petition to the Lord. You may even sing them with your own song. At times, I do this and it really helps. (It’s alright—no one has to hear you, but the Lord.)

6.  Re-speak the Word you enjoyed in the morning, throughout the day. This is to “ruminate” on God’s Word.

7.  Speak the Word to others. You can text it, Tweet it, share it on Facebook, Google+ or other forms of social media. But it’s even better to find someone in your daily life to whom you can speak the word your musing on. This is great way to confess your faith in Christ with your friends.

These are my considerations on how to meditate or muse on God’s Word. So what about you? Do you have any experience of musing on God’s Word, or are you interested in learning? Please leave a comment and we can continue our fellowship in the comments below.

References and Further Resources:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

22 Replies

  1. I like your excerpt from Psalm 119, coupling an open mouth with our musing.

    1. Tom Smith

      The Lord did say open your mouth wide and I will fill it. May we follow the pattern of the God-seeking psalmists in matching our reading of Scripture with our crying out in prayer, thanks, praise and worship. This kind of musing on God’s Word is really pleasing to our Lord and brings much nourishment and joy to us.

  2. Musing on God’s word has much to do with “being practical about it” – you can’t just spiritualize it and think of it, you have to do it FIRST thing in the morning! And silence everything else. That’s a great idea! I usually put my phone on silent and any other device – no internet for an hour or so.

    We need to daily muse on God’s word so that the Lord would saturate our mind with His word….this is such a simple and daily way to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly!

    1. Tom Smith

      Yes. First is really important principle. Christ wants our first love (Rev. 2:4) and desires to have the first place in all things in our life (Col. 1:18). We can apply this practically by musing on His Word, first thing in the morning. This will enable us to do the first works that He desires (Rev. 2:5). Thank the Lord for giving us such a practical way to make Him first in our life! “Lord, saturate us with YOur Word first thing each morning.”

  3. Jordan A. Secligen

    It’s a good habit to come to God’s word daily to enjoy Him as our daily supply.

  4. Carol

    Your article was very helpful as I have been spending several days with Psalm 143. Verse 5 says ‘I remember the days of old, I meditate on all thy works, I muse on the work of thy hands.’ It’s interesting to note David’s feelings of overwhelming circumstances in verses 1-3 yet realizing his only hope, his only comfort is in remembering, meditating, musing of God’s character and provision. Thank you for the reminder to ‘chew’ on the Word…taste and see that the Lord is good.

    1. Tom Smith

      Meditating or musing on God’s words and His works is a tremendous help to us as believers in Christ! When we’re musing on God’s word, we’re also setting our mind on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5). Such a practice of minding the spirit by musing brings us life and peace (v. 6). It is our cooperation with God’s life in us. By such a continued practice we’re helped to grow in Christ and are transformed to His image.

  5. Keith Wingu

    Musing is a great way to meet and know the will of God in our life, and early hours are the appropriate time to have and experience the Lord’s presence. Thanks.

    1. Tom Smith

      Keith,

      I agree. The morning is the best time to muse on God’s word, to seek Him when our inner being is the most undisturbed. Even during wakeful moments of the night we can turn our heart from anxious thoughts to reconsider what we have read and studied of God’s word. Psalm 119:148 is one of my favorite verses on this topic. It says, “My eyes anticipated the night watches, that I might amuse upon Your word.” What a blessing to fill our heart with the Word of God!

  6. one should first consult God to understand what He wants from us in order to follow, the the question realy is ” DO WE KNOW GOD ? ” or is it just another rumor. I have personally come in contact with GODS GRACE when I met MERCY a few years back and since that I’ve been living off his word. I evens had that feeling when I don’t Pray in the mornings my life is not the same during the day. So yes I do agree to dwell in the Lord’s presence is worth living for. so one has there own way of meditating as you say ” to muse ” and it also leads me to amusement

    1. Tom Smith

      Consulting God reminds me of the psalmist in Psalm 27:4 where he speaks of inquiring of the Lord. We need to muse on God’s word to allow God’s thoughts to fill our thoughts. Then according to how the Lord touches us through His word we can inquire of Him concerning His desire. This kind of prayer rally honors the Lord, taking Him as the source of our prayer and of our actions. You may also enjoy reading another Holding to Truth post on Learning to Pray Inquiring Prayers for God’s Work. I also agree that when I pray in the morning my day is different. I live because of Him, taking the Lord Jesus as the source of my living. Here are some short morning prayers to enrich your time with the Lord in the morning.

  7. Timeo

    I love the word of God and I’m impressed by this article as it revealed some of the little things that made me unsuccessful such as electronics noise .Thanks

    1. Tom Smith

      Timeo, it’s so true that all the electronic noise can steal our quality time with the Lord. We need to free ourselves from so many distractions so that we can allow God’s word to wash us, renew us and transform us to Christ’s image (2 Cor. 3:18). The more we set our mind on the things of the Spirit through careful consideration and prayer over the word, the more our mind is one of life and peace (Rom. 8:5-6). Thanks for the confirming comment.

  8. Very practical and ‘doable” seven steps listed so clearly.
    Feel like practising.
    Praise God for the clarity and precision in your writing brother!

    1. Tom Smith

      May our days be filled with musing on God’s word, “letting His word dwell in us richly” (Col. 3:16), speaking His word back to the Lord, to ourselves, and to those we contact in our daily life. We can make God’s word our prayer, our song, our thanksgiving. and our praise, and so much more. This healthy practice was Joshua’s secret for taking the good land. May it become our secret to enjoying Christ as our all-inclusive good land. Thanks for the comment.

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