Have you ever wondered about the true meaning of meditation as depicted in the Bible? Picture a serene scene, where the golden sun casts its gentle glow upon a tranquil landscape, and a soul seeks solace in the depths of contemplation. This divine act of meditating holds a much deeper significance than you may have ever imagined.
Meditation, as defined in the Bible, encompasses a spiritual journey that transcends the barriers of time and space. Unlike conventional notions of meditation, this sacred practice aligns one’s thoughts not with the worldly desires, but with the divine wisdom and guidance of the Almighty.
Biblical meditation is entirely different, it has a different focus, a different application and a different outcome.
Secular meditation is focused on letting go of our attachment to everything but the present moment, the present breath. Biblical mediation is focused on clinging as close as we can to the ways, promises and words of God.
One of the first times the Bible mentions meditation is in Joshua 1:8 and it reads, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” In these verses the focus of the meditation is on the words of Scripture. The Bible also mentions meditating on God’s unfailing love (Psalm 48:9), on God’s works and all his mighty deeds (Psalm 77:12), on God’s precepts and his ways (Psalm 119:15) and on God’s promises (Psalm 119:148).
Secular meditation leaves you without a resolution to your issues. You take a moment to clear the mind and then you’re immediately back to your real, chaotic life. You may have a calmer disposition, but what you don’t have is a solution to your real problems.
Many of the times meditation is mentioned in the Bible, it also describes what we should do after we meditate on God’s word and ways. James 1:25 says, “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.” Biblical meditation has a clear path for you to follow, a compassionate Savior to walk with you and the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Can you see how meditation on Scripture employs every advantage of secular meditation and then some? You get the same pause, the same mental reset but you also get infinitely more. Daily time spent meditating and then acting on God’s word changes everything from the inside-out and as James 1:25 says, the changes it makes move us towards freedom and blessing.
Can Meditation Be Dangerous?
What should cause Christians to pause when they’re participating in meditation? Frankly, there’s a lot of dangerous meditation out there. Any thought or practice that is pointing our meditative affections to serenity, success, or to a deeper understanding of self could be moving us away from a focus on Jesus. Most of us aren’t driving to the local yoga studio for our daily meditation session, but whether we know it or not, most of us are making space in our thoughts to meditate on something. We need to be aware of it and we need to be cautious. I’ll give a current cultural example of this:
The past few years, droves of women have hung on every word that comes from the mouth of Rachel Hollis. While I do think she has plenty of advice and enthusiasm that greatly benefits many women, I also think practices like the ones emphasized in her Start Today journal and Start Today Podcast need to be handled very carefully.
She doesn’t call her morning routine meditation, but it fits easily into the category of mindfulness. She encourages women to take a few minutes every morning to focus their thoughts and to set the intention for where they’re going to go that day. I have no problems at all with this practice. I have a problem with the direction in which she points the focus of every woman who follows her advice.
She shouts that you should follow your dreams, let your heart be your guide and chase the same kind of wild success that she has achieved. Her personal goals that she wrote repeatedly each morning for years are, “I am a New York Times bestselling author. I am one of the top motivational speakers in the world. I only fly first class.”
Why is this a dangerous type of meditation? It is dangerous because Jeremiah 17:5,9 says this: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord…The heart is deceitful above all things and, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
If our focused thoughts and reflections lead us to chase after a better, richer, more successful version of ourselves then our meditations are leading our hearts away from the Lord. And our hearts are “desperately sick.” Another translation says “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Chasing our heart’s desires can feel thrilling and good. We can even throw a little Jesus and charity for others in there for good measure, but God asks us to walk a narrow path where he is the only goal, the only purpose, the only desire of our hearts.
Maybe the meditation of your heart hasn’t been on the success you want to achieve someday but rather it’s been on how hurt you have felt by the betrayal of someone close. Maybe it’s been on the ways you feel your life lacks what others have or it’s been on how anxious you feel about the future or how much you regret the past. All of those feelings are real and they shouldn’t be brushed under the rug with no acknowledgement. But the desires of our heart also shouldn’t be ruling our minds and directing all our thoughts.
Key Aspects of Biblical Meditation:
- Connection with God: Biblical meditation is a channel to communicate and connect with God on a profound level. It invites us to silence the chaos of our minds, allowing God’s presence to envelop us in a sacred conversation.
- Reflective Contemplation: It encourages deep reflection upon the teachings, promises, and truths found within the Scriptures. By meditating on God’s Word, we gain clarity, divine guidance, and a fresh perspective on life’s challenges.
- Renewal and Transformation: Through regular practice of biblical meditation, our minds and hearts are transformed. We free ourselves from negative emotions, cultivate virtues such as love, compassion, and forgiveness, and experience a spiritual renewal that rejuvenates our souls.
The amplified value of biblical meditation lies in the unwavering benefits it offers to those who engage in this ancient practice. As we carve out moments for silent contemplation, the transformational power of meditation seeps into every fiber of our being, gently guiding us towards a life of purpose, peace, and spiritual fulfillment.
Moreover, biblical meditation grants us the ability to delve deeper into the profound beauty and wisdom of scripture. By immersing ourselves in God’s Word, we uncover rich treasures that transform our understanding of the divine plan and enhance our connection to our Creator.
