Do you practice Christian meditation?
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Christian meditation and the amazing ways it will transform your life and renew your mind.
Maybe you’ve heard of Christian meditation, but it looked a little too much like eastern meditation for your comfort.
Yes – I have read those posts, too. Here’s the thing, Christian meditation looks nothing like eastern meditation. You don’t need the quiet room, the candles, the deep breathing, and all of that nonsense.
You can practice Christian meditation in a quiet room or a noisy restaurant.
And today I am going to teach you what Christian meditation is, how to practice it, why it’s vital for every disciple of Jesus Christ, and what benefits you will see in your life when you begin to practice this discipline.
There are three Hebrew words for meditate that we see in the Old Testament:
1. Hagah, meaning to speak, mutter, muse, imagine or plot (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, Psalm 63:6, Psalm 77:12)
2. Siyach, meaning to muse, to study, to ponder, to sing, to speak (Psalm 143:5, Psalm 77:6, Psalm 119:15, 27, 48, 78, 148, Psalm 145:5)
3. Amar, meaning to speak, to command, to tell (Psalm 4:4)
Notice that these meanings involve thinking about, studying, speaking, and even commanding.
Christian meditation is so different than eastern meditation that the two are contrary to one another. While eastern meditation involves emptying the mind, Christian meditation involves filling the mind with God’s Word and then studying it, thinking on it, and speaking it – even commanding it – to our heart.
Read my post: 6 Ways Eastern Meditation Differs from Biblical Meditation here
3 Steps to Christian Meditation for Beginners
Christian meditation isn’t just a good Christian discipline that we should all practice. It is a command.
“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.” Joshua 1:8 (emphasis mine)
“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” Psalm 4:4
1. Choose a passage and memorize it
Christian meditation obviously begins with memorization. Now, you don’t have to completely memorize a verse or passage to meditate on it. You can meditate on God’s Word while sitting at the table with your Bible in front of you.
But if you want to mediate on a verse or passage all day, you will need to have it memorized.
Here you will find a series of posts I’ve written on Scripture memorization. An easy way to begin memorizing Scripture is to write it down and carry it with you.
I recommend memorizing and meditating on passages of Scripture, even whole chapters and books, because it keeps things in proper context.
It is very easy to get confused, even believe something contrary to the whole of Scripture, when we take a verse out of context.
2. Think deeply about the passage, word-by-word
Let’s use Psalm 1:1 as an example.
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
Blessed – Happy, rich, fulfilled
is – now, present
the man – I can insert my name here
who walks not – doesn’t follow the crowd, behavior
in – isn’t immersed in
the counsel – the opinions, the philosophies, the worldviews
of the ungodly – those who do not acknowledge God, who have not surrendered their life to God, whose lives are not founded on and centered on God.
nor stands – is not rooted in, established upon
in the path – the direction, the journey
sinners – those who habitually break God’s commands
nor sits – rests, abides, dwells
in the seat – in the habitation, dwelling place
of the scornful – those whose behavior is a mockery of God, those who are ambassadors of the enemy, those who teach others to sin
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3. Personalize the passage
How happy am I when I refuse to follow the crowd and pattern my life after the philosophies and world views of those who do not acknowledge God as their maker and whose lives do not center on God. How happy am I when I choose not to establish my vision and my life’s direction in the manner of those who habitually break God’s commands. How happy am I when I reject the temptation to invite into my life those people whose behavior is a mockery of God and teach others that it is okay to sin.
When is the best time of the day for Christian Meditation?
You can meditate on God’s Word any time, day or night, no matter where you are.
But the obvious time of the day that is easiest for everyone is as you are wrapping up your daily devotions. After you have read a portion of God’s Word, meditate on it.
Ask yourself what it means and what it means to your personally.
But there is another time of day when meditation is especially powerful, and that is as you are falling asleep.
“I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.” Psalm 16:7
Your spirit never sleeps.
“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.” Psalm 63:6
The Hebrew word for “instructs” in this verse literally means to reprove, to instruct, to chastise, to punish. Meaning, as you meditate on God’s Word as you fall asleep, it will begin to correct your heart. Your thinking.
There is another term for this that we see in the New Testament: Renewing the mind.
As you meditate on God’s Word while falling asleep, God takes His Word and begins to renew your heart. He instructs, chastises, and reproves your heart.
We see this same concept in Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”
The Hebrew word for meditate in this verse is command or instruct.
Command your heart to be still and not to allow your righteous anger over injustice and unrighteousness to get out of control and turn into sin.
5 Benefits of Christian Meditation
1. It makes you successful
“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.” Joshua 1:8
Before we begin forming in our mind a picture of ourselves with a great job, nice bank account, and a yacht, let’s remember that success for Christians isn’t the same as success for those in the world.
We are most successful when we are accomplishing the purpose God created us for!
And when we meditate on God’s Word, we are able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit more clearly, telling us where He wants us to go and do what He wants us to do.
And each of the following benefits leads us to this biblical success.
2. It makes you fruitful as Christians
Psalms 1 is all about how meditating on God’s Word makes us fruitful.
As we meditate on Scripture, the seed of the Word is planted deep in our heart, the soil is watered and fertilized, and the seed has a healthy environment to grow and bear abundant fruit.
3. It renews your mind
As we daily meditate on God’s Word, it begins to shape our thinking, our philosophies, and our world view to principles of Scripture.
It begins to change our “want-to”, so that we lose the desire to do those things that offend God, and begin to want to do those things that please Him.
Christian meditation changes us from the inside out!
4. It gives you wisdom
Christian meditation fills us our lives with the wisdom of God’s Word, so that we can approach every life situation from godly perspective.
5. It deepens your relationship with God
This is an obvious benefit.
As you daily make Christian meditation a discipline in your life, you will notice how your relationship with God will grow deeper.
The more time you spend in allow God’s Word to shape your thinking, decision process, and your attitudes, you become more and more like Him.
And as a result, your relationship with Him will grow deeper and deeper.
Get my 30-Day Prayer Challenge for Renewing the Mind today. In this prayer challenge you get 30 verses on renewing the mind, space to write out the verse or application from the verse and a prayer to the Lord.
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