What do you think of when you hear the word “meditate?” I’ll be honest, my thoughts used to run along the lines of sitting cross-legged and chanting a mantra. That was how I heard the word used most often growing up. So it was a revelation to me to learn that meditation is mentioned in scripture.
Christian meditation differs from the eastern version, though. Probably the most important way they differ is in where our thoughts are meant to be focused while we do it. Someone following the eastern style would use a mantra (a repeated word or phrase) or a visualization, to help the mind clear away distractions. The result would be an “empty” mind, and concentration on the act of breathing itself.
In the Bible, however, we see that God has a very different method and purpose for this discipline. These scriptures give clear direction about what we are to focus on:
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Joshua 1:8
“Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.” Psalms 48:9
“I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.” Psalms 119:99
“My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” Psalms 119:48
Did you catch all the things we can focus our thoughts on?
- His Law
- His love
- His statutes
- His promises
And how about these: His promises; His deeds; His wonders; His miracles: HIM! And the result? A more joyful heart and a stronger faith – much better than being empty, right?
So don’t shy away from the idea of meditation. It was used in God’s Word even before it took on it’s more popular associations with eastern religions. Set aside some time specifically to focus your mind on your Lord, and watch what happens.