Introduction to Meditation.
So friends, I want to share a little with you a little bit of what Ive learned Biblical meditation to be all about. No, this does not involve making strange noises, emptying the mind to nothingness, nor does it take hours on end to experience effects.
Joshua 1:8 says, “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.”
The Bible speaks many many times of meditation, and meditation specifically on God’s word. So often we READ the Bible, without really engaging our brains into what we read. We skim the pages, wondering why we arent receiving “deep insightful revelations from God,” when we arent willing to dive deep into the Scriptures. So when we take time to meditate; to really focus our entire beings on the inspired words from God, we begin to experience a deeper connection with their meaning. How the meaning of Bible passages and texts applies to us specifically.
So how does meditation take place? This involves emptying the mind of all outside distractions, finding a quiet place to really take a few moments to read the Scripture or passage of Scripture of your choice, and sitting in the quiet, contemplating the meaning you glean from what you read. Taking some time to quiet the mind, and open your heart to the Holy Spirit, using the Bible as a tool, to guide your thoughts in the right direction.
So if you want to try this with me today, practice the following 6 steps. (Read this article through before starting.) Remember that the “AH HA” moment might not come after the first try. This dosnt mean it didnt work, or you did it wrong. Everything good comes with practice. So try a few times a week, or if you find time, once a day! Thomas Edison tried to create a lightbulb 3,000 times before he succeeded. So dont give up!
1. Find a quiet place. Space where distractions are minimal, a place where you can sit comfortably in stillness.
2. Start with a prayer. Ask God to open your mind and your heart to what He has for you today. Ask Him to help you focus on His word, to help you quiet your mind and make space for Him in your life.
3. Read a text, or passage of Scripture that you would like to dig deeper into. Read it at a moderate pace, preferably out loud. This allows you to read and hear it at the same time, making sure you dont skip over any words.
4. After reading the passage, sit up tall, close your eyes and contemplate the WORDS or PHRASES that stood out to you the most. Try to sit still, allowing God’s word to sink deep into your soul. If there are other thoughts that come up, like “whats for breakfast,” or your list of “to do’s,” gently put them aside, and bring thoughts about the passage you just read back into the forefront of your mind. Sit here for as long as is comfortable. It might be 30 seconds, it might be 2 minutes or 10 minutes, however long you choose should be the result of really trying to focus and sit still.
The objective is to put self aside so that God can infiltrate our lives in the time we give to Him. This can be quite difficult, but becomes easier with practice. Our minds are so active that it is hard to sit still with God and allow Him to work in us.
5. You are now going to read the passage again. Read out loud again, this time maybe slowing or quickening your reading, in order to cultivate a complete THOUGHT to rest on. This thought is a result of sinking into the text, looking for meaning below the surface. Sit here again for as long as you are comfortable, “chewing on,” “dwelling in,” “digesting” the thought you received from this second reading.
6. After this second segment of focused meditation on the passage, you can choose to read the passage again, or you can transition straight into prayer. Responding with an open heart to the Creator, the Author of the passage you have just spent time reflecting on.
How awesome is it that we can just talk to the Author anytime, anywhere? He promises to help us understand His book, through the help of the Holy Spirit, so that we dont have to be confused or misguided by what we read. We just have to ask. God also promises to change our hearts, to help us implement and practice what we learn in our daily lives, so that as a result we become more Christ-like.
I have included a passage found in 2 Peter 1:3-11. I chose the Message version because of its candid clarity and directness with which it speaks to me. Feel free to use any text or passage from the Bible, in whichever version you desire.
“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1: 3-11
If you have any questions or concerns, please dont hesitate to contact me, I am here to serve you. Please remember that I am a student of The Word too, and none of us will be perfect until we get to Heaven. But if there is anything I can further explain or guide you in regarding Biblical meditation, let me know! May God richly bless you as you continue to follow His guidelines for wholesome living.