Savoring God's Word

Sharla Fritz

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Published Jun 20, 2024
Savoring God's Word

I want to know God better. I want to discover a new dimension of His character. It’s then that I slow down to appreciate the richness of the Bible.

On a recent trip to New York State with my siblings, I had the opportunity to visit the Culinary Institute of America. From the time we drove onto the stunning campus on the Hudson River, we knew we were in for a treat.

As we walked into the Italian restaurant on the campus, we were greeted by cheerful students of the school along with amazing aromas coming from the kitchen. After they led us to our table, we had the difficult decision of what to order. Every dish sounded delicious! In the end, we shared artichoke appetizers and a creamy risotto for our second course. I had crispy trout for my entrée, and we all sampled tiramisu for dessert. 

This was a meal to savor! Each dish had complex flavors. Each morsel brought new taste sensations. Each bite invited me to slow down.

Are all my meals like the one at the Culinary Institute? Do I consciously relish each bit I eat like I did there?

Well, no. Sometimes my meal consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich eaten between appointments. Sometimes I mindlessly snack on a handful of almonds while working at the computer.

Contrasting these two ways of eating made me think of the time I spend in the Bible. Just as I eat food every day, I also try to consume some of God’s Word daily. But sometimes I approach Scripture like fast food: Read a chapter. Say a prayer. Check it off the to-do list.

And sometimes that’s okay. God will speak to us any time we open up the Bible. He says, “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:11 NLT). God always heals our souls through His Word—even if we take it in small doses.

But sometimes I want to go deeper. I want to know God better. I want to discover a new dimension of His character. It’s then that I slow down to appreciate the richness of the Bible.

Here are three ways I like to savor God’s Word:

1. Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is an ancient-modern way of meditating on Scripture which slows me down and gives structure to my thoughts. To use this practice, start with a short passage of Scripture of about 8-10 verses and follow these steps:

-Silencio (Preparation): Before you read, take a moment to close your eyes and become aware of God’s presence with you. Let God know you are willing to hear from Him.

-Lectio (Read): Read the passage you have chosen slowly, pausing between phrases and sentences. As you read, ask God to show you a word or phrase that He wants you to focus on today. Repeat that word or phrase softly, savoring it as a special message from One who loves you.

-Meditatio (Reflect): Read the passage again while asking yourself: How does this word or phrase apply to my life right now? How does it comfort me? Challenge me? Encourage me? 

-Oratio (Respond): Read the passage one more time, paying attention to your heart’s response. Do you sense conviction? Regret? Grief? Love? Joy? Gratitude? Honestly express your emotional response. Tell God what you feel. 

-Contemplatio (Rest): Now rest in God’s love for you and the words He has spoken through His Word. Receive His joy and grace. 

-Incarnatio (Live): This step means to incarnate—live out—the Word of God. To remember what God spoke to you during this time, consider writing down the word or phrase that the Holy Spirit highlighted in this time. You might even write it on a 3x5 card that you can carry with you throughout the day. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, pull out the card and remember the Father’s words. End your Lectio Divina time by thanking God for speaking to you through His Word.

God often surprises me in this process, highlighting a word I may have glossed over before, but one that speaks to the deepest needs of my heart.

2. Meditating on Biblical Stories

We all love a good story. So when our hearts grow weary and time in God’s Word begins to feel tiresome, we can go back to stories. Perhaps you’ve heard the narratives of David and Goliath or The Feeding of the 5000 since you sat in tiny Sunday School chairs, but meditating on these stories will help you notice new aspects. 

To meditate on a Bible story, start by asking the Holy Spirit to guide your time in the Word. Read the text slowly. Then close your eyes and use your five senses to see yourself in the setting. What might have you seen? Smelled? Felt? Heard? Tasted? Imagine you are there. If you were one of the characters, who would you be? How would you have responded to the events? What thoughts would have spun through your mind? What emotions would have bubbled up? Try not to rush through this practice. After you have experienced the narrative in a new way, take time to apply the story to your life in the present. What does the story teach you about Jesus? How does God want you to respond?

3. Meditating Word by Word

I first learned this method of Scripture meditation from a friend in college. I immediately loved it because it tuned my heart to God even on my very secular campus. I would use it as I walked between classes. Now I turn to it while vacuuming, driving, or when I can’t fall asleep. 

To meditate word by word, select a favorite Bible verse and contemplate it from different angles by emphasizing different words. Repeat the verse over and over—each time stressing a different word. How does emphasizing that word change the meaning? For instance, let’s look at Psalm 16:11:

"You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand." 

When I focus on the word "You," I remember God is the One who reveals the best way to go, not the world. "Make known"—He has already revealed the map to abundant life in His Word. "To me"—He doesn’t just reveal His will to pastors or monks. He also wants to talk to ordinary me. "The path"—the Christian life isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. God leads us step by step. "Of life"—God’s path is more than drudgery and grim survival. It’s extravagant life. 

Each repetition is a bit like turning a diamond in the sunshine, revealing a sparkling new facet of God’s truth.

Savor the Word

Science tells us that savoring our food will enhance our enjoyment of it. Even if the meal doesn’t meet the standards of the Culinary Institute of America, we can appreciate the juiciness of a ripe peach or the crisp crunch of an apple.

We can also use the technique of savoring to increase our appreciation for the Bible. When you have a little more time, use the practices of Lectio Divina and meditating on Bible stories. But even when you find yourself on the go, try meditating word by word. Slow down. Treasure the words. Appreciate the Father’s loving voice in each paragraph. Let God’s Word seep into your soul.

Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Eduardo Braga

Sharla Fritz is a Christian author and speaker who weaves honest and humorous stories into life-changing Bible study. Author of the new book Measured by Grace: How God Defines Success, Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace and unfailing love. Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her amusing pastor husband. Get her FREE ebook 21 Five-Minute Soul-Rest Practices or connect with Sharla at and Facebook.