When was the last time you practiced the discipline of meditation? What sort of books do you read, TV shows and movies do you watch, and radio or Sirius stations do you listen to? How appropriate are they in reinforcing Biblical standards of meditation?
The Bible certainly encourages people to practice the art, or discipline of meditation. God told Joshua in 1:8 that he was to be faithful to God’s Word by talking about it (Deut 6:7), meditating on it, and obeying it. The Psalms in particular, highlights meditation (Psalm 1:2, 77:12, 145:5). Yet many questions remain.
Is there a proper posture, position, or location for meditation? Are there appropriate words or phrases or ideas that we should concentrate on? Is there a formal, informal, or complicated process to follow to ensure maximum results?
We can read the history of the Church and learn that men and women who desired to draw near to God often left home and family to spend their lives in the desert meditating. Does that mean we all have to follow that example?
Fortunately the Bible does give us some sound guidance on the topic of meditation – especially by telling us what we should meditate on. A reading of Psalm 119 underscores the value and necessity of focusing on the character and acts of God: His love, laws, works, standards, thoughts, ways, provisions, and miracles.
Read Psalm 119:9-32.
The Psalmist said in 77:11 that, “he will remember the deeds of the Lord.” He said in 119:97, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it day and night.” Psalm 143:5 says we should always remember the days of long ago when God worked among peoples and nations…and what His hands have done.
The New Testament reinforces this theme when the apostle Paul told his young minister-in-training Timothy to meditate on sound doctrine, i.e., the teachings he had received from Paul (1 Timothy 4:11-16). He also sent words of encouragement to the followers of Christ in the city of Philippi, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8)
God has given us two books to enjoy and drink deeply of: Scripture and nature. It seems that when we give attention to lush landscapes, vibrant music, beautiful paintings, acts of kindness, family photographs, working in a garden, reading books that honor God and His creation, or think of and inspire good works in others, we are involved in contemplation that may lead to true meditation of the One True God.
Time spent reflecting on the good, right, just and beautiful things God has created and given us is a part of this important spiritual discipline. Grow devotionally. You and I must focus on and apply the words of the Bible to the process of meditation. What can you do today to dwell on Christ-honoring things, as well as Christ Himself?
Love is a verb,