Meditation

January 1, 2014

Meditation

            In Joshua 1:8 the Bible tells us we should meditate. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” The word meditate appears 15 times in the Bible.  The majority of those times it was used by David.  What is meditation?

Unger’s Bible dictionary says that meditation is “a private devotional act, consisting in deliberate reflection upon some spiritual truth or mystery, accompanied by mental prayer and by acts of the affection and of the will, especially formation of resolutions as to future conduct.”

We need to learn to meditate.  It takes discipline to meditate.  Our mind needs to be brought under control.  I Peter 1:13 tells us to gird up the loins of our mind.  When I was a child, in a one room country grade school, our teacher told us that if we are giving full attention to what we are reading we will not be conscious of what is going on in the room.  To me, that seemed to be impossible.

Meditation demands concentration.  It is to have our mind immersed in just one theme.  If you have tried it, you know that it’s difficult to do it very long.

Rarely will our minds be occupied in meditation without self-discipline.  There are two steps we need to take in preparation for meditation.  First we need to decide on a theme for meditation.  It might be that you are seeking God’s will regarding a decision you need to make.  The second step is to choose a time and place for meditation.  It might be a time when we are doing something that doesn’t demand a lot of concentration.

Today we hear of transcendental meditation.  It has nothing to do with Biblical meditation.  Transcendental meditation is an attempt to leave the mind empty.  It is an exercise in futility.  Sometimes it can even be dangerous.  Satan can take advantage of an empty mind and fill it with wicked thoughts.  In contrast, Joshua 1:8 for example, tells us to meditate on “the book of the law.”  We need to take small pieces at a time.  It is a beneficial exercise.

Our ancestors were more adept at meditation.  It could be that they lived in a more tranquil environment.  The telephone didn’t interrupt them.  They weren’t distracted by the television or radio.  We can picture David in meditation, seated on a big rock in the pasture while he watched his flock of sheep.  His only distractions were birds singing, the wind blowing in the trees, and the bleating of the sheep.  Such an environment would lend itself to meditation.

The following are some suggested themes that would be good for us to meditate on:

  1.  The work of God in the creation of the universe
  2. The character or the works of Christ
  3. The attributes of God
  4. The ministry of the Holy Spirit
  5. The work that God wants to accomplish in this  world
  6. The principles and promises of God
  7. The nature, power, and immortality of the soul
  8. The depravity of human nature
  9. The grace of God, especially in the salvation of sinners

Another way to meditate is to choose a verse of Scripture and think of all that is included in it.  This is very similar to doing a Bible study.  We will need to take into consideration the context from which it was taken.  If we have access to commentaries or a Bible dictionary it is good to use them.  In our meditation we will ask ourselves questions like: “If this is true, how does it relate to my life?  Are there other versed in the Bible that relate to this theme?”

Unfortunately, many are so occupied with the things of this life that they don’t have time to meditate.  Many times it isn’t done because people don’t see the need for it.  Many don’t have the self-discipline that it requires.

Our spiritual understanding can be greatly increased by means of meditation.  Meditation helps to clear up and deepen our Biblical knowledge.  Time spent in meditating on spiritual matters is a good investment.

Our e-mail address is: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

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