The Importance of Biblical Meditation
The Bible mentions meditation 23 times; 19 of them appear in the Psalms. A man after God’s heart, David, knew the power of meditation. He wrote more about it than anyone else.
Jesus told us to abide in him as a branch abides in the vine (Reference John 15:1-8). We know that by abiding he did not mean to pray. Toward the end of that example, He said if we abide in him, then we can ask whatever we want -the Father will give it to us. Prayer is an extension of abiding. Prayer flows out of abiding. What does it mean to abide?
Paul tells us to pray without ceasing (Reference 1 Thessalonians 5:17). That’s not possible without ignoring our responsibilities and duties unless the prayer Paul was referring to is not limited to posturing on your knees and spending time in the prayer room.
The secret place is more than a place; it’s a state of mind.
Prayer is when I visit Him. Meditation is when He visits me. Not all of us can pray 24/7. It’s not even practical or realistic because we think all of the time. Most of that thinking is automatic, some of it is toxic. God is not interested in just adding more things to do for us but to shift the focus of our dominant thoughts from worry to worship, from problems to his presence. It’s what meditation is all about.
Meditation brings visitation.
Meditation is a visit with God. It’s more like His visit with you. You don’t have to be in a prayer room to experience that visitation but your mind and affection must be directed to Him for that visitation to take place. Judas had a thought planted by the devil, which he cultivated and meditated on – it resulted with the devil himself entering Judas, of all places, during the last supper. Imagine that. Wrong meditation brought the wrong visitation, even though he was in the right place. Whatever place you are in today: work, school, gym – focus your meditation on God. He will visit you. If the devil visited Judas during communion, God can visit you during work – if you meditate on Him.
Dominant thoughts assist or resist the Holy Spirit.
In Genesis 6, God said that His spirit will not strive with man forever because every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Every, only, continually – speaks of dominant thoughts of men. These dominant thoughts not only shorten the life span of man on earth but also limited the activity of God’s spirit in the heart of man. Your thought life either resists or assists the Holy Spirit. Are your thoughts fixed on God’s promise or problems? Are they filled with worry or worship?
Read: Is Yoga Dangerous?
When you can’t control what happens to you, remember, you are responsible for what happens in you.
Some people can’t change their thoughts because they believe that they can’t control their thoughts. You might not be able to control your circumstances or what happens to you but you are responsible for what happens in you. Viktor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor, said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” It is human freedom to choose our attitude. As born again, spirit-filled believers – we must choose to meditate on God’s promise, presence, and peace in the midst of whatever we are going through. Paul and Silas did it, while physically hurting, they were singing in their jail. Let’s remember, the Titanic did not sink because there was too much water in the ocean, there was too much water in that boat. If you are sinking under the weight of your problems, tell God about it, give it to Him, and then His peace will guard your heart and mind. But after that, choose to think about what he says. (Reference Philippians 4:6-8)
I like what Rick Warren said about meditation, “Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind…if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate. No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture.
If you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day”
Sometimes, meditating on scriptures and God’s presence is easy, we just turn our thoughts into talks with God, our worry into worship, shift from thinking about problems to thinking about promises. But there will be times where we will have to take our thoughts captive (Reference 2 Corinthians 2:10:5). We do that by accepting responsibility for our thoughts, speaking God’s word out loud, responding to God in that situation instead of reacting to it. Teach our minds about the Lord and make them focus on God. Our mind is not our master it’s the servant to the Master Jesus.
Finally, we need to address the difference between Christian meditation (as described in Isaiah 26:3; Joshua 1:8; Philippians 4:8; Psalm 19:14; Psalm 119:148; Psalm 143:5; Psalm 119:15) and Eastern meditations which have become very popular in our cultures today.
Eastern meditation empties the mind. Christian meditation fills the mind.
Eastern meditation is detachment. Christian meditation is attachment to God.
Eastern meditation is passive. Christian mediation is aggressive.
Eastern meditation is demonic. Christian meditation is Holy Spirit-filled.
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