Most of my life I was in the camp that meditation belonged solely in the land of Depak Chopra and the land of enchanted weirdos. And yet, that entire time I heard Youth Pastors, Pastors, Evangelists, Group Leaders and mature Followers of Christ teach the value of having a “quiet time.” So I purchased new devo books, followed new devo trends, and and set my course for Chuck’s Jesus Calling!
But what if there is something to this meditation thing? What if there is a place that I can focus and center my heart, soul, mind and strength on the Divine.What if I could still my soul, fuel it with peace and power…AND, hear the Divine direct my life? If you want to climb with authority, purpose and a steadfast discipline, here are a few ways to jump off of the high dive into meditation!
Meditation has gotten a bad name in Christian circles, particularly in evangelical and fundamentalist circles. Meditation is viewed as connected with other faith systems like Hinduism, New Agism and Buddhism. But of course this is silly: all of those people pray, worship, and give to charity as well–that does not mean that prayer, worship, or generosity are ungodly! Rather, meditation is in fact a wholly Biblical concept. Meditation in Judeo-Christianity far predates it in any other faith system.
Consider these following verses:
Gen 24:63 – Isaac is out meditating in the fields when God brings him Rebekah
Joshua 1:8 – The Jewish people are commanded to meditate on the law each evening and morning
Job 15:4 – It is frowned upon to hinder people from meditating before God
Psalm 1:2 – The sign of a righteous man is that he meditates on the Law day and night
Psalm 19:14 – David prays that the meditations of his heart will be acceptable to God, that is, meditation is seen as a type of prayer
Psalm 49:3 – The heart should meditate to bring understanding
Psalm 63:6 – David promises to meditate on God in the night
Psalm 77:3 – When David remembers God is during his meditation
Psalm 77:6 – Meditating in the heart is how David gets close to God
Psalm 77:12 – It brings God honor to meditate on His deeds
Psalm 104:34 – A prayer that God will find the psalmists’ meditations pleasing
Psalm 119 – 8 different times it tells us the importance of meditating on God’s law and His works
Psalm 143:5 – The psalmist will meditate on what God has done for him
Luke 21:14 – Jesus tells them that they shouldn’t be spending their time meditating about what they should say, that the Spirit will give them the words
1Tim 4:13-15 – Meditate on doctrine and Biblical readings
Meditation is not only Biblical but is actually presented as a critical part of a daily prayer life. The goal of eastern meditations is to empty the mind. The goal of biblical meditation is to fill the mind with contemplation on God’s Word. The object of meditation in eastern religions is aloneness, and disconnection from the world. The object of biblical meditation is The Divine – His character, His promises, and His purposes. Eastern meditations rely on yoga or repeating of mantras in order to focus or clear the mind. Biblical meditation is intended to improve one’s personal relationship with God as we celebrate Him, wait to hear from Him and lift Him above all things with a focused heart, mind and soul.
Here are a few ways that I incorporate meditation into my morning routine.
I use a set of songs that are my hourglass. They are model times to set aside EVERY DISTRACTION. I am presently using this song from Hillsong Worship: “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) Live – it’s about 10 minutes long.
Create a distraction-free, sacred place: Breathe! Minimum of three times. In slowly – hold it – exhale slowly. This is to set your tone and pace. It is amazing how the Divine will use your heart’s intent to set your heart on course with Him.
Focus on a Biblical passage: I love praying the Psalms. I am always encouraged and blessed. Use a translation that you can fully grasp. This year, I am using the New Living Translation.
Present a soul in awe at the Divine: Having focused your mind and having read the passage, it is time to reflect on the passage. But this part is the most important difference from ordinary prayer. In ordinary prayer, you do the talking: in meditation, you just keep your mind focused on Him and His story, and primarily you are listening for His voice.
Pray outloud: Tell the Divine what you are grateful for, with thanksgiving tell Him of His goodness. Ask Him for wisdom and the specific people and plans you have for the day. Give the Divine your surrendered heart for the day, and then pray for your family and others. This morning I prayed specifically for those in my life fighting cancer, and my grandchildren.
Sing! Play a song of praise that you like, and sing. Lately I’ve been singing “Be Thou My Vision” from Selah Hymns. You pick yours.
If you want to finish this Climb that you’ve started – MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS!
“For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5