What does the Bible teach about Christian Meditation?

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By BibleAsk Team


Christian meditation, as taught in the Bible, is a practice deeply rooted in the contemplation and reflection upon the Word of God. It differs from secular, pagan, or New Age forms of meditation in that its focus is not on emptying the mind or achieving altered states of consciousness but rather on filling the mind with the truths and precepts found in Scripture.

Throughout the Bible, meditation is portrayed as a means of deepening one’s relationship with God, gaining wisdom, and aligning one’s thoughts and actions with His will. Drawing upon references from the the Bible, we can explore what the Scriptures teach about Christian meditation and its significance in the life of a believer.

Biblical Foundation of Christian Meditation

1. Joshua 1:8 (NKJV):

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.”

This verse from the book of Joshua emphasizes the importance of meditating on God’s Word day and night. By immersing oneself in Scripture and reflecting on its teachings, one can gain insight and guidance for living a life that is pleasing to God.

2. Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV):

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”

The opening verses of Psalm 1 highlight the blessings that come to those who delight in and meditate on the law of the Lord. Such individuals are likened to trees planted by rivers of water, bearing fruit in season and prospering in all they do.

3. Psalm 119:15-16 (NKJV):

“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”

The psalmist expresses his commitment to meditating on God’s precepts and delighting in His statutes. Through meditation, he seeks to internalize God’s Word and keep it ever before him, guarding against forgetfulness and neglect.

Characteristics of Christian Meditation

1. Reflection and Contemplation

Christian meditation involves intentional reflection and contemplation upon the truths revealed in Scripture. It is a process of pondering God’s Word, allowing its significance to penetrate the heart and mind. The Psalmist wrote, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches” (Psalm 63:6, NKJV).

2. Prayerful Engagement

Meditation is often accompanied by prayerful engagement, as believers seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the meaning and application of Scripture to their lives. The Bible teaches, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41, NKJV);  “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV); and “continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12, NKJV).

This does not mean that we should be constantly bowed before God in prayer, but that we should ever be in a prayerful meditative frame of mind, even when walking by the way or engaged in the duties of life, ever ready to send up our petitions to heaven for help in time of need.

3. Application to Life

Christian meditation is not merely an intellectual exercise but a practical one. Its ultimate aim is to transform the believer’s thoughts, attitudes, and actions in accordance with God’s will. Christian meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body. It assimilates, appropriates, and makes personal and practical that which has been seen, heard, or read. Paul instructed Timothy to “meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15, NKJV).

Benefits of Christian Meditation

1. Spiritual Growth

Meditation on God’s Word fosters spiritual growth and maturity, deepening the believer’s understanding of God’s character and His ways. “So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10,NKJV).

2. Renewed Mindset

By meditating on the truths of Scripture, believers experience a renewal of their mindset, transformation of their lives, aligning their thoughts and actions with God’s perspective and truth. “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23, NKJV).

3. Guidance and Direction

Meditation serves as a means of seeking guidance and direction from God, as believers reflect on His Word and discern His will for their lives. For guidance the Bible declares, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV).

Avoiding Distortions and Misconceptions

1. Guarding Against Emptying the Mind

Christian meditation is distinct from forms of meditation that seek to empty the mind or achieve altered states of consciousness through drugs, spiritism or mysticism (Matthew 6:7). Instead of focusing on self or worldly, secular, or pagan wisdom, it centers on the truths revealed in God’s Word.

2. Rejecting Syncretism

Believers should be cautious of syncretism, which blends Christian practices with elements of other Eastern religions or philosophies. Christian meditation should remain firmly grounded in Scripture and the teachings of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 8:20).

3. Cultivating Discernment

Discernment is essential in distinguishing between biblical meditation and practices that are incompatible with Christian faith. Believers are called to test all things against the standard of Scripture and hold fast to what is true (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The Christian should heed the Lord instruction to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV).

Conclusion

Christian meditation, as taught in the Bible, is a practice characterized by reflection, prayerful engagement, and application of God’s Word to life. It serves as a means of deepening one’s relationship with God, gaining wisdom, and aligning one’s thoughts and actions with His will. By immersing oneself in Scripture and meditating on its truths, believers experience spiritual growth, renewed mindset, and guidance for living a life that honors God.

It is essential for believers to approach meditation with discernment, guarding against pagan practices, distortions, misconceptions, and remaining faithful to the teachings of Scripture. As believers commit themselves to the practice of Biblical meditation, they are enriched spiritually and equipped to walk in obedience to God’s Word.

Check the lesson on “Christian meditation” for more information on what the Bible has to say about this topic.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories God

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