Impart to me Thy fear and Thy love around my heart and in my thought,
that I may despise every carnal pleasure, and all vain glory of the present life;
that I may desire earnestly to meditate on Thee, to pray to Thee, and to praise Thee for ever...
- Anonymous, Litany of the Saviour, Irish, 14th-15th century
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
- Psalm 27.4
Believers today are not much on meditation. Meditation takes time and attention. We tend to be doers, enrolling in this program, that class, showing up for this service opportunity, working on this or that committee or board, and generally working out our salvation – those who take such things seriously, that is – in a frenzy of activity.
Such works are good and commendable, and we ought to be a people zealous for such good works (Tit. 2.14), beginning in our own Personal Mission Fields.
But good works aren’t the whole of the life of faith. And we are not likely to do good works, or to be very consistent or thorough in our good works, unless we have a clear sense of what goodness looks like as it comes to expression in our lives. And knowing such goodness – the goodness of the Lord (Ps. 27.13) – is the fruit of meditation, waiting in silence on the Lord as you contemplate His beauty with the eye of understanding.
Meditation is hard work. It takes time and requires intense concentration. We tend not to have very good attention spans. We live in a day of brief and compelling images that flit into our minds to delight but not to edify. Consider how many commercials a television network can sneak into a 90-second slot following a punt in a college football game. They know us well.
We are so bombarded with actual visible images these days that we have lost the ability to see things that are real, but not present to us – unseen things, like Jesus in all His glory and beauty. We’re not used to fixing our gaze on one beautiful object and contemplating it from every conceivable angle to maximize the wonder and pleasure of its loveliness, and to absorb its goodness into our souls.
But meditation is an important element in the life of faith. Learning to look on our exalted Lord Jesus, with the eye of faith, and as He is depicted in Scripture, can be the most rewarding, uplifting, and exhilarating experience you’ll ever know. But it takes time. It requires concentration, the ability to shut out your surroundings, to gain a growing, compelling sense of all the Scriptures reveal about our exalted Lord and King.
Contemplating the creation toward the same end is even more foreign to believers today. Yet Jesus upholds the creation by His powerful Word, and speaks through it to us continually, inviting us to consider His beauty, wisdom, goodness, generosity, and love (Ps. 19.1-4).
Scripture and creation offer focal points for contemplating Jesus, and what they reveal to us of Him is breathtakingly beautiful. If we once saw it, once glimpsed the exalted beauty of our glorious, reigning King, or saw, with the eye of the heart, more deeply into the mysteries and wonders of His being and love, we would surely desire to meditate more, and would meditate with greater effects.
And such meditations would greatly enrich our desire and ability to do those works which manifest the hope that is within us and pique the curiosity of those benefited by them.
Learn to meditate, and watch your joy in the Lord and fruitfulness in His service grow accordingly.
1. How would you advise a new beliver to begin meditating on the Lord?
2. Why do you think Scripture puts so much emphasis on meditation?
Psalm 27.4-6, 11-13 (Joanna: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise)
One thing we request but to dwell with You, Lord,
Your beauty to test and to think on Your Word.
In trouble You hide us secure in Your grace;
no foe may o’erride us: We sing of Your praise!
Lord, teach us; Lord, lead us because of our foes!
Hear, Lord, when we plead for release from their woes.
Had we not believed all Your goodness to see,
our hearts sorely grieved and in turmoil would be.
Lord, I want to learn how to meditate on You, so that You can fill me with all Your goodness and I will…
Take time to meditate!
Download the free PDF, Glorious Vision: 28 Days in the Throne Room of the Lord, and let Psalm 45 lead you into deeper contemplation of the Lord. Two other resources to help you focus on the beauty and greatness of the Lord are our books, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here), and To Know Him (click here).
We pray that, if Crosfigell ministers to you, you’ll consider sharing with us in the financial support of our ministry. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Plummer, Litanies, p. 23.