Is your mouth salivating as you look at these pictures? Mine is!
Close your eyes and take a bite—mmmmmmm, scrumptious, melts in your mouth! (Sorry, if you are a vegetarian!)
That’s what marinating can do! It can take a tough, bland piece of meat and make it yummy and tender. That’s what the Word of God can do with our hard hearts and tasteless lives.
If you and I want the abundant life promised in Scripture (Jn 10:10), a superficial exposure to God’s truths won’t do. Only a deep penetrating and long immersion will give the results we truly want. We need to meditate upon God’s Word.
By meditation I mean a deep contemplative analysis; a deep thought process for the purpose of understanding its true meaning and application—not the emptying of our minds as in transcendental meditation. We want to fill our minds—not empty them!
Most people don’t meditate on God’s truths because they either don’t know how, or don’t want to make the effort or take the time. But there are huge benefits and I want to help you. So, here’s a
Recipe for Marinating in God’s Word
1. Good ingredients in the right proportions
The Bible is definitely good, but it’s so big! Where do you start? Our Master Chef knows the perfect combination. He will lead you to the truths you need to learn and apply at this stage of your walk (Jn 16:13). Start simple, let Him lead you.
According to cookbooks, you need 3 types of ingredients for a marinade: oil, acid, and spices.
Oil: The Holy Spirit (often referred to as oil) is the living and active Word of God; enabling us to absorb God’s freeing truths into our being. His love and comfort soothe our souls.
Acid: This represents the difficulties God allows in our lives to break down wrong ideas or hardness of heart. By soaking in His Word, we can evaluate hardships through His perspective to help us absorb key truths.
Spices: Some of God’s truths are sweet and easy to absorb, others are pungent and difficult to accept (and do).
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good. (Ps 34:8 NKJV)
2. Total immersion
We need to be all in. We must remove all barriers of a pride and unwillingness; allowing Him to turn us around and around—exposing every part of our being to His transforming Word.
…Accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding. (Pr 2:1-2)
It takes time for a marinade to complete its job of tenderizing and infusing flavor into a tough, bland piece of meat. It takes time to study commentaries, word definitions, different translations. It takes time to pray and ponder God’s truths deeply so they’ll sink into our innermost being.
Take the time to repeatedly think about God’s Word throughout the day…
- Turning a verse or passage over and over again in your mind
- Looking at it, one phrase at a time, from different angles
- Seeing how to apply it to your life
- Asking God to clarify the meaning so you can accept those difficult-to-swallow truths and commands (like loving your enemy).
Marinating in God’s Word enables us to accept His ways, to accept Him and therefore easier to accept life’s difficulties.
As much as I love word pictures, there is one major flaw with this marinating analogy:
Meditation isn’t passive on your end or God’s end!
God does His part. He knows what specific truths you need to absorb at this point in your life. He knows how to give you understanding so that you’ll be willing to accept them. And He knows that it takes time and patiently waits as His transforming Word makes you into a delicious end-product.
My friend, will you do your part by actively reading, studying, and meditating on God’s sweet truths? Take the time, make the effort. It will be WORTH IT because in following God’s recipe…
Your life will become a sweet-smelling savor to your Savior!
(2 Cor 2:15)
Except where indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
(NKJV) New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.