Not Just a Footnote

In a tiny little footnote this morning, I read something about four ways to focus our attention when we think about God. I’m rereading Donald Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life–a book I read back in the 90’s one summer at Camp Greystone. Back then, I became so excited to build my adult life around such disciplines as Bible reading, prayer, silence and solitude, and journaling (among others). I learned how the spiritual disciplines set me on the path to more fully experience God’s grace; rather than legalism, works, or drudgery, the disciplines could instead function as great sources of joy, beauty, and vibrant living. I couldn’t wait to begin!

I love rereading the words I underlined and the thoughts I had about new ideas like scripture memory and the commitment to journaling. Now, 25 years later, I see the fruit God produced in my life through the practice of daily Bible reading and scripture memory. It’s so amazing when I consider it.

In the footnote, I read how scripture teaches about four objects of our meditation: God’s word. God’s creation. God’s providence. God’s character. More than anything else, we’re told to meditate on God’s word. But then what else? We’re to meditate on God’s creation, God’s providence, and God’s character. What a wonderful way to shape the day to first meditate deeply on God’s word but then move out into His creation to mediate on His genius design! My heart can burst into worship just thinking about how God thought about making leaves change color in autumn. Think about it. It’s so beautiful.

And then consider God’s providence and the way He orders all things for our good and His glory. He upholds all things as Creator, Sustainer, and Sovereign Lord. He intervenes. He works on our behalf. He provides and cares for us right now.

Finally, consider a day when you think about the character of God and His wonderful attributes all day long. Think about His love, goodness, and faithfulness.

Sometimes, I meditate on other things. I think deeply and focus on a wide variety of things whether current events, political positions, the future, or my own goals. I’m challenged by this footnote to not make the focus of my heart on God’s word, His creation, His providence, and His character a mere footnote in my day.

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