We are not a very contemplative culture. After all, life moves fast and facts must be digested quickly. Headlines, bullet points, and tweets are all we have time to consider before we’re on to the next bit of information. We consume data at a ravenous rate.
We believe the more information we have the better our lives will be. However, this axiom of modern life is deeply flawed. It’s like saying, “The more you eat, the healthier you’ll be.” In fact, the opposite is true. It is not the volume of what is consumed that makes life vibrant, but rather the quality of the morsels of thought we allow into the sacred space of our hearts.
It’s time to stand up, stick out our hand and tell the information age to hush. Then we can open our ears to hear the beautiful melodies of God’s wondrous works and wisdom. This is a process the Bible calls meditation.
Meditation invites God’s revelation not just to pass through the corridor of our ears, but to take up residence in our minds. This is done by allowing God’s truths to linger in our thoughts while we engage in an inner conversation about their meaning. Most of the words translated “meditation” in the Bible mean, “to speak, talk, and proclaim.” In other words, meditation is like having your own little study group, where your mind, will and emotions engage in a passionate discussion about God’s self-revelation.
Have you talked with yourself about the Lord lately? Here are five reasons why you should.
#1 – Meditation turns knowledge into wisdom. I had a guitar which sat in our closet for years. I knew a lot of facts about it and even learned a few basic cords, but the instrument never made beautiful music because I didn’t spend much time practicing it. Likewise, we will not hear how practical God’s word is if we do not spend time letting it resonate in our hearts. Meditation is what leads to those exciting discoveries of truth which cause your heart to leap and your mouth to shout, “I see! I see!” Don’t miss those moments! Meditate.
97 Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation. (Psalm 119:97-99)
#2 – Meditation turns intentions into actions. Nobody plans to live an unproductive life. We all have dreams of the kind of people we want to be and the great works we can do for the Lord, but those dreams remain on the launching pad without meditation. In the same way, the powerful commands of Scripture languish as ink on a page without meditation to release them into our lives. Meditation is where we wrestle with our will and emotions to activate what our mind has come to know. Meditation is the spark that ignites a courageous life of obedience.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
#3 – Meditation removes your self-deception. Meditation causes us to stand unmasked in the presence of a Holy God. His word lays bare the reality we keep carefully hidden from our friends and intentionally suppressed from our own conscience. Meditation pulls the true self into the light of day so that it might be conformed to the glorious image of Christ. Sometimes meditation is a painful process that has the most magnificent result.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor. 13:5)
#4 – Meditation will make your life stable. We live in the day of drama queens where the trivialities of the day drive our emotions up and down like a rollercoaster. Meditation plucks us out of the tumultuous moment to see our life from a broader perspective, God’s perspective. From the vantage point of reflection we can see the solid rock of God’s truth which provides mooring for our turbulent lives. Meditation sends the roots of faith deep into eternal realities which hold our lives stable.
1 Blessed is the man …
2 [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3; also Psalm 16:8)
#5 – Meditation will awaken your joy in God. Delight often springs from the details. For example, the casual observer may simply see a boring shirt. However, upon further examination the careful observer sees the thread, the dye, the weave, the stitching, and the design, and all of a sudden a simple shirt becomes the source of astonishment. Infinitely more is this true of the one who meditates on God’s glorious works and wisdom. The wonders of the cross, the splendors of the resurrection, and the joys of heaven burst into vibrant color under the light of meditation. Don’t miss the delight—meditate!
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:15-16)
Take the time to stop what you’re doing and meditate on the beautiful character and works of our Almighty Father. You’ll be glad you did.
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Give It A Try
Give meditation a try with the following verse:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Let this verse live in your heart by considering the following questions.
1. What does it mean to be “crucified with Christ?”
2. What does it mean that I “no longer live?”
3. How do I “live by faith in the Son of God?”
4. How does Jesus’ love and sacrifice motivate my life?
Please do not confuse Biblical meditation with the mystical practices of Eastern religions, where some cross-legged yogi hums while pinching his fingers. S. D. Eyre elevates the uniqueness of Biblical meditation this way,
“In contrast to Eastern meditation, which seeks to empty the mind, Christian meditation seeks to focus and fill the mind with the truth of God. While Eastern meditation puts aside reason, Christian meditation develops the skillful use of reason, considering the works of God and seeking to understand what they mean.” (Drawing Close To God. Eyre, S.D. IVP (1995))
The Biblical Words Translated “Meditate”
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