Unlock Your Spiritual Enrichment:
Embracing the art of biblical meditation unlocks a gateway to inner peace, divine enlightenment, and spiritual enrichment. The gentle whispers of the scriptures guide us towards a path of righteousness, wisdom, and true joy.
As we navigate the complexities of life, the practice of biblical meditation equips us with an unwavering faith, a sturdy anchor that steadies us amidst the storms of doubt and uncertainty. It empowers us to rise above worldly distractions, cultivating a deep sense of spiritual awareness and alignment with the eternal truths.
So, let us embark on this transformative journey of biblical meditation and discover the profound treasures it has in store for our souls. Unlock the secrets of tranquility, restoration, and divine revelation as you immerse yourself in God’s Word and embrace the power of meditation!
How many times is meditation mentioned in the Bible
Christian meditation is an ancient practice with great relevance for today’s problems. It involves a deep, slow, thoughtful reading of God’s Word. You can meditate for only a few minutes per day and receive extraordinary benefits for your mental, spiritual, emotional and spiritual health.
The word “meditate” is found in the Bible nearly 20 times, depending on the translation you use. When meditation is listed in the Bible, it refers to meditating on God’s commands or character.
Joshua 1:8 NLT teaches us the “why” of Christian meditation: “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
God wants you to meditate on his Word so you will learn how to obey him. As you obey him, he will bless you with success because you will be following his will for your life.
Psalm 119 contains several examples of meditation, as shown in these verses:
Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. – Psalm 119:23 NLT
Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 119:27 NLT
I meditate on your age-old regulations; O Lord, they comfort me. – Psalm 119:52 NLT
Psalm 119 teaches you to meditate on God’s decrees, deeds, and regulations. Doing so will give you peace and comfort. Two other psalms give more reasons for meditation:
O God, you meditate on your unfailing love as you worship in your Temple. – Psalm 48:9 NLT
I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. – Psalm 145:5 NLT
You can meditate on God’s love, majesty, glory, splendor, and miracles, as revealed in the Bible. By carefully pondering all these attributes of God’s character, you will come to know him better. You begin to understand the way he wants you to live, and you will gain encouragement and security. If you regularly meditate on God’s Word, these blessings can be yours, no matter the difficulties you face.
Types of Christian Meditation
Unlike Eastern meditation, Christian meditation is not an emptying of the mind. Rather, it is filling your mind with God’s Word to replace negative or sinful thoughts. The act of meditating on Scripture enables a deeper communion with God.
One of the most popular ways to meditate is to read a verse of Scripture, then thoughtfully ponder it in a quiet place with no distractions. You can use any version of Scripture you like. You may also write the verse and your thoughts about it in a notebook for further reflection.
People may also use a form of meditative prayer called lectio divina, which is Latin for “divine reading.” This type of meditation has four steps. First, you read the verse or passage of Scripture. Next, you quietly meditate on it. Third, you pray over what you just learned. Finally, you take a moment to contemplate the Scripture again, inviting the Holy Spirit to illuminate your experience.
Many Christians begin their days with morning meditation. They will use a Scripture verse from their Bible or a devotional as the starting place for a time of meditation. You can ask yourself the same questions every time you have a morning meditation, then record your answers in a notebook.
Questions like “What does this verse tell me about God?” and “What does this verse tell me about living the Christian life?” are great ones to engage you with Scripture. Ending your morning meditation time with prayer is a good way to start your day.
Another way to meditate is through mindfulness. With this type of meditation, you study a verse, then pay close attention to your surroundings to experience a greater sense of God’s presence.
For example, you may meditate on a verse during a walk outdoors, praising him for all the sights and sounds of nature. You could also meditate on Scripture while sitting indoors and observing all the input from your five senses. When you use Scripture for your starting point, mindfulness can enhance your spiritual walk.
Many hymns and contemporary worship songs are filled with Bible verses. You can also meditate on the spiritual truths in the songs to grow in faith. Christian meditation is convenient and easy to do on the go when you use this type of meditation.
Guided meditation provides context for the verses you choose to study. Though your primary focus should be on hearing what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to you through the verse, you can use other helps to get more from the Scriptures.
There are many books, apps and online videos that you can use for guided meditation. You can also use a Bible commentary to dig deeper. It’s important to interact with the verse first, then add these helps to enrich your study.
Start by choosing one book of the Bible, such as Psalms, as the theme for your meditation practice. Then select digital or printed materials to help you get more from the book you chose. In a few weeks of using guided meditation, you’ll see a significant increase in your Bible knowledge, simply by spending a few minutes per day in meditation.
Meditation for Anxiety
Anxiety is at an epidemic level in our culture today. One of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to treat anxiety is through Christian meditation. Studies show that regular meditation lowers your blood pressure, boosts your immune system, and helps you sleep better. It can help you concentrate more and manage your stress. When God’s Word is the focus of your meditation, you unleash the power of the Prince of Peace to help you overcome anxiety.
To get rid of anxious thoughts, you must replace them with the truth of God’s Word. Every time you have an anxious thought, you can overcome it with a verse that will help you focus back on God. Here are some verses you can use for meditation when you feel anxious.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. – Psalm 94:19 NIV
A heart at peace gives life to the body. – Proverbs 14:30a NIV
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? – Matthew 6:25-27 NLT
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” – Matthew 6:34 NLT
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Use a Bible concordance to look up other verses to help you overcome your worries in a certain area. No matter your area of concern, there will be a Bible verse to help you conquer your anxiety.