Think It Over
Once a month, I’ll be writing you a blog post about one of the various spiritual disciplines referenced in the Bible, explaining its importance and relevance, and giving a suggestion or two on how to practice it.
This month, let us consider the spiritual practice of meditation. Many are opposed to meditation as it conjures up images of Eastern religions or opening one’s mind to unknown spiritual forces. The thing is, we ALL practice meditation regularly, some of us multiple times per day.
Think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
Almost all of us have some experience in meditating on the anxieties, difficulties, and troubles - real or imagined - in life. Typically, we call this worry. But worry is actually nothing more than the negative side of meditation. Scripture instructs us to reject worry in favor of mediating regularly upon God and his word...
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 (ESV)
One of several examples of Christian meditation is found in the following excerpt of Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline (I’ll be referencing this work regularly. Every believer can only benefit from obtaining - and actually reading - this seminal work on the spiritual disciplines.)
“For all devotional masters the meditatio Scripturarum, the meditation upon Scripture, is the central reference point by which all other forms of mediation are kept in proper perspective. Whereas the study of Scripture centers on exegesis [critical explanation or interpretation of a text], the meditation of Scripture centers on internalizing and personalizing the passage. The written Word becomes a living word addressed to you. This is not a time for technical studies, or analysis, or even the gathering of material to share with others. Set aside all tendencies toward arrogance and with a humble heart receive the word addressed to you. Often I find kneeling especially appropriate for this particular time. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, ‘...just as you do not analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the Word of Scripture and ponder it in your heart, as Mary did. That is all. That is meditation.’” Christian meditation is a MUST for every believer as it is the primary tool for the reshaping of the mind called for by Paul in his letter to the Romans...Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Think about it.