2001-12-28 - Meditation
The Christian's Toolbox, Part 5
To coin a phrase from the 60's, meditation has "gotten a bum rap." In too many minds, meditation is now associated primarily with Eastern belief systems. But God's word not only okays meditation; it recommends it. It's time for us Christians to reclaim meditation as a God-honoring spiritual discipline.
The meditation I refer to does not consist of "emptying our minds." In fact, Jesus warns us against this (Matthew 12:44-45).
According to Webster-Merriam's online dictionary, to "meditate" means "to focus one's thoughts on, to reflect on and ponder over." As a grammar geek, I notice that these definitions end in prepositions- "on" and "over," which indicates that there is to be a person or an object that is the focus of the meditation. For the Christian that person would be God and that object would be one of God's attributes, a passage of Scripture or something else that draws us closer to Him.
Meditation on God quiets our spirit, allowing God to calm us:
Psalm 46:10-11 (NIV) Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Meditation on God, His acts and His word, also helps us to get our priorities in order. Many things are important and need to be attended to, but worshipful meditation reminds us that God is in control and that our primary goal should be seeking and following His will.
The Psalms are replete with examples of the Psalmist meditating.
Psalm 63:6 (NASB) When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
The Psalmist meditated on God's actions and His creation. Sometimes we can draw closer to God, and appreciate HIm more, when we observe the antics of a bird on the beautiy of a flower -- or some other aspect of his Creation.
Psalm 143:5 (NASB) I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands.
He also meditated on God's word:
Psalm 119:48 (NASB) And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes.
Sometimes we need to simply worshipfully meditate on God's majesty.
Psalm 145:5 (NASB) On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
I have found that meditating - God's way - first thing in the morning can get my day off to a good start. Whether it's in the morning, at bedtime or during the midst of a hectic day, I encourage you to meditate a little bit each day. Find a few minutes to concentrate on a verse in God's word, an attribute like His justice or compassion - anything that will focus you on our Lord. I would love to hear about your experiences.