The information below is based on the book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Dr. Don Whitney.
Meditating on God’s Word is one way to stoke the fire of God’s love in your heart. But by meditating, I don’t mean sitting in a yoga pose and attempting to clear your mind of all negative energy. I mean reading God’s Word and using an intentional strategy to fill your mind with what is true. A strategy I learned from Dr. Don Whitney that I find helpful is to use the following prompt and fill in the blank as many times as possible.
“If this text is true, then I should _________.”
It’s a simple strategy, but it works!
Let’s Practice Together
Let’s try it together using Ephesians 1:3-4.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”
Ephesians 1 should encourage the church to bless our triune God for our spiritual riches and to praise him for the blessings he has bestowed on us in Christ. One of the blessings we should praise him for is our election (vv. 3-4), the truth that God the Father chose us for salvation before the foundation of the world.
That’s an amazing truth to celebrate, but also a truth to consider more deeply. So, let’s use our meditation strategy and reflect on how election should influence our hearts and lives. First, say a simple prayer, and ask the Holy Spirit to help illuminate the truth of God’s Word. Then, fill in the blank to the prompt above.
Here are five of my responses to the doctrine of election:
- If election is true, then I should marvel. – The doctrine of election should cause me to marvel at the sovereign wisdom, grace, and power of God. I don’t always know why God does the things he does, but I’m grateful that he thought of me and included me in his plan to create a redeemed people who would love and praise him.
- If election is true, then I should forgive. – This doctrine should cause me to be forgiving. I brought absolutely nothing to the table of salvation. God chose me before time began. But he did not treat me as my sins deserved, and that causes me to think that I should be forgiving towards others even if they don’t deserve it.
- If election is true, then I should be comforted. – My election comforts me. My problems and struggles can seem overwhelming at times, but when I consider the infinite wisdom and power of God, it comforts me to remember that the weight of my problems are nothing compared to the magnitude of God’s ability to work my good and his glory from any circumstances.
- If election is true, then I should be assured. – The doctrine of election should assure me of my salvation. If I was on God’s mind and heart before the foundation of the world, and in the scope of time he worked salvation in my life, then there’s no way he won’t see his work through all the way until the day of redemption.
- If election is true, then I should be confident in evangelism. – I should be confident in sharing the good news of God’s grace with others. Because I know that some are already chosen by God, I should keep sharing the gospel knowing some are destined to respond in faith and repentance. But I’ve got to keep sharing to find out who those people are!
Try It on Your Own!
Now that you see how this meditation strategy works, it’s your turn. How many more times can you fill in the statement “If election is true, then I should _________.” Can you come up with five more? Ten more? I bet you can because the depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge is unsearchable!
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!…To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33-36).
Learn more about the doctrine of election